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Millinery at The Summer Garden Party Event - Fenwick of York

by Margaret Woodliff | May 23, 2017 | 1 Comment

On Thursday May 18th, Fenwick of York held their Summer Garden Party Event. Throughout the day the air was a buzz with anticipation as staff greeted customers offering them a glass of Pimms & canapés and showcasing the SS17 collections....

Meanwhile the excitement at Margaret Woodliff Wright's millinery studio was that The Design Room at Fenwick of York (on the first floor) had installed my SS17 millinery range, adjacent to MaxMara & Hugo Boss to coincide with the promotion and the launch of the high summer fashion ranges. 

To make this event even more exciting we were invited to York for The Summer Garden Event to talk to the customers browsing The Design Room about the inspiration, design and making processes behind the creation of a couture millinery range. (If you would like to see the collection and are able to visit The Design Room you the collection presented in colour groups over two tables adjacent to the walkway, towards towards Carluccios restaurant, until Tuesday 30th May).

So it was that on Thursday morning Erica Souter & I set off from Newcastle station ready for an action packed day. We arrived to a wonderfully enthusiastic welcome, and sustained by a late breakfast of tea & toasted teacakes spent the day thoroughly immersed in fashion & millinery. 

It was brilliant to have the support of the staff - pictured, image Aimee Taylor - and to meet both local customers who were shopping to enjoy the event,  along with the many visitors visitors enjoying exploring York. We spoke to customers shopping in the store who were holidaying having travelled to York from as far away as Chile, Rhode Island & New Zealand, and some slightly nearer to home including Dundee, Carlisle, & Alnwick.


Whilst I talked to customers about the millinery themes and techniques underscoring my ranges - Erica modelled various outfits and headpieces around the first floor. Overall I was wowed by the positive reaction to my millinery ranges, I think the customers were intrigued to meet "the milliner". I was delighted too, especially as we went on to sell some pieces, as it's always lovely to make that personal connection with your clients and potential new customers. 

Then at teatime (yes, we did stop eventually!) on Thursday we had a visit from Kayleigh Lindstedt. Kayleigh is the creative guru behind the fashion blog, I Dream of Coco. A fashion blogger based in Co. Durham, Kayleigh regularly writes about fashion events, designers & their collections, available both exclusively locally, nationally and regularly about the latest fashion exhibitions. She is also a guest blogger at The Bowes Museum, who curate so many brilliant fashion exhibitions in the North East.

Kayleigh & I have had an "online" friendship for sometime, but had never managed to meet up, so it was lovely to meet her in person, show her the collection, and to discover she is just as bubbly and enthusiastic in person as she is in her blog!

Kayleigh had a great time trying on lots of different pieces, and took lots of lovely selfies. She's now written a great blog post where she has posted many more images too. Here's the link to her blog, I Dream of Coco, and the post about her visit, bit.ly/2qGnbUR

As you can tell from the images Kayleigh took, she thoroughly enjoyed her evening chatting to us about the collection, the design inspirations and making techniques. We are hoping too, if her busy schedule allows, that we may teach her a few millinery techniques of her own, at our next workshop date on Saturday. The workshop is at Gallery 45, Felton Northumberland, and I will be teaching how to make the delightful little fascinator or button headpiece (pictured below), just right for your summer garden party event!

Finally Fenwick of York's media co-ordinator Aimee Taylor spent time looking at the ranges too and took this brilliant selfie! Aimee's pictured wearing one of my latest pieces, a demi-turban called Noire, an extravagant turban wrap of silver lustre and black sinamay.

After a really successful day late that evening Erica & I took the train home and relaxed to a well deserved glass of fizz! We had had a great day - we would both like to thank all the staff, management and customers at Fenwick of York for their enthusiasm & support of my SS17 millinery collection.

So if you would like to look at the collection it will be available in the York store until Tuesday May 30th, and then from my studio in Central Newcastle. Please send me a message via the contact form if you would like to look at any of the pieces pictured either in this blog post, Kayleigh's, on the various pages on my website site or message me to make an appointment to commission your very own couture headpiece!

Posted in @mww_millinery, Aimee Taylor, Couture, couture millinery, couturecommission, Felton, Fenwick Summer Garden Party, Fenwick York, Gallery Forty5, I dream of Coco, Kayleigh Lindstedt, Margaret Woodliff Wright Millinery, Millinery, S/S17 collections, The Summer Garden Party Event

Recycling pieces feature in February's Machine Knitting Monthly

by Margaret Woodliff | February 01, 2017 | 0 Comments

I have realised that I enjoy the challenge of making head pieces and hats from recycled materials!

I think what's so lovely about recycled work is that due to the "constriction" that the material itself puts upon you, not only is the initial concept and design inspiration for the piece stretching, it all feels so much more purposeful because I am reusing a resource that would otherwise have been disposed of.

Immediately I look at the piece I can remember where, when and from whom I acquired the material I am using. So the hat I make comes with a ready made history of its own, already!

Taking this one step further what's so precious in the case of a commission - for instance making use of a loved one's sweater - is that of course I include details where possible such as the original labels, and in the legend I enclose in your hat box there will notes on the inspiration source along with making details. So all in all I feel that just by using recycled materials it can make the piece so much more meaningful.

To show you a few more of my recycled pieces in the context of my overall work I thought I would use the lovely editorial that has just popped up thanks to Highlights PR -  this time across four pages in the February 2017 edition of Machine Knitting Monthly. The MKM piece profiles my millinery story, and touches upon my recycled work, the "MillinerXArtisan" XTerrace Platform & "The Cupola" International exhibitions along with the North of England Wedding Awards. 


Please take a look and browse through the lovely photographs taken by Jim Gibson of GIS Photographic, and you will see there are numerous pieces featured on these pages including some of the recycled collection - le recyclage, Spring and Bow Ties. If you are interested in commissioning a couture hat or exploring the possibility of a recycled memory piece, just use the Contact form.

There are further details of the exhibitions and recycled pieces selected in my earlier blog posts including this one, written up last Autumn.

October 23rd 2016 - Whirlwind trip to London Hat Week http://www.margaretwoodliffwright.com/blogs/news/topping-off-your-topper


Posted in Couture, couturecommission, HighlightsPR, Jim Gibson GIS Photographic, London Hat Week, MachineKnittingMonthly, MillinerXArtisan, Millinery, Monique Lee Hylands White, North of England Wedding Awards, Petticoat Lane, Recycled, The Cupola