What are we talking on friday night? Global Crisis? Not at all! “Low Expectations”: From London to Paris one of the most attendend books of this summer. The Elizabeth Aaron’s debut novel, edited by Quercus Books, is coming out in UK bookstores July 17th and now available to buy in the EU and Commonwealth on Amazon.
Writer, fashion designer and illustrator. Elizabeth Aaron is, definitely, a kind of eclectic artist that comes only once. She worked for Alexandre McQueen, Jonathan Saunders and Givenchy while studying Fashion Design at the University of the Arts in London, and in 2012 she moved to Paris to write “Low Expectations”, her debut novel.
Enquire Mag Ask her some ask some questions.
Let’s start from the begining: After your studies in Fashion Design in London, now you lives and works in Paris. How did you make your decision?
While still studying, I was lucky enough to do long-term fashion internships that gave me a real insight into the industry. Though I learned an enormous amount and enjoyed the work, I had a bit of a crisis of confidence after gradutation. Fashion design is a very demanding, extremely time-consuming way to earn a living- it really needs to be a vocation! I wrote stories in my free time and it was always my secret dream to do it professionally. I decided to take a chance and write a novel on a gap year in Paris. I figured that if nothing came of it (as was likely!) at least I’d speak some French! Everything worked out far better than I could ever have hoped.
How your experiences in the Fashion Industry influenced your today’s work?
“Low Expectations” is entirely fictitious, but it gives the reader a behind- the-scenes insight into how the industry works. I’ve been told that the dynamics between characters, their vocabulary and extravagant personalities feel very true-to-life! Though I don’t have time to do much designing and making at the moment, I still do fashion illustrations.
“Low Expectations”: An absurdist love story sets in the Fashion Industry of East London, out July 17h. Could you give us any anticipations?
“Low Expectations” follows my main character Georgie, a 24 year old womenswear student in her final year of University. Georgie struggles to find her feet at work and has (often disastrous) adventures in love, which she relates to her friends in honest, raunchy and absurd stories! Though
the cover art is by Natasha Law, each chapter title begins with an irreverent illustration of my own. Which wasn’t always easy with chapters entitled things like “Post-Apocalyptic David Lynch Zombies”! (There are no zombies in “Low Expectations”, just to be clear).
We’ve recently read about the short film related with the novel- How is it going?
Really well, so far! We’re shooting at the end of April, so fingers crossed everything will go smoothly. We’ve got four great actors, costumes borrowed from the AW14 Fyodor Golan collection “Crocodile” and a 12- strong crew. It’s a self-funded project, so I’ve been so grateful and pleased to see that people are really responding to the script and want to get involved! I love collaborative projects and it’s a really entertaining way to pique people’s curiousity and give them a taste of the book. Look out for it in May!
Not just a writer. Dress meet… Vernissage, Dress meet… Cake: your incisive illustrations amazed everyone. What’s the secret of your success?
It’s been a long process and a learning curve! When “Low Expectations” comes out this summer it will have been 3 years since I first started writing it. I started illustrating again about 18 months ago- you can really see the improvement from when I first started until now! So, persistence and hard work- then you can only hope that people like it! The drawings from the Dress, Meet… series are soon available to buy online in a deck of cards with my recommendations and tips for Parisian hotspots in association with Telescope Cards, Little City Guides!
How Do you get your inspirations?
It’s quite eclectic- from books, films, gallery expositions and everyday life. Truth is stranger than fiction- oftentimes if I have an amusingly bizarre story to tell, I need to tone it down to make it more realistic! So, I would say having a balance between being engaged with life and the self- control to be alone and concentrated on the work. I go through phases of being a total hermit!
Any anticipations about your projects?
I have been working this year on my first forays into screenwriting and playwriting, but we’ll see what comes of it! Then afterwards onto my second novel- which is completely different in tone, historical fiction set in New Orleans. It’s an experimental time for me, so I’m seeing what works and what people are excited about reading. As part of my “Low Expectations” promotion, I am also putting on a one-woman comedy show in August at the Edinborough Fringe Festival! It uses material from the book that was cut as it is a bit too risqué as well as funny illustrations and some new jokes. I think it is a great idea for promotion but now that it is round the corner am getting a bit terrified! What have I gotten myself into.