Hat exhibitions

Latest news - there was a wonderful response to three of my exhibition pieces, selected by international competition, for the two major millinery exhibitions celebrating London Hat Week in October 2016. The focus of these three pieces was recycling & up-cycling, I was however completely overwhelmed by the interest in Heald Wires which made a big splash at The MillinerXArtisan Exhibition!! 

So as you can see when designing a millinery collection I often make dramatic pieces -  but I thought you might like to know a little more about the creative process behind the pieces that have been exhibited in hat exhibitions at museums and galleries. 

As with most creative stuff it all starts with inspiration!

Inspiration is a key part of millinery and you can be inspired by a new experience or draw on an older one you have recorded. It could be the tree patterns observed on a woodland walk, a morning sunrise; a visit to an exhibition, gallery or a cathedral; a meeting with friends; a new technique learnt, a book read or an overseas trip. From this encounter I create a new themed collection based around the source of the inspiration. In the case of Heald Wires (above) & Weft (below) the inspiration was a visit to a Bradford woollen mill, and seeing the weaving process producing beautiful Yorkshire tweed.


Once my creative juices get going and usually after a number of false starts, it's a very exciting and busy time. Then at long last the piece or collection is finally finished, & packed for despatch. Once the installation is set up at the gallery or museum there is a the press launch to attend, and it's great fun meeting the other milliners involved. After the launch I normally go back to meet family, friends and customers, and together we walk the entire exhibition admiring all the wonderful examples of creativity.

So on this page and those linked, I will endeavour to post about significant exhibitions in museums and galleries, though sometimes in all the excitement I may just post on my news blog!


One Hundred Years Exhibited at Hatworks, Stockport 2014-5  

Here's a page from my sketch book showing some of the preparatory work for One Hundred Years, directly inspired by the collection of WW1 pincushions held at the Stockport Museums. After this initial work I went on to design a ready to wear collection of couture millinery inspired by WW1 memorabilia.

The image above is from the monthly HaTalk magazine who ran an editorial feature on the inspiration & design of sweetheart headpieces I created for The One Hundred Years collection - the two silk and beaded headpieces inspired by the sweetheart pincushions - particularly the vintage colours of soft rose, blue & deep ivory characteristic of the pieces held at the Stockport Museums.

This, my second selling collection of millinery for the Arts Council 'Making Headway' project, also includes three peach bloom felt hats pieces inspired by the iconic images of the Tower of London installation Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red and the musical production of Warhorse. 

In my news blog there are more details regarding the design inspiration and construction of the five pieces in the collection, copy and paste the links below to go directly to the posts. And finally here's a link to a short film of the spectacular catwalk show, held at St Mary's Church, Stockport to launch the first collection of the Making Headway project:




One Hundred Years - design inspirations

One Hundred Years - a Second Collection for Making Headway

Heald Wires & Weft - featured at MillinerXArtisan, London Hat Week October 2016

le reyclage - featured at Le Cupola, London Hat Week October 2016