Zipper Magazine Winter 2008
Geometric merino fingerless gloves. Sold through the store HaNNa in Tokyo
Selvedge Magazine Issue #13 September/October 2006
“New Yorker Elyse Allen has a strong creative pedigree; four generations of her family were involved in creative pursuits, so from an early age she was encouraged to play with materials and colours. Today these include hand-knitted dresses, gloves and hats in embellished cashmere and merino wool....Citing Josef Frank’s botanical prints, Russian painter and designer Vavara Stepanova, Missoni and Zandra Rhodes as inspiration, 30-year-old Elyse is uber-focused...At the moment, Allen divides her time between her studio in Manhattan and the Rhode Island School of Design where she teaches. She is ‘fanatical about quality control’. Like the creative genes that run in her family, she wants her objects to become heirlooms that will be passed from generation to generation’.”
Fiberarts Magazine September-October 2004
““I love being busy” says Elyse Allen. “I need to take on projects.” Allen, twenty-eight, is a textile and clothing designer whose recent projects center on the creation of embellished knitted fabrics in diverse forms, from fingerless gloves for ladies and gents, to elaborate bird masks...stuffed knitted necklaces, knitted eye patches...woven fabrics for cushions and upholstery round out her repertoire.
Allen began working in the fiber arts while she was studying sculpture at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), at which point she switched gears- and she hasn’t looked back.”
Nylon Magazine August 2003
“Jim Drain, one half of the knitwear duo Happy Banana, put in some serious red-eye time before passing the jacket on to partner Elyse Allen...[who] then embellished the jacket with her finely detailed sewing-another exhausting labor of love.”
Nylon Magazine September 2002
“Elyse Allen and Jim Drain, the wool-working duo behind Happy Banana, are down to earth and unpretentious. Nothing at all, in fact, like stereotypical fashion designers...“They’re post-industrial warm and fuzzy,” adds Larry Rinder, a curator at the Whitney who owns a custom-made Happy Banana vest. “Their work has an exuberant DIY quality. We live in a world where everything is falling apart, and they make you feel that by using your imagination and creativity you can make it better.”
Vice Magazine Vol. 10
“Fur coats are made of mink, rabbit and stuff. Suede is dead cows. The hallucinogenic knitwear made by Elyse Allen and Jim Drain, however, is composed of nothing but skinned Muppets and decapitated stuffed animals.
Using vivid and optically challenging colors and patterns, theses two Rhode Island School of Design graduates (Lightning Bolt and all that) make the most inventive sweaters, bodysuits, blankets and leg warmers ever seen....
Happy Banana is a cold breath of fresh air and hot air in two staid little words: fashion and music. And they aren’t even heavy about being groundbreakers. Jim sums up his and Elyse’s mission thusly: “Our stuff is bold and delicate. It should purr the words ‘psyched to party.’” - Paul Woh
Vogue Knitting International Fall 2002
“Take a walk on the hip side in neon-colored garments and accessories from Happy Banana. Providence-based roommates Elyse Allen and Jim Drain launched their knitwear line two years ago with an eccentric collection that included hats, earrings, studded shawls, dresses and rainbow-colored knit overalls...”
Venus Magazine Spring 2003
KnitKnit Magazine Issue #1 2002
“It's hard not to want to participate with Elyse. Plus I think it's awesome if you see someone wearing your clothes. That's how it started.” - Jim Drain on their collaboration ‘Happy Banana’
Bust Magazine Winter 2002
Elyse and Jim Drain designed stage outfits for the band “Le Tigre” for their 2002 Fall tour.
The New York Times 3.17.2002
Larry Rinder, curator of the 2002 Whitney Biennial, opening night in Elyse's embellished cashmere vest