So I decided for a little bit of fun to do an AMA (Ask Me Anything). I opened up the Facebook Page for questions and this is what you asked...
Nikki and Erin both asked... How did you get into millinery?
It all started some years ago when I wanted a Victorian Style Riding Hat to wear at the Whitby Gothic Weekend. I couldn't find anything I really liked so I decided to have a go at making my own. Now my first attempt wasn't perfect, it was modelled round a cheap flock top hat (the type you can get at any fancy dress shop) but I was happy with the result and so to where a lot of the people I met in Whitby that year who asked where I had got it from. this resulted in a lots of requests for me to make similar pieces for them... and really it all grew from there. Since then I've learned lots of new techniques from pattern drafting to working with millinery fabrics such as buckram and sinamay and haven't really looked back!
Nicola asked... What was the first hat you made and where is it now?
Well, that first Top Hat/Victorian Style Riding Hat was later sold onto someone who wanted it (this tends to happen to me a lot... I make a hat intended for myself, wear the hat to an event and invariably end up selling it off my head to someone who 'must' have it!!), I'm not sure exactly where it is now!
Fiona asks... What was your first design?
After the Victorian Style Riding/Top Hat... I had a go at making my first fascinators. The first one was this red felt and lace heart design.
Jennifer asked... This is probably sounds silly but if you could design a head peice for Lady Gaga what would it be and why?
That is a fantastic question... I love Lady Gaga, and her taste for extravagant and unusual hats! I'd love to make her something using recycled old vinyl records... something quite classic like a little 40's style trilby hat but made out of something unexpected and with a musical element to it!
Alayne asks me... What inspire's you most to design a piece?
I take my inspiration from so many sources, film, TV, current fashion trends... but most of all I love vintage style. I adore 40's and 50's style, definitely my biggest inspiration comes from that era!!
Edwina asked... Oscars are looming, which lucky actress would you like to design a head piece for and why?
Anne Hathaway for sure (she's been nominated for Best Supporting Actress for Les Miserables)! She has a classic and timeless beauty a lot like Audrey Hepburn... it would be a dream come true to see her in one of my pieces!
Ivory asks... What's your favourite creation that you've made so far in your millinery career?
OK... so I'm going to be a little soppy here and say my own Bridal Fascinator! I loved being able to design something that was so special to me... it made me really appreciate working on Bridal pieces that bit more and understand just how much the perfect accessories mean to a Bride-to-Be! It was a little circular sinamay piece in jet black with ostrich feathers, tiny buttons a bow and a birdcage veil that evoked 40's glamour!
Natalie says... I'm not a hat or headpiece kinda person as I think I look silly. What sort of design would you recommend for a beginner?!
Wearing hats is all about confidence! I believe that anyone can wear a hat, you just have to find one that works for you. Its all about size and shape of the hat/fascinator relative to your head! For someone who wants to try wearing something but is unsure I always recommend my hair flowers, they're small and light enough to be worn easily but still add a little hint of the unusual and exotic!
Fay asked... Would you like to see your business grow into a employee based company or do you prefer to do the Work yourself?
At the moment I'm happy as I am working away by myself, but I'd love to be able to pass my skills on to someone else in the future so there would be scope for having an apprentice in the future if the demands of the business warranted it!
And finally... Alan (my hubby) asked... What would you rather fight? 100 duck sized horses or one horse sized duck?
Well... I did say it was an AMA!! And as I really don't know on this one I'm going to take my chances with the horse sized duck (I'm thinking feathers for millinery once I beat my quacking foe!!)
Thank you to everyone who took the time to ask me questions... have had great fun answering them all. I'm sure I'll be doing this again sometime in the future!