How did you come up with Poetry In Pose collection?
Poetry in Pose is based on principles of poetry, symbolism and abstract art. Most influential artists for this collection were Brancusi, Pevsner, Kapoor and Serra. This collection questions who we are: do the illusions that we create then create us? What is it that we want to hide or reveal?
When did you start making head pieces?
I started studying millinery in 1997 at the Kensington and Chelsea College under Kirsten Scott. I was traditionally trained but went to work for Dai Rees during that time. He is a very unconventional designer and it opened my eyes to all sort of possibilities. Later on I was making my own collections and in 2005 I started working for Stephen Jones where I am still. In 2009 I received Harold Tillman Scholarship to study for an MA Fashion Artefact at London College of Fashion. That was a fantastic opportunity for self directed research, working in new material and techniques. I am currently working on my next collection of wearable art pieces.
Can you tell us the process involved in constructing a head piece?
Process of constructing a headpiece is very varied and that is a beauty of millinery. Many skills are required and hand sewing is just a small part of it. Blocking is shape making on wooden blocks and anything from felts, straws; buckram (base material) to leather can be used. Almost any fabric or material can been used in millinery.
Advice for people wanting to do what you do professionally?
Enroll to a millinery class and learn as much as you can. Buy old hats and look at how they have been constructed. Think outside the box, as headpieces don’t have to fit a whole head. A must is to intern at someone you admire and experiment as much as you can.
Who would you like to see wearing your piece?
I would like to see someone who feels empowered by wearing it and is an art lover who appreciates craftsmanship.
What makes a good milliner?
A good milliner is someone who is willing to learn all the time; likes to experiment and wants to enhance the person who wears the piece.
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Thank you Ashley Low Photography