Elizabeth Whibley’s graduate collection ‘DREAMING AND DOING’ was heavily influenced by her independent research visit to Tokyo in May 2017. The name of her graduate collection is a reflection of her mindset to live life to the fullest, achieve dreams and get stuff done! Visiting this colourful city fulfilled a childhood desire of hers. Her feminine-wear collection visually communicates her trip through digital quirky illustrative prints and naive, yet well-considered collage prints. The personification of the everyday things Whibley saw - road signs, traffic cones, buildings and flowers are playfully captured. Whibley's abstract prints reflect her personal taste and interest in girl-style and kawaii culture. Whimsical memories of her childhood are reflected in the motifs and colour palette.
Elizabeth Whibley’s style is very collage-based because it links to the very tactile feeling of scrapbooking and cutting and sticking she practised as a child. Her collection incorporates quilting, padding and cuddling, soft textures to mimic familiarity with the comfort of childhood and soft toys and texture books for babies. Over accessorising, layering textures and playing with narrative gives a nod to Harajuku street style and relates back to her love of childhood fancy dress and creating a strong sense of style. Wherever possible, her collection showcases deadstock, second hand and donated fabrics and use of cotton and bamboo. Many of the trimmings were bought into Tokyo and others are vintage. Elizabeth Whibley always tries to consider the impact of the fashion industry on the environment, she is always looking to heighten sustainability to create more eco-conscious and responsibly produced clothing and accessories. Whibley’s collection has a strong 70s vibe with her dagger collared shirts, high-waisted flared trousers and reinvention of an Afghan coat. Her attention to detail is impeccable, using printed piping to mimic hazard tape (as pictured above) she saw a great deal of in Tokyo, this unexpected trim and her pink-based colour concepts is what makes her vintage influence seem so zingy and fresh.
Whibley has translated many of her prints into a limited edition collection of rollnecks. This style of a printed garment was a staple in her graduate collection, and they will continue to be an iconic and recognisable part of her fashion design. She views it as the best way to get full print coverage on a garment that is comfortable and wearable for many people. Elizabeth Whibley is looking to get these into production as soon as possible whilst being environmentally responsible and size-inclusive. She also designed an exclusive set of earrings and hair clips based on her prints for the collection.