My story is one of craftsmanship and collaboration. The essence of what I do is making one-of-a-kind luxury hats which, well looked after, will last a lifetime and beyond. I make a limited number of hats each year and care about the materials I use and where they come from. Many of the makers of these core materials, such as handwoven straws and hand carved wooden blocks, are highly skilled craftspeople in their own right who I feel privileged to work with.
The basic materials used in the making of a couture hat are natural in their essence. Wool, feathers, plant fibres, silk etc. The reason for this is that natural fibres can be manipulated and hold their shape in a way that synthetic fibre cannot. Natural fibre is also breathable and, in the case of wool, warm; qualities important in hat making.
Luxury for me means environmentally sustainable and socially responsible. I do as much as possible to lessen the environmental impact of shipping at every stage of the hat making process, actively trying to source materials as much as possible from the UK. I also use vintage materials wherever possible because of their much sought after quality. No scraps are ever thrown away but stored to be used again perhaps as part of trimmings or design detail on a future hat.