Edwina Ibbotson studied millinery at F.I.T (Fashion Institute of Technology) in New York with Ann Albrizio, and then at the London College of Fashion with Marie O’Regan, one day a week, whilst working for a top London Milliner, Phillip Somerville. Her weekends were spent doing classes with Rose Cory on Saturdays, and on Sundays with a wonderful French Milliner, Rolande Bouget, who was truly inspiring.
With over 20 years experience, Edwina Ibbotson’s designs are couture millinery at its very best. Her designs are flirtatious, timeless and romantic with a slight vintage feel and constructed to perfection. Her wonderful collections include chic beaded headdresses, delicate soft tulle and floral designs, demure feather headpieces, and dramatic silhouettes perfect for weddings, fashion statement pieces and social occasions.
Combining traditional millinery techniques and know-how with a modern eye, makes Edwina’s headpieces both finely crafted as well as wearable. Edwina is well respected in the millinery community for her craftsmanship and is often invited to contribute to exhibitions or judge millinery competitions.
What does a sample day for a professional milliner look like? Edwina’s typical day goes something like…
“Up early. Walk to work with my dog, think through which hats my assistants will need to work on during the day. Arrive at the shop and check clients and appointments in my diary for the days to come, order any fabrics and supplies we may need for orders and new samples. Check emails, speak with any dress designers I may be collaborating with, whilst spending as much time as possible working on pieces – ie: dying, blocking, sewing, making my own trims and construction of the hats and headdresses I am working on. Generally I have fittings with clients, see new appointments who are looking for something special during the mid-day. All along, I will check all work is being sewn and blocked perfectly throughout the day. Send out any samples called in by magazines for photo shoots. Late in the day, when the phone has stopped ringing and I am left working on my own (apart from Sam, my dog) this is my time to totally concentrate on what I am working on, or come up with new ideas and do some paperwork. I often walk home very late (normally in the early hours), eat supper and crawl into bed usually extremely tired.”
There are many wonderful classes on offer for London Hat Week, this year Edwina is offering an exclusive four morning classic poupee making and pressing tools workshop. This style of poupee is rarely offered as a workshop. What makes Edwina’s poupees special? They are firm for shaping yet light for easy use. They carry a classic and functional appearance which work well for hat & headpiece display. This versatile millinery tool is a necessity for all serious milliners. A classic poupee combined with learning about professional pressing tools and techniques will help the hobby hat maker to become a couture milliner.
If you are unable to attend the Poupee & Pressing tools Workshop, but are still interested in learning millinery, Edwina offers Hat Class on Monday or Wednesday evenings in an ongoing program.