Hi Awon, it’s so great to see you again, it’s been a while since Ascot. As you know, I’m a huge fan of your designs, so talk us through…
As a Milliner, is this your dream job?
It’s certainly is up there. I always wanted a craft I could hone and develop, so Millinery was the perfect fit. More so than apparel or other accessories, Millinery really is a hugely broad field allowing the creator to be as avantgarde or traditional as they choose. I love that freedom.
What is your favourite hat that you’ve designed?
My favourite piece is definitely my 100s & 1000s gelato headpiece from my Spring Summer 2014 collection, Colour Gelati. It holds great memories for me as well as it was my first commercial collection and was picked up by Liberty.
I love your turbans. They’re so Bianca Jagger but what’s yours?
Bianca Jagger is actually one of my top style icons, she is the perfect balance between class, style and sex appeal. I definitely gravitate towards a 70s fashion aesthetic in my own style and this obviously translates to my designs as well. I’ve always loved a turban for this reason so try and include one in every collection. When you can pull off a turban it really is something special.
What is the common mistake most people make with buying a hat?
This is a common mistake people make BEFORE buying a hat, they say “I don’t suit hats”. Absolutely 100% not true. There is a hat out there for everyone, it’s purely a matter of finding the right style. I always encourage anyone looking to commission a hat to visit me in my studio and try on lots of pieces and see which ones feel comfortable and suits your personal style. Would anyone ever say “I don’t suit shoes”? No of course not, it’s the same for hats.
As a Stylist, I’m a big fan of hats and think should be worn more frequently as they complete a look. Why do you think we reserve hat wearing for more formal occasions rather than every day?
Hats used to be ubiquitous a couple of generations ago, however as our social structures and etiquettes relaxed hats as a sign of standing, occupation or marital status fell out of favour and daily use. We’re in a period now where hats hold no innate meaning other than being an expression of your personal style, which I think can be scary for some people. I think the versatility of hats should be embraced again, they’re not only for special occasions, there are a million styles out there that can be worn on a daily basis. There are hats for days when you’re feeling bad and need a pick me up and there are hats for when you’re bursting with confidence and ready to take on the world. They’re the first thing that people will notice so you might as well let them do the talking.
You are also making masks now, I can’t wait see your designs for these.
Yes, I launched my facemask range last week and have been really encouraged by the response.
As a successful small business yourself. What advice would you give to other female led small businesses starting out?
Make connections, help each other and most importantly persevere. The last woman standing is the one that’s made it so don’t give up.
What’s your favourite event for showcasing your hats?
Royal Ascot is a feast for the eyes when Millinery is concerned. I think next year will be bigger than ever as people missed the opportunity this year to showcase their fashion.
Who would be your dream client to make a hat for?
Bianca Jagger goes without saying, but I also adore Tilda Swinton and would leap at the opportunity to create something for her.