The beautiful man

The beautiful man

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Stephen Jones - From Georgiana to Boy George

After an unexpected invite on Thursday to the opening of the new Stephen Jones exhibition up North on Friday, milliner and millinery tutor Sue Carter and myself drove the 100+ miles from Yorkshire to Barnard Castle, County Durham with a sense of excitement and anticipation. From the first site of the venue The Bowes Museum we knew we would not be disappointed- the British do create some amazing ancestral piles.
The Bowes Museum
We had never been before and had no idea what to expect, after a meander around the museum with just the backroom staff setting up for the opening and musician enjoying the acoustics of the galleries, throngs of well dressed North East locals arrived swelling the crowd to over 200. Mr Jones looking dapper as ever with a lovely trilby and his collaborator and friend Iain R Webb arrived and mingled, raffle tickets being sold by the wonderful Bowes team for some great prizes.
Raffle prizes
So the scene was set, the Museum Director said his thank yous and introduced Stephen Jones to talk about the exhibition, a collaboration between local boy and renowned designer Giles Deacon on his swan collection, inspired by The Bowes Museum' silver swan and a curatorial collaboration with Iain R Webb using pieces from The Bowes collection alongside his hats. I have heard Stephen speak before at the V&A exhibition and he is a really lucid and engaging speaker with humour and stories - such as early in his career driving round London in a Bedford van with Boy George warbling in the back, long before he was famous, and on suggesting he should be a singer, Boy George pronounced that he didn't have the confidence! Then after hearty applause we were led down to the textile and costume gallery.
The curation was beautiful and inspiring

Mr Jones signing his book
The exhibition is small but more than perfectly formed and well worth a visit, it runs until September 2nd. Whilst browsing and being inspired, my former student Jill Simpson, another local resident, informed me that Stephen Jones had asked to speak to me as he had heard of the closure of my Leeds course and wanted to know what he could to to stop this. A definite surreal moment. So ushered to meet him and he was so lovely and charming and really outraged that the course could be closing down. It was so refreshing and uplifting. He has offered to write a letter  and said he would get Philip to write one also.....I couldn't have dreamed it! a really lovely evening.

The stunning if slightly spooky antique mannequins are on loan from Bath's Museum of Costume they made it all even more perfect. Stephen and Iain are back at Barnard Castle in August for an 'In Conversation' about the exhibition.

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Shock, Horror - I actually made a hat!

Not one but two in fact.

A very good friend phoned a few weeks ago to say they had a family wedding and was there a chance I may have some hats? Needless to say I have rather a lot, mostly ex competition hats and lost of demo hats for my teaching. So after a fun hour of trying on hat and laughing quite a lot,( bringing back memories of teenage afternoons in the local department store trying on hats) I offered to make her daughter and her a hat each to match their outfits. A great way to get me back making hats, as I think I often forget that that was what inspired me, one becomes so embroiled in everything else...

Client 1: 21 year old. very gorgeous, sharp well tailored vibrant cerise dress, a little daunted by the prospect of wearing a hat and standing out too much.

Simple button with ribbon trim (thank you Ms Kay)

Client 2: My age, gorgeous and stylish, wearing a mixed animal print maxi dress and black shrug. Wanted a bit of wow, (but not to overpower mother of the bride) and to look and feel glamorous.
We decided against a full hat as it seemed to age rather than flatter.

Crin with a twist of pheasant
I hope the wedding goes well. Made me want to make some more now......

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

And the Winner is......Feltmakers 2012

So the wonderful judges at the Feltmakers Guild met together to peruse this year's selection of felt hats on the 26th April. The winners were announced a few days later. So it is much congratulations to new college on the block Waltham Forest CLASS who with just their short evening class, which only started last September managed to scoop up first and third prize. This is really heartening for the millinery industry considering that our courses are being hit so severely with recent changes to education funding.

At Leeds College of Art Rosie Totiah won the craftsmanship prize which was well deserved. I hope you enjoy perusing the Leeds entries as I am sure you can see it was a tough decision for the judges as there are some really exciting entries and I look forward to seeing the finalists on the Feltmakers web site. Well i have just clicked the link and the winners are there I look forward to your thoughts.

Rosanna Totiah- Craftsmanship Award

Marie Hennessey-Halewood

Nicola Sykes

Susan Wood

Caroline Bedford

Aimee Fawcett

Debbie Lough

Jemima Robinson

Emily Ellwood
Margaret Woodliff-Wright
A few extra pictures so you can see different angles.

Saturday, 5 May 2012

20:20 Print Exchange

Casting your eyes back a good few months I was part of the 20:20 Print initiative and finally today I went to collect my box of prints from the Art House.

my print not the greatest.....