Last month we brought you the news that Royal Ascot have tightened up their rules for race goers - meaning that frighteningly scantily-clad women with fascinators will be a thing of the past as of 2012. Well, Royal Ascot have also teamed up with the British Fashion Council and the renowned milliner Stephen Jones this year to promote emerging milliners at an exhibition during London Fashion Week called 'Headonism', which runs from 17th-21st of February. Showcasing some of our favourite British based hatters - Piers Atkinson, J Smith Esquire, Noel Stewart and William Chambers - each of whom has their own signature look, we stopped by for a quick Q&A with a few of designers to get the inside details on the project.
Piers Atkinson on his recent success:
When asked about what it meant to be part of such a big project he said that 'being a part of the Headonism initiative, with the additional kudos of association with London Fashion Week and Stephen Jones, has helped me raise the brand into the arena of press and all-important sales. With Royal Ascot currently behind us we have the backing of the UK’s most 'hatty' event (aside from a Royal Wedding) and I couldn't think of a better collaboration.' Inspired by the classic Athena posters that adorned house walls in the eighties, Piers Atkinson created his now-iconic cherry headbands, but it was Vogue Nippon Editor-at-large Anna dello Russo who kick-started the craze for pompoms, fruit and anything unexpected (yet chic!) to be worn on our heads. In fact, Anna has started a hat revolution which saw Piers' designs on sale in Topshop Oxford Circus and adorning the heads of Rihanna and Lady Gaga. Could the Royals or even Kate Middleton be next – watch this space!
William Chambers on a dream Madhatters tea party:
A Scotsman from Glasgow and at the beginning of his career as a milliner, William Chambers is pretty chuffed to be involved with Headonism and to have Stephen Jones as the curator. A man that believes in pro-active marketing, he has sent hats to the likes of Kelis and Roisin Murphy the latter of whom wore his hat for the entire leg of her European tour. result! But when asked who his ideal hat wearers would be he says there isn’t anyone alive who particularly captures his eye. Unconventional beauties such as Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe would be the first on his list. But what would he be doing if he wasn’t a milliner? He would have been a florist - and even now he's continually inspired by flowers; his latest collection features a fantastic bubble gum pink plastic single flower and leather bunch of blooms.
Noel Stewart on hat etiquette:
Previously an assistant to Stephen Jones at Christian Dior Couture, since launching his own label Stewart has been sponsored by Roland Mouret, Erdem and Hussein Chalayan and his fan club includes Kiera Knightly, Kylie Minogue and Beth Ditto. When asked if there were any hats that he thought should be off-limits he told us that anything should go, though he was pretty pleased that fascinators would now be off limits at Ascot!