Ana Pribylova started her millinery business 3 years ago in Australia, her headgear was often at the centre of conversations. Sewing had been passed down her family through the generations and she began mastering her craft since the tender age of seven.
Ana was a social worker for 10 years however a few years ago she won a competition where she had to make a fascinator out of newspaper, with her prize money she set up a small studio in the back of her flat and Ana Bella Millinery was born. She continued winning awards through her clients and also won many for pieces worn by her, she won Longines Most Elegant Lady at the Dubai 20th Anniversary and last year she won best hat at Kempton Park Race day in London. She placed as a finalist at the prestigious invitation only Myer Millinery awards at Melbourne Cup Carnival, which was really special because it was judged by renowned milliner Mr Stephen Jones and she stood beside milliners who had trained her. She has been in the top 5 best dressed at races around the world.
I wore one of Ana’s incredible pieces to the Dubai Gold Cup this year, it was very classic in lace and finished my outfit beautifully. I wanted to know what inspires her incredible creations,
“I love nature and patterns that mother natures hold within flowers and natural objects like shells. I also think about symmetry, color and the type of materials I use. I start a piece from a vision in my mind that has been swirling around for a few months. I don’t use sketches too much, I work quite organically and like to find out how a material can be moulded, stiched and manipulated to my desired shape first in my studio, and then I go with that process. Like my Dubai world cup piece, I had melted plastic to form an acrylic rose. Everything that surrounds me, can potentially be made into a hat, and no material seems to be safe! I love lace, and use vintage pieces to make a lot of my headwear from it. I create a sample and tweak it to perfection, moulding it around my face and eyes. Inspiration usually comes from something I have seen, such as a flower, a dress, a color. Vintage and the 1920’s are big inspiration for my styling, and I like to bring it up to a modern stage by sewing my own dresses as well or adding on to a outfit. My last piece, which was the mirror fascinator for the Myer Millinery Award was inspired by the material- which was mirror. I love the shine and reflection of the mirror, and wanted to create a piece that was also elegant and forward thinking. It was a very hard piece to make, it’s not heavy, and as a milliner you need to think about the weight and comfort of a hat, especially when its worn all day. I had a few prototypes, and the original actually looked nothing like the piece you see today which has been worn around the world in the USA and the UK.”
Since her win in Dubai last year, she has gone on to win best hat at this years Gold Cup and Latoyah Asha was the runner up for best dressed while sporting one of Ana’s creations, she has definitely made quite the impression here. These wins have brought her an international audience, despite being based in London, Ana travels for race season so if you want an incredible headpiece make sure you drop her an email on firstname.lastname@example.org. You can follow her on instagram @anabellamillenery and view her website here.