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.