Gordon Bennett! It’s the Elizabeth Lau for ASOS Sweater Collection
British-bred Chinese style blogger and media darling Susie Lau of Style Bubble, the girl known for mastering pattern-mixing and striking the right balance between quirky and cute, has more than earned her spot as a fashion tastemaker but, then, she stems from a creative family that includes her knitwear designer cousin Elizabeth Lau. The cousins share a whimsical approach to fashion, as manifested by the new Elizabeth Lau for ASOS collection, available exclusively at ASOS.com. And to fuse together their fan bases and capitalize on this accrued power, Elizabeth even had Susie and her other adorable cousins model the sweaters in the collection, then photographed them for her website ElizabethLau.com.
The new sweaters — or jumpers, to use Brit terminology — were inspired by London’s East End, with interpretations of everything from graffiti writing to Elizabeth Dolittle-ish cockney slang. The Elizabeth Lau for ASOS “Dog & Bone” Sweater ($131.93 at US.ASOS.com), pictures above at top, features an adorable illustration of a Spud McKenzie-ish bull terrier clutching a bone with its teeth, but what makes the design particularly funny is that, in Cockney rhyming slang, the expression “dog and bone” means “phone,” as in “get on the dog and bone.” If you’re looking for sweet but cool, check out the Elizabeth Lau for ASOS “Lizzie” Sweater ($114.34 at US.ASOS.com), which features a color-blocked design, so that the long sleeves, scoop neckline, and the top area of the bodice are all a black color, while the remainder of the bodice boasts a cream backdrop and is adorned with a face motif, with winking eyes and a tiny red heart in lieu of a mouth. Because of the placement of the black area, it winds up looking like the hair of a doll, the top of the bodice resembling her bangs. The Elizabeth Lau for ASOS “La Di Dah” Sweater ($131.93 at US.ASOS.com), meanwhile, could be interpreted in multiple ways. On a surface level, the musical note motifs lend the sweater a literal meaning so that the “La-di-dah” phrase references a ditty of some sort. And yet the phrase “La-di-dah” has many a meaning — in modern Cockney rhyming slang, the phrase “la di dah” means “cigar” (who knew, right?), while in a past era, it was used to reference snobbish, uppity behavior (it was an abbreviation of the slang term “lardy dardy”). And Annie Hall fans, of course, remember Diane Keaton uttering the phrase in a dismissive manner, the equivalent of saying “yada yada yada.”
Moving away from the Cockney slang-inspired designs, there’ the Elizabeth Lau for ASOS “Having A Bubble” Sweater ($131.93 at US.ASOS.com), which incorporates the word “Bubble” in oversize, rounded bubble letters, outlined in a red color and filled with a light pink hue, a girly version of the graffiti tags and throw-ups seen all over urban centers. For an added touch of childlike fancy, each letter has a red string dangling from its lower edge, making it look like a balloon in flight.
The Elizabeth Lau for ASOS “Treacle Tart” Sweater ($131.93 at US.ASOS.com), meanwhile, combines the graffiti and Cockney rhyming slang references, so that we see the word “Treacle” in oversize 3-D block letters, shaded to give them more dimension, and a heart shape positioned above the word, with the entire phrase placed atop a ridged surface meant to represent a tart crust. But what does it all mean? Well, in Cockney rhyming slang, the phrase “treacle tart” means “sweetheart,” and the heart and dessert motifs shown here emphasize this feel.
Want to trumpet a less coded phrase, one that any onlooker will decipher? Then go with the Elizabeth Lau for ASOS Lovely Jubbly Sweater ($131.93 at US.ASOS.com) which simply shows this jocular exclamation in cursive lettering. And, of course, there’s the most classic design of all — the Elizabeth Lau for ASOS Union Jack Sweater ($123.13 at US.ASOS.com), which features a British flag motif but, rather than solid stripes and triangular bits of color, its shape is comprised of tiny hearts arranged in a strategic formation.