After a career in retail buying I rekindled my life long interest in creativity and through a chance encounter found myself intrigued and entranced by the art of couture millinery. To explore the world of millinery further in 2011 I enrolled at Leeds College of Art, on a concentrated two year course graduating with High Distinctions in HNC Couture Millinery in 2013. My buying background is a not forgotten though in my preparations to design new collections as I use my research of current fashion, textile design and material trends – along with historical references, art, travel and cultural experiences - to shape and define my millinery collections. Recycling and up cycling are constant themes.
Since graduation I have been making ready to wear seasonal collections as well hats and headpieces to commission, and now am represented regionally. I have also been involved in a number of collaborations, international millinery competitions and exhibitions, including Arts Council funded inner city retail regeneration projects. Professional creative development is important too; I have continued my professional development and learning experiences, working with significant contemporary international milliners including Bridget Bailey, Carole Maher, Eugenie Van Oirschot, Dillon Wallwork and Louise MacDonald.
In Spring 2018, following my selection as a finalist for the UK Wedding Awards, my piece “Aureole” - seen above - was placed in the top 3 in an international millinery competition judged by the renown royal milliner Rachel Trevor Morgan. Whilst in March 2018 two of my contemporary headpieces were selected for inclusion in the international exhibition staged to mark London Hat Week. You can read about the very latest development - my latest big adventurer with Gok Wan - on my news blog.
I now make to commission, along with staging workshops and master classes in my Northumberland studio, and when I'm not designing couture hat collections in my studio, I love living in beautiful remote North Northumberland, England - along with husband Simon and our son - where we are actively involved in the rural & coastal country life of this beautiful county.
Images from the top of the page -
Reiver Button - is a pleated Northumberland Tartan and black silk button with accent black curled quills, and has a matching clutch; The Songman's Fedora a green fur felt hat with hand tooled red leather roses, green leather headband and deep red silk lining; and Aureole. POA.