I'm thrilled to see that hats are BIG this week – a fab looking exhibition has just opened at the V&A in London, which prompted an interesting article in the FT last weekend. I'd never thought of wearing a hat as being an 'English' thing – but now I think about it traditional English occasions do seem to need a hat – Ladies'Day at Ascot, garden parties, watching cricket on the village green, weddings . . .
Sixteen years ago today I wore this hat when I married Cliff . . .
It fitted like a glove – no it didn't, it fitted like a made to measure hat! I wore it all day; I didn't want to take it off; in fact I forgot I was wearing it! The lily on the back exactly matched the real ones in my bouquet and the buds were made from the same fabric as my skirt and jacket. Today it lives in a box in the top of the wardrobe, but yesterday I lifted the lid and took it out just to admire the work of the milliner who made it . . .
It was made for me by a young designer who had a hat stall on Enfield market – I was attracted to his hats like a wasp to a jam butty! We got talking, he'd recently graduated from St Martin's Art College and was making hats for some very prestigious cat walk shows. "Would you make me a hat for my wedding?" I asked, and he did. I see in the FT article that Andrew Bristow is teaching the millinery course at the London College of Fashion (if he has a web site I'd do a link - if anyone knows it let me know).
Andrew's family have been in touch with me to tell that sadly Andrew passed away on 26 December 2009. They have set up a web page in tribute to him here. He was a talented and creative milliner who gave so much to his students and all those who wore, and still wear, his hats. I am so pleased that I met him and to own two of his unique creations.