Philip Treacy, Sharing Stories in London

I am blessed to have had the opportunity to meet the amazing talented Philip Treacy on numerous occasions, but heading to London to co-curate Xterrace 21st Century Hat Exhibition, I knew I definitely wanted to share a couple of pieces with this Hatmaker.

I think it is important to start off with letting everyone know, that Philip Treacy is not known as a 'Milliner' in that term, yet 'Hatmaker'. Philip is the Genius behind the scenes where he designs and lay plans for hats for the coming year and makes the most beautiful Couture and Bespoke pieces, yet his life is not sitting stitching, hence the word 'Milliner' is one who is constantly making and stitching hats by hand and 'Hatmaker' is one more of design.

I was very excited to receive an invitation to meet with Philip after coming home from Dubai and closing the exhibition and to my surprise he had mentioned to me that he heard it was an 'Excellent Exhibition' and would have loved to have seen it, but due to prior commitments he was overseas. Even the remarks that he had heard and passed onto me and to my Co-curator Monique Highlands was such an honour and something we do not take lightly. (Australian and all exhibitors, please take a bow, as your impressive work has amazed so many in London).

I was expecting to speak about the latest lines and shapes for Royal Ascot, instead I was invited into Philip's private room which I felt extremely honoured. It was hard to look at him when sitting for Tea with all these amazing books and curios that keep him inspired sitting among us, but I was there to just share some time and for that I am so grateful.

I was invited to see the workroom and meet the staff who showed me a piece that they were working on for Madonna with Swarovski embellishment, but that I keep to myself as I am blessed to be in many Hatmakers/Milliners back rooms and what goes on in the back is like guarded magician secrets that I am blessed to see, but believe it is like any artist, they need to keep it closely guarded. My mothers hidden sanctuary of her artistic studio is the same, I treat is with the utmost respect.

I was delighted to be shown through Philip Treacy's block collection and loved hearing stories of how he came to ideas to make the blocks, collaborations and the fondness of Isabella Blow and the art they shared together.

Beyond Hatmaker I believe that Treacy is Genius and does not work on a level like most others. I shared time and stories with Philip which gave me insight into him just being a normal person with talent that extends beyond hats: He is a master designer and creator of all things beautiful. Time is one of the most precious things you can share with someone, as even when I am in my home city, I am devoted to my family and musing over things I love, there is not much room for socialising these days. I am so grateful for the time we shared and the stories that were meaningful and hope I can inspire for future. I think Paris Kyne would be extremely chuffed to think that his work was being shown to such an Icon as Philip Treacy and these hats are only for exhibit now as they are too close to my heart for anything to happen to them.

In closing, to co-curate an exhibition of something I love and be appreciated for it, is beyond belief and to have others believing in my plight of loving wearing hats is beautiful. There is no huge mystery to why I love hats, just something that started at a young age and continued. I am very blessed to be living my dream, but also I thank my nearest and dearest family that want me to succeed and believe in my dreams and passions.

Racing Fashion is more than Fashions on the Field and walking around in a hat and beautiful clothes, it is a lifestyle or way of life. Racing Fashion has inspired so many to start blogs, love hats and wear beautiful clothes. Beyond the clothes, lays the heart and the art that lay behind the person who makes these amazing garments and hats. These Hatmakers, Milliners and Couturiers are amazing people with stories to tell and have lived amazing lives that bring them to the point of becoming 'Masters' of their craft.


Please always think, where have your garments come from, how have they been sourced and who is the person behind the design and aesthetic, is it something blocked and made for the masses or is it something you are going to treasure for a lifetime and remember all your most wonderful memories in. That is passion for fashion for me.

Philip Treacy Hats are exclusively available at Christine, Flinders Lane in Melbourne, or directly through Philip's website. Click Here.

Jane Taylor Millinery

I first had the pleasure of meeting the talented Milliner Jane Taylor in Australia. Jane was an International Guest at the International Millinery Forum where 1000s of delegates from all around the world attended to learn the beautiful traditional craft of Millinery.

Jane and I were lucky enough to spend time on a few occasions together where I would have to present her to an audience and prepare what and when we were going to say.

Jane was a hit in Australia and everyone embraced her British Charm and loved her classes.

When returning to London it was a must do on my list to make a visit to her, although I did spend allot of time on the floor with her dog.

Jane's work is distinctive and classic and is a favourite of the Duchess of Cambridge. When in Australia, Jane told her audience that she cannot reveal a thing about the much loved royal personally as her contract is an eternal agreement of secrecy.

In traditional British style, Jane's work is perfectly crafted with the finest attention to detail. Her button headpieces are some of my favourite although her bespoke and creative flair does catch the eye of major celebrities such as Beyonce. I had the pleasure of trying on her 'Black Veiled Mask' that was so incredibly comfortable to wear.

Jane's work is also fabulously wearable for any occasion with her using woven fabrics with hints of chrome and highlights of neon without being too flashy.

Trying on Jane's hats they are very difficult to choose from. My main aim for Jane is to introduce her work to the Australian audience and her hats will travel very well. They are impeccably made. Jane is the only British Milliner I am aware of that uses Silk Abaca in her work, and seeing the Duchess of Cambridge on the cover of several magazines, her work is distinctive and outstanding for all the right reasons.

I do concentrate on 'Racing Fashion' and attire on the racecourse, although if you are a 'Mother of the Bride' or wishing to make a statement in cocktail our you will be the most classically stylish in any crowd.

Jane is currently in the process of moving her studio but has so many Millinery delights for all tastes. Make sure you book into see Jane before Royal Ascot even is in mind as this time is the most busy season and you want to make sure there is enough time for you bespoke custom dyed hat is perfect.


Jane is a must see Milliner for anyone in the market for 'Statement or Subtle' hats, and an all occasion Milliner.

Click here for more of Jane Taylor Millinery

Soon to come, Jane Taylor will be releasing a glove collection.

They are beautiful to wear and will be coming in the most fabulous colours.

La dame au béret - Millinery

Images: Magic Owen Photography ©2015 - Model: Alissa P. + rescue fox from Weird 'n' Wonderful.

London Hat Week Presents Edwina Ibbotson

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.

London Hat Week Presents Noel Stewart

Noel Stewart is a London based milliner with international status. Taking inspiration from contemporary art and architecture whilst using his extensive skills, he modernises millinery and creates a fresh and elegant approach to how we dress the head. Noel’s collections for men and women combine luxury materials and traditional craftsmanship with contemporary innovation.

Before attending the Royal College of Art, Noel worked with designers Dai Rees and Stephen Jones. This included time spent as Stephen Jones’s assistant at Christian Dior Couture, John Galliano and Louis Vuitton

In October 2013 Noel was appointed to the role of Creative Director of Christy and Co Hats. Having been bought by Liberty, this heritage hat brand chose Noel for his in depth understanding of the industry and his unique ability to create contemporary headwear.

Since establishing his label, Noel has designed hats for leading fashion designers such as Roland Mouret, Diesel, Roksanda Ilincic, Erdem, Hussein Chalayan, Richard Nicoll, Jaeger, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Holly Fulton, Sibling, Viktor & Rolf, Claire Barrow and Gareth Pugh. His continuing work with such designers reflects the relevance of his role in contemporary fashion.

Off the catwalk Noel Stewart has acquired a loyal fan-base. His hats have been worn by the likes of Keira Knightly, Lady Gaga, Florence Welch, Kylie Minogue and Beth Ditto. Noel Stewart Millinery is stocked in Barneys across the US, Hatwoman and I.T. in Hong Kong, Fenwick in the UK, Weave Toshi in Tokyo, Boon in Seoul Alter in Shanghai, Au Pont Rouge in St Petersberg and Online with Valery Demure and Lovehats.

Noel receives ongoing, widespread press. His hats feature regularly in magazines such as Vogue UK, Italia, Russia, China, Japan and France as well as Harpers Bazaar, Dazed and Confused, ID, V Magazine, LOVE, Dansk, Financial Times, Ponystep, AnOther and 10 Magazine. He also has featured on Dazed digital, wheelmeout, ASVOF, Glass and The Design Museum chose Noel’s Ribboned Cityscape Hat to represent 2011in their book -50 Hats that changed the world and Yasmin Sewell nominated Noel for the Phaidon book – Pattern, 100 fashion designers, 10 curators.

Noel’s work also had an important role in the V & A’s exhibition ‘Stephen Jones – An Anthology of Hats’ which opened to record visitors in London and Brisbane before going on to open at the Bard graduate centre in New York.

Noel was selected to be a part of the Headonism initiative at London Fashion Week This unique initiative which champions the new wave of British Milliners highlights London as the inspirational heart of global millinery. Noel is now a British Fashion Council advisor to the current crop of Headonism milliners.

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