From running her own business selling earrings and illustration art prints to modelling for London Fashion Week and working with Lazy Oaf, Elizabeth Whibley has proven that she’s a creative individual who can do it all! Plant-based, pink-loving, and eco-conscious Elizabeth graduated with a BA in Fashion Textile Print and is now pursuing an MA in Fashion Design. Elizabeth brings out the best of bygone eras with an energetic and playful style that revolves around a nostalgia of the 60s, 70s, and her childhood. Her unique use of vibrant colours is most prevalent in her personal style and her most recent collection, ”Dreaming and Doing”. While her vivid creations lean towards the “more-is-more” aesthetic, Elizabeth still manages to ensure that her creations are sustainably produced. She juggles between being a creative, a university student, a model, and an entrepreneur—but what else does Elizabeth Whibley have up her sleeves?
How did you discover your passion for fashion design?
I’ve always been a very crafty and curious child, which certainly shaped my creativity and passion for design. For as long as I can remember I’ve loved “fancy-dress” and being experimental with clothing and narratives. I am an only child so I really spent a great deal of my childhood creating my own fun. I had a lot of drawing and collage books and many of those would be fashion-based, so I used to draw and design from an early age.
Why did you decide to create and develop your own brand?
I have to design to satisfy my creative mind. Clothing is an incredible opportunity to express yourself. I really enjoy designing and being creative, so the thought that people could get a similar joy from wearing something I had designed is a real motive to having a brand. I want to continue to create a funky, inclusive, and interesting community of people.
You use a lot of fabulously bold prints and bright colours! Why does the “more-is-more” aesthetic resonate with you?
I absolutely do not want to be subtle. Ever. I am a very enthusiastic and energetic person and I have a lot of love and emotion to give—it’s really important my clothing shows that. A layered and chaotic, yet considered, style of dress allows different elements of my personality to shine. A pastiche of eras, subcultures, colours, and textures helps shape how I identify with my style.
Your collection, Dreaming and Doing, was heavily inspired by your trip to Tokyo. Could you tell us a bit about how it came about?
I wanted to go to Japan since I was very small because I was obsessed with Sylvanian Families, and found out there was a world of them at Grinpa amusement park at Mt. Fuji. As I got older I also discovered more Japanese designers and artists. I specifically went to Japan in May 2017 to see Yayoi Kasuma’s “My Eternal Soul” exhibition. I was also really keen to go to the fashion-led city Harajuku where they celebrate cuteness and girlhood.
As someone who has a strong sense of style, what piece of advice can you give to anyone yet to discover their own?
It’s really hard to feel your authentic self if you are trying to please others. You must overcome the desire to be liked by everyone. This is easier said than done, but it’s so liberating knowing you can totally be yourself and not worry about how others view you. My sense of style came from within. I don’t need everyone to like the way I dress because I do it for me, not for them. I’ve learnt not to take things too seriously and live my ultimate extravagant self through clothing. When you feel more comfortable in yourself you are more likely to feel confident in the way you present yourself visually. There are so many subcultures and styles these days. Revisit different decades.
What’s the last piece of culture that you enjoyed and why?
I love the Mary Quant exhibition and the Tim Walker exhibition at the Victoria and Albert museum in London. Mary Quant showcases some incredible original 60s garments and patterns from a decade that I adore. The Tim Walker exhibition was so inspiring because of the colour palette and magical and fantastical fashion photography.
Any last words?
Thank you so much for taking the time to read. Please do check out my online store where you can order earrings and art prints. Clothes coming soon! Follow my sustainable journey and fun adventures via my Instagram. Have a lovely day!
Location: Peckham Levels, London
Shoot Direction: @choom.online
Model wears: @elizabethwhibley
Introduction and questions by Vania.