Designer Spotlight: Elizabeth Suzann

Nashville Fashion Week starts Tuesday, April 1 and I could not be more excited. Some of my favorite designers are showing that first night including Black by Maria Silver, Abi Ferrin, Pink Elephants Designs, Lagi Nadeau and the super talented Elizabeth Suzann. I first saw Elizabeth's work at Porter Flea last year. The chic simplicity of her designs coupled with her luxe fabrics make her pieces instant classics. I want to wrap myself in her now sold out cocoon coat. It's the outerwear that my dreams are made of.

elizabeth suzann cocoon coatElizabeth Suzann Cocoon Coat

 

My little lady Stella was lucky enough to have her own pup version of the cocoon coat which Elizabeth made as part of the silent auction for Nashville Humane's Unleashed event this year. Stella modeled the jacket with Elizabeth at the Tiny But Mighty Fund Launch Party. From the minute I saw it on her, I knew she had to have it. That was the only jacket Stella ever wore that she actually liked. She would normally tuck her tail if you put any clothes on her, but not that coat. Stella apparently loved one-of-a-kind designer originals made of wool, cashmere and silk. Like momma, like puglet daughter.

Elizabeth and StellaElizabeth and Stella modeling matching cocoon coats.

This self-taught designer is making some of the chicest clothes of the season. She took some time out of her busy day prepping for Nashville Fashion Week to answer a few questions for me.

When did you first start designing?

I started sewing clothing in college, but it was really awful and not at all what I make today.  I officially launched Elizabeth Suzann last year.

Spring_FILM_1_58Photo courtesy of Anna Tucker.

Where does the inspiration for your designs come from?

A little bit history, a little bit present day.  Most of the silhouettes I’m drawn to are heavily influenced the 1930’s, 1970’s and 1990’s.  Those decades were all a bit similar in certain respects, and I love the loose, futuristic, minimalist shapes.  I’m also very inspired by well dressed women I see in real life - when a women looks stylish, comfortable, and relaxed in what she’s wearing, that’s what I want to make.

Elizabeth Suzann Spring_FILM_1_4Photo courtesy of Anna Tucker.

Elizabeth Suzanne Spring_Digital_Final_1_23Photo courtesy of Anna Tucker.

 How do you choose the fabrics you use?

I use only natural fibers for sustainability and quality reasons.  Fabrics that are of high quality are going to be more comfortable, last longer, and look better, which means you’ll be more likely to wear it and keep it in your closet as opposed to buying and discarding as so many of us do with cheaper synthetics.  My favorites to work with are silks, linens and wools - always in neutral, earthy tones.

Elizabeth Suzann StudioPhoto courtesy of ElizabethSuzann.com

Describe your Spring/Summer 2014 collection in three words.

Clean. Simple.  Light.

Elizabeth Suzann Spring_Digital_Final_1_17Photo courtesy of Anna Tucker.

Elizabeth Suzann Spring_FILM_1_51Photo courtesy of Anna Tucker.

What are some of your favorite pieces from this collection?

The Ryan Pant paired with the matching Georgia Tee - the uniform-ish look is so completely cool.

Elizabeth Suzann ryanpant5Ryan Pant. Photo courtesy of ElizabethSuzann.com

Elizabeth Suzann georgianavy1Georgia Tee. Photo courtesy of ElizabethSuzann.com

What can we look forward to seeing at Nashville Fashion Week?

Lot’s of blacks, tone on tone looks with subtle variations in texture, a few new earthy colors (my favorite is a deep mossy almost yellow green).  A bit of outerwear, and a new dress I'm so excited about that can be worn several ways. (I get so excited about that kind of versatility.)

If your collection was a cocktail, what would it be?

An old fashioned - simple, essential, no frills.

Elizabeth Suzann Spring_FILM_1_38Photo courtesy of Anna Tucker.

You can never have too many:

Pairs of ANKLE BOOTS.  All the time, with everything.

You can't live without:

Diet Coke.  My sad, guilty truth is out - I drink an obscene amount of Diet Coke.

Name five of your favorite places in Nashville.

Pinewood Social (that fried Broccoli, holy crap), Taco Mamacita (I’m a huge sucker for Mexican food), Imogene + Willie, Jeni’s (can you see a common thread here?) and the dog park at Centennial Park, because nothing makes me happier than watching my fat little dachshunds run wild.

Thanks Elizabeth! I can't wait to see the new collection on the Nashville Fashion Week runway next week. Tickets are still available. Click here to purchase. For updates on new items and sales, make sure you join Elizabeth's mailing list and follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.