Our Ambassador series is an initiative we started a while ago to interview older women who, for one reason or another, are a great example of fabulousness at an older age. The criteria we use when deciding who to feature is that they should have an interesting story to tell about their life and their achievements.
We loved the fact that Sandra Howard had decided to become a novelist at the age of sixty-five and now, at seventy-six, has six books to her name. We admired the guts of Nicola Griffin who had been spotted at fifty-three in a bank queue and had jumped at the opportunity to develop a whole new career as an older model. Then we interviewed two LFF customers - Lady Justice Anne Rafferty, one of the very few female Appeal Court judges in the High Court with a very moving personal story to tell and Annette Badland, lately of Eastenders fame as Babe Smith, who has had a long career in theatre, film and television. Our latest Ambassador is Elizabeth Bessant, a couture dress designer.
I first met Elizabeth when we did the makeup for her fashion show.
The clothes in the show were very beautiful special occasion outfits. There were exquisite long beaded evening and wedding dresses, shorter cocktail dresses, and dresses and jackets or coats which could be worn at a smart wedding, especially suitable for the mother of the bride or groom. Elizabeth had designed and made every one of the gorgeous outfits. I was very impressed with her skill and artistry. Having talked to Elizabeth it became clear that she is that rare combination of a talented creative artist and an astute business woman. However she has not had an easy life. Having left college, Elizabeth quickly established herself as a successful young artist selling her silkscreen prints to a wide clientele. She then found herself in an abusive relationship and with a young son, Billy who clearly had severe developmental problems.
Elizabeth was eventually able to get the right support for Billy who had finally been diagnosed as having both autism and dyspraxia.
Elizabeth eventually extricated herself from her marriage at severe financial cost to herself. She was now determined to provide a life for herself and Billy. It was no longer practical to continue with her silkscreen printing business, so she turned to her second love which was sewing. Over the past few years, Elizabeth has gradually built a loyal following among her clients who love the way that she is able to create a beautiful bespoke garment for their special event. Everything she creates is made to fit not only her clients' body, but also their personality, lifestyle and the event that they are attending. This is not a quick process as it requires several fittings after the initial consultation and it is not a cheap option either.
However, I am sure her clients would agree that Elizabeth's designs are investment pieces for that special occasion when money is no object!
If you have a very special occasion coming up and would like to consult Elizabeth, she is offering LFF customers 15% discount off couture outfits and accessories, including bridal, until 31st August 2017. She will be happy to answer any of your questions on dressing for an occasion and to offer free 'no obligation' consultations. Find here website here and let her know LFF sent you!
I hope you enjoy my video interview with Elizabeth.
You will be amazed that she can possibly be nearly sixty! In this photograph Elizabeth wears warm toned colours from the LFF makeup range. She has the most beautiful skin I have ever seen on anyone of her age, so I asked her secret. It's no surprise that she has never smoked, drinks almost no alcohol and has never sunbathed (sickening I know but it goes to show how much these things age our skin!) Her hair is also un-dyed and has almost no grey in it, so she obviously has inherited excellent genes.
I really admire Elizabeth's indomitable spirit and determination. She has single handedly built a very successful international business and been a remarkable mother to Billy who was able to go to university, get his degree and now works full time and is in a loving relationship. I hope you agree that Elizabeth has an interesting story to tell and deserves her continued success.
Watch our video interview:
Fabulous Forever Women - In Conversation With Elizabeth Bessant