The first time I came across an Elizabeth Lau dress, I thought she had somehow been reading my mind all these years when I was pining for super cute dresses… then I saw the whole collection, then I met Elizabeth and got myself one of my biggest girl/fashion crushes to date! Meet the brains AND looks behind a successful independent label.
What were you like as a little girl?
I know it is hard to believe but I was actually a tomboy and really really square! I grew up with two brothers so I was very laddish. It was very uncool to be girly then, that’s probably why I am so girly now, to try and make up for lost time…
I was usually buried in my school books.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in North London.
Who was your biggest crush as a teen?
I have to think of a guy, but nothing comes to mind. My crushes were more on the beautiful models in the magazines: Helena Christensen, Linda Evangelista. I couldn’t believe how perfect and immaculate they looked.
When did you get into fashion?
Really late actually. I always liked fashion as something good to look at, but I only started considering it as a career when I was in my early twenties.
What’s your inspiration?
It changes all the time. I am lucky enough to be able to design what I like and what I’d like to wear.
At the moment I am starting on my new collection inspired by Bugsy Malone, kids dressing up as adults and the speakeasy theme where things are not quite what they seem.
Who do you look up to?
I admire Paul Smith because he’s taken really commercial wearable clothes and taken them to a high fashion level. I think I admire him more for building a business empire than for his clothing line in a way.
It is more about what he has achieved coming from nothing, having a market stall and turning it into a global brand.
Favourite fashion reads
I try to read all the big fashion magazines, as when you work in the industry you have to know what’s going on. So I read ELLE, VOGUE, the weeklies. I love Lula because it is so different and girly.
I also read Newsweek every week. Sometimes you are so into fashion, hiding in the studio, you are unaware of what’s happening in the world, so I read Newsweek to keep on top of current affairs.
I did English Lit for A Levels and it was my favourite subject at school. I really like the English Classics: Thomas Hardy, Brontë, Oscar Wilde, a lot of period dramas.
I also like watching the plays.
Do you have pets?
I like the idea of having a little dog, but I realistically I wouldn’t have the time to look after it. If I could have one I’d like a Bichon Frisé, they look like little teddy bears!
What are you working on at the moment?
I am working on my new collection (SS11) it it inspired by the 20’s and 30’s. I am reinterpreting flapper style and I am trying not to be too literal. I have been researching flapper style so I can include flapper elements into my own clothes.
I am also looking into the speakeasy theme, hidden parties, things looking really sweet but hiding something.
What about your SS10 collection?
The theme was Black & White comedy, so think Laurel & Hardy, Charlie Chaplin etc. There are a lot of oversized accessories, monochrome. I used really big bows, polka dots…
My AW10 collection is more commercial, with a lot of the past seasons bestsellers. I am completely self-financed, so I have to do commercial work. Eventually I will be able to experiment more.
What Elizabeth is wearing:
Sonia Rykiel for H&M jumpsuit
Shirt – Zara
Brooch – Portobello Market (vintage)
Shoes – Bottega Veneta
Bag – Mulberry (Rosemary)
Coat – Elizabeth Lau