EnglishMilliner

My Great Great Granny Green

wearing the hat she made.

My sister and me

MA show: Hand rolled wool felt hats and coats. RCA 1987

It never occurred to me as when I went to art school to study fine art textiles that I would emerge as a feltmaker and hatter and it is only over the years that I have made connections with other women in my family who were milliners. My beloved Granny Brown who I knew as a trained tailor, also made hats, a great great aunt who was a straw platter in Luton and my mothers Great Granny Green photographed wearing the hat she made herself.

I trained at Goldsmiths, London College of Fashion and the Royal College of Art, studying felt-making and millinery, and my hats have since been exhibited worldwide, from Japan to Kazakhstan. 

I worked for the global fashion house Jean Muir, working closely with Miss Muir on each collection. The V&A museum acquired one of my hats for their fashion collection and I was also commissioned by the Worshipful Company of Feltmakers to make a hat for the Queen, known as the Armada Hat.

There is something mysterious about the hat-making process and the way in which a 3D shape can be created through steam and manipulation. I like the idea of curiosity in a hat, the outside concealing the inside, the secrets hidden beneath the crown.  

There are infinite possibilities when it comes to the shape, colour and texture of a hat, but it’s the relationship between the hat, the head and the clothing that bring balance to an outfit.

I work to commission – I enjoy meeting clients who want a hat for a special day – and, through conversation and experimentation, producing a headpiece that is the crowning glory for that occasion.  Getting to know the wearer is essential in allowing me to bring your personality to my creations. 

I respond to each client’s ideas, and I bring something playful to each design: my hats are witty, beautifully crafted and subtly surreal. The commissioning of a hat is a fun and exciting experience.

My hats bring a smile, a sense of confidence and a feeling of joy to those who wear them.  Sometimes a quietly eccentric hat, understated yet unique, simple yet complex - these are vintage hats for modern heads.

1984-87     Royal College of Art, London: MA RCA. 

                  Degree by Research; 50% Studio Work-                           Making hand rolled felt and exploring hat

                  making and coats. 

                  50% Written Research (50,000 words): 

                  The Early History of Feltmaking in the                               Nomadic Tradition(600BC to14th Century)

1982-83     Studied with Marie O'Regan London College                     of Fashion

1981-84     Goldsmiths College, London: First Class                           BA (Hons); Fine Art Textiles Embroidery.

1980-81     West Surrey College of Art and Design:                             Diploma in Foundation Studies.

© 2018 by Victoria Brown.