Working Together to Develop a Community of Milliners
Hat designer for over 30 years, Denise Innes-Spencer is probably best known as a passionate tutor at the British School of Millinery where she passes on her knowledge of the hat trade with great enthusiasm and precision to novices and experienced designers alike. Over the past few decades, she has also built up an interesting career in the world of film, television and fashion.
Currently a visiting lecturer for John Moores University, her teaching has taken her all over the world. She is a regular contributor/staff writer for ‘The Hat Magazine’ and has also written for Essential’s magazine.
Katie Vale spent several years training with the wonderful Rose Cory, MBE, former Milliner by Royal Appointment to the late Queen Mother. To show her gratitude to Rose for the knowledge she shared, Katie petitioned for 3 years to ensure Rose was awarded an MBE for services to the millinery industry. Since launching her own business in 2006, Katie's designs have been worn all around the world. As her business growth is partly down to how she uses social media, she now offers to help other milliners grow their business via #TheSocialMilliner.
Canadian Stefanie Stanway writes popular blog “Royal Hats” covering the bold, beautiful (and occasionally bizarre) world of royal millinery. Through researching, following and interacting with milliners around the world for the past decade, she has developed deep admiration for their immense creativity and skill. In her career as a nonprofit organizational consultant, Stefanie employs a collaborative approach to support organizations develop and grow, firmly believing that we work better when we work together. She is honoured to further champion milliners, their craft and the millinery industry as a founding Ambassador of the British Millinery Association.
QEST Scholar Jane Fryers is a millinery artist and master of the unusual. She creates bespoke hats using traditional techniques learned from the late Queen Mother’s milliner, Rose Cory MBE, and combining them with surprising fabrics. She has created couture headwear from 35mm film, pre-loved cashmere jumpers, a handbag and stair carpet trim, as well as her favourite material; fish leather. Jane travels the world teaching others how to work with the ethically tanned skins of salmon, cod, carp and tilapia. She has even had occasion to explain the finer points of ocean leather to Her Majesty the Queen.
Jane also teaches week long summer courses working with felt and sinamay at Central St Martins London. She also has online tutorials on fish leather projects with The Hat Academy and Katherine Elizabeth.
Martina Bohn founded the UK Hatblock Library about 15 years ago to provide greater access to hatblocks and millinery tools. The UK Hatblock Library lends hatblocks at very reasonable prices. Martina is passionate about sharing millinery knowledge and encouraging better accessibility into millinery by enabling experimenting with different hatblocks and shapes.
Clients of her service include many film studios, including Warner Bros., theatres like Donmar Warehouse and many smaller businesses and, of course, lots of happy milliners.
Martina also runs her own millinery business, Martina Bohn, a label that creates hats in primary colours and bold aesthetics. After a successful career in political consultancy, Martina gave up her day job to concentrate fully on her creative part of life. With a passion for traveling and discovering hidden designer-makers, she applies her creativity to build a brand that stands for individuality and global connectivity. All her designs are carefully sourced and crafted by hand.
Louise is a member of the Gloucestershire Guild of Craftsmen and is based in the Cotswolds with a studio on Chipping Campden high street where she creates hats and particularly loves working with felt. Louise runs a millinery school teaching City & Guilds qualifications and offers recreational hat making workshops.
When starting out, millinery was a closely guarded secret and the only way to be trained as a milliner was to become an apprentice. Louise found work experience with a Hackney based milliner just after finishing her degree in Fashion & Textiles but started a career as a workwear designer. After a career break ten years later, she returned to millinery and worked through all the City & Guilds levels to reach the Advanced Diploma so that she could teach others.
“I still enjoy the process of making a hat, it never tires or bores me and what excites me the most is the way a hat can develop when there are no preconceived ideas, designs or planning.”
Tracy is a Couture Milliner with a background in fashion, fine art and dance. Her career started in the late 1980's working from her Hat Shop in London. She has designed collections for House of Fraser, small boutiques and private clients including actresses and musicians.
Proud to be a major prize winner at several internationally renowned millinery competitions, Tracy now spends the majority of her time working from her studio in France. In addition to designing for private clients, she also runs popular millinery workshops from her home near Toulouse.
Katherine Elizabeth is an award-winning milliner in London whose achievements include the Walpole Crafted scheme, Lff Profile Awards and Dzina Fashion Awards. In 2012, she was chosen from over a thousand retailers for the London Lifestyle Award for Best Fashion Retailer.
Constantly pushing the boundaries for strong conceptual creations and show-stopping collections, Katherine Elizabeth Millinery is further set apart by its fine attention to ethical fabrics and sourcing. All pieces are hand-made with love and care by a small London team utilizing fine French lace, Italian silks and hand embellished applique and beadwork.
Katherine Elizabeth hats are perfect for Royal Ascot, Melbourne Cup, Irish Races, Kentucky derby, Epsom Derby, weddings and all special occasions.
Ian learned to sew at a young age and went on to study at Norwich School of Art and the Royal College of Art where he completed an MA in Fashion Womenswear Millinery. In his final year, he won the Karl Lagerfeld scholarship and showcased his graduation collection in a catwalk show at the Roundhouse, Camden.
His career has included work across the industry - at couture millinery houses and for milliners to the Royal Household as well as designing for factory ranges, TV and film - for and with many millinery greats: Freddie Fox, Phillip Somerville, Graham Smith, Stephen Jones and others. In 2012 he designed and created a collection for Queen Elizabeth II.
Establishing his own brand in 2008 and a London atelier in 2019, Ian designs and creates seasonal collections as well as bespoke couture pieces for weddings, race meetings and other special occasions. He is currently the only person in the world making new black silk top hats. Using his atelier as a teaching base, he released his first book in 2018. “My World According To Me,” is a workbook with hand written notes and illustrations, sharing the milliner skills and techniques Ian has learned and developed over the past 25 years.
Beverley set up Beverley Edmondson Millinery in 2008, growing quickly from a spare bedroom to a high street boutique in 2010 and growing a loyal following.
Her work has been featured in national and international press, The Royal Ascot Style Guide, and at Royal weddings amongst others. She has also designed and created wholesale collections for major high street brands and stocked in Fenwicks of Bond Street.
Clients are the inspiration for most of Beverley’s designs, carefully listening and fulfilling their needs, designing hats for each individual need, personality and stature and she has built a business based on exceptional customer service.
Beverley is also the creator of the Milliners Planner and runs ‘Making Money From Millinery’ mentoring for milliners looking to take their millinery business to the next level as well as teaching traditional millinery techniques.
Svetlana Faulkner is a Russian-born UK-based advanced flower accessory conceptual artist with more than 9 years’ experience. Her brand, PresentPerfect Creations, offers original bespoke flower jewellery as well as floral hairpieces and accessories. Her work embodies a mixture of colour and texture to create a sculptural, 3D feel with the use of a wide range of fine fabrics as well as genuine leather. Throughout the years she has developed some specialist techniques which make Svetlana Faulkner’s designs one of a kind. Thanks to her original design approach and expert craftsmanship her pieces are both beautiful to look at and inspiring to wear.
Svetlana loves sharing her knowledge and experience with other like-minded artists and milliners from the UK as well as from overseas. Spreading the art of advanced flower making is Svetlana’s aim, be it in the form of her finished floral pieces or her informative in-depth tutorials and workshops.