Art can be inspired by many things, but for fashion designers Anabella Montgomery and Kate Hannah the inspiration comes mostly from people and places. And lately, their muse can be found in Palm Beach County.
A visit to Palm Beach was enough to fill them with design ideas, and the Wellington polo scene influenced Elizabeth’s latest piece: the wrap-around skirt.
Both Montgomery and her business partner Hannah are always on the look out for women role models to represent their brand, and polo player Tiffany Marie Busch captured their interest for the skirt.
Not to mention, Montgomery’s mother, Adriana Level, was one of the first female polo players in Venezuela. So naturally, she feels at home in the winter polo capital of the world.
“Everytime we create a new design, we think of where our women are going to wear it,” she said. “Tiffany’s an athlete but she has to be a socialite within minutes of finishing a game.”
The designers wanted the skirt to be versatile, something to wear over a sporty outfit or easy to dress up for an impromptu cocktail party.
“It’s hard for Tiffany to put a look together after a game,” she said. “Add jeans and a leather jacket or a silk skirt-dress so you can change the outfit within minutes” — tips and tricks from none other than the designer’s mom.
“She always said: exercise and be sporty while [being] super feminine,” Montgomery said.
Each piece of the Elizabeth shop label is uniquely styled and sized. Since they don’t believe in mass-producing and make everything by hand, no two pieces alike.
“It’s slow fashion, which is popular with people who are conscious of what they buy and the effect it can have on the world,” Montgomery said. “Instead of buying cheap t-shirts that wear-off easily, buy a high-quality cotton t-shirt that will last longer.”
The whole point: Buy less, choose high-quality and make it last.
And the ladies stick to high-quality. Each single piece of clothing can take weeks to complete since intricate hand-bead work or delicate materials like silk may be included.
“They’re investment pieces made with the finest materials bought and made in the United States,” Montgomery said.
Apart from skirts, the label has three-piece outfits, dresses and shirts made of 100 percent silk or handmade nylon. It may be slow fashion, but not slow selling. Elizabeth Fashion’s holiday collection sold out; meanwhile, clients keep requesting pieces.
“Our ladies want to stand out, be well-dressed and own something outside the box,” she said.