Self-expression can come in so many forms and often means something different for everyone. From dance to makeup to poetry, whatever medium we use to express who we are and the values we align with can help shape our lives and the lives of others. For Elizabeth, her self-expression comes in the form of fashion, art and design, all of which played a pivotal part in her journey to self-confidence – something Schwarzkopf LIVE Colour has helped with along the way.
For Elizabeth, her arts and fashion university was a safe space to experiment with hair colour and style. “Me and my friends would go down to the high street and people would yell at us like what the hell are they wearing? But we’d all be together, and that would make us all feel really confident,” she tells us. Elizabeth’s hair is currently a bright ginger, coloured with LIVE Intense Colour Mango Twist. “For most of my hair colouring time, I’ve had pink hair. But over the pandemic, I was trying to find something that would blend my brown roots with the pink to make it look more natural. I’ve got really fair skin, so the ginger seemed like a natural-ish hair colour.”
The ginger hair has been a great confidence booster for her, making her feel more comfortable in her own skin, as well as “more adult, sexy, confident and bold”. “I love having pink hair, it makes me feel very cute and fun. But I think ginger is the next level of grown up,” Elizabeth explains. “I sometimes do coconut oil hair masks to keep it healthy, but I’m quite low maintenance with my hair. And I actually think using a hair colour makes it glossier and more conditioned.”
“If I was going to play around with my hair a bit more, I would maybe bleach the underneath of my fringe so that there’s a little flash of colour.”
She also had confidence instilled in her by her mum, who has always been very supportive: “My mum, who I have a lot to thank for, made me really independent and kind of gave me the belief that, which is so cheesy, but if you really do believe in it, and work hard for it then you will be able to achieve it. Having that mindset always gives you that extra little boost in whatever you're doing.”
Elizabeth tells me about some of the new experiences and opportunities she had along the way. And standing out in the process is not something she feared: “A few years ago, I was asked to be on a marketing board with another creative woman. My hair was platinum blonde with flicked out curls. I rocked up to the boardroom wearing the most cute, stupid outfit that had a big bow around my neck. And I had on a vintage shirt, a pink skirt and a cute bag and shoes. But the reason they hired us was because they wanted two women to vet their creative process,” she says. “I think that was such a surreal, weird situation because everyone round the room had corporate jobs and me and the other creative just said we’re artists and designers, and we’re just here for the ride!”
Elizabeth takes a lot of her style inspiration from the 90s fashion era. Experimenting with “tacky bits” and “over accessorising”, she wears tooth gems and has a huge love for hair clips. “The 90s going into the early noughties has a little bit of tack and a little bit of a disco-y style. Mixing that with 70s styles is I guess my spin on fashion.” She also has an interest in kitsch styles. “A lot of kitsch stuff that I really like would be seen as sickly, distasteful or very over the top. There are a lot of kitsch illustrations like the Cupid doll, lambs, bears and bunnies. I just really love the expressions on their faces and I think they look really cheeky. I also like how personified everything is.”
With a style that has always been experimental and a love for fashion that has always been present, it seemed only right that Elizabeth would end up with a career in fashion. But she wasn’t initially aware it was something she could pursue until she started sixth form. “I didn’t actually know [being a fashion designer] was a real job,” she says. “A lot of the big name fashion designers you think of are mostly men. I kind of thought it was a pretend, hobby job.”
“I always did fashion illustrations and loved making tiny little garments. But I wanted to be a primary school teacher when I was younger, I thought that was quite realistic,” she explains. It was Elizabeth’s art and textile teacher who pushed and encouraged her to pursue fashion as a career. She now runs her own ethical fashion brand, for the “self-loving individual”.
Elizabeth has always stayed true to her creative, bold self, and she doesn’t plan to stop any time soon. “I have friends that had a very expressive way of dressing but had a period of their life where they stopped doing that for a while because they didn't feel they'd be taken seriously.” But for Elizabeth, experimenting with hair colour and wearing bright things is the ultimate way to reclaim your femininity and reclaim your girlhood. “I think having my bright hair helps add to the overall image I create on social media and the look I feel most comfortable in.”