A little time ago I was commissioned by a lovely lady called Ann to design and make a hat for her to wear to a very special wedding, which took place this Saturday.
The great bonus of a couture commission is talking to your client at the initial consultation so you can create a design that fulfils their dreams. Ann & I enjoyed some stimulating & amusing discussions and very soon settled on the design to complete her beautiful lace ensemble. Here you see Ann wearing the finished headpiece, a layered sinamay saucer embellished with tail feathers from Pendragon - the renown peacock who lives at Hopetoun House, Edinburgh - finished with Guterman sequins, and crin ruffles.
Imagine my delight when the first image I received from Ann was that of a typical Northumberland country scene, a delightful family vignette! I can't wait to see the rest of the images, in the meantime here's the lovely picture of Ann, her son & two grandsons, Ann looks so incredibly stylish and proud!
I'm so pleased the weather held fine, too.
Thank you so much for the wonderful commission, Ann.
"An English Country Garden" returned to Alnwick from MIMC in Melbourne in mid March to be feted on the catwalk at The Duchess High School fashion show. The show was in aid of HospiceCare Northumberland.
As soon as it was off the catwalk I boxed it up and it has now put in a few more hat miles, jetting over to Nebraska, USA. An English Country Garden will be on show there at Margie Trembley's Chapeaux Emporium in Springwood along with other headpieces by nine international milliners until June.
Here are a few more detailed images of the piece inspired by my Northumberland garden last summer, which utilized the (same) varied assortment of millinery materials sent to all nine milliners by Margie, late last summer.
Last Autumn Tony Wellington, Creative Director and force behind The Bite, the London based online fashion and lifestyle magazine, was a guest at the preview night for the MillinerXArtisan exhibition.
Staged in October, the exhibition featured over 130 specially selected millinery headpieces and was the brain child of Professor Monique Lee Hylands-White. Monique a hugely respected milliner, curated the cutting edge exhibition staging it at Coventry University's London Campus. As I had two pieces selected for the exhibition - Heald wire & Weft - I was there too!
Tony's creative team wrote about the concept behind the exhibition and his impressions of the opening night in issue 17 of the magazine, bit.ly/2oPCVSy.
Everyone who attended the opening night or visited on one of the successive days was aware that the exhibition created a melting pot of creativity, there was a real buzz of excitement, and headwear, headwear, headwear was everywhere! This week Tony published issue 18, bit.ly/2oPqZjV
In this edition he has included a further article inspired by the exhibition, this time he has focussed on my work as a milliner - including my millinery journey from retail buyer to couture milliner with a keen interest in recycling. The piece also covers the sources of inspiration for the two pieces Monique selected for the exhibition, Heald Wire & Weft. You can also read the review on my press page
Spring - seen above was made for the opening night of MillinerXArtisan - is another example of my recycled work, a cocktail piece made from recycled heald wires from a woollen and scuba fabric from clothing purchased at Oxfam!
Image GIS Photographic