WHID: What interested you so much about hats that you decided to train as a milliner?
LH:I have always loved hats and fashion. I was surrounded by boys growing up and had to be a bit of a tom-boy, I think dressing up was a little escape for me! I love how hats can transform a person, make them walk taller, give them confidence, an elegance. Hats are hugely personal, and I love that transformative aspect of millinery. I have always been artistic but never really acted upon it until I made my first hat about 3 years ago.
WHID: How did you learn how to make hats?
LH:I did a three day “make your own hat” workshop with Couture milliner Jane Corbett and at the end of the three days we both knew that I should be making hats. Jane Corbett, was incredibly kind and offered to take me on as her apprentice/protege and has taught me everything I know about hats. I lived with Jane and her family in the UK for months at a time whilst we worked in her atelier. Jane has since given up making hats and I hope to be able to carry on with her legacy of bringing style, creativity and unfailing technique to hats. It was completely by chance that I went down this path. After my first day in the atelier with Jane I just knew that this is what I should be doing!
WHID: How long does it take you to design and then make one hat? What does the process involve?
LH:I don’t draw any hats, I start by having an idea of a hat and then working from there. I take inspiration from all around me, nature, light, colors and fashion. A huge inspiration for me is Paris Milliner, the Late Madame Paulette. It is a very organic process and more often than not the end result has nothing to do with my original idea! Hats are shaped on wooden blocks-either using steam or water depending on the material. This is left to dry and then from there the shapes are wired and joined together. Each hat takes me about 3 days. I hand sew everything and make my own flower trims. It is all time consuming, but I love the making, it also means that each and every hat is totally unique and a one off. I am lucky that I am good at both the sewing part as well as the designing-in-hand part. I always have about 8 hats on the go at any one time.
WHID: How do you come up with the names for you hats?
LH:So far I have only used ladies names for my hats-I go by feel and look and fit names to the hats. My friends like getting involved in this part so I always have input on names
WHID: This is our ‘wedding’ issue – can you describe your bridal collection and what you create for whom?
LH:My bridal collection is soft and feminine, often vintage inspired. I use feathers, vintage lace, as well as vintage treasures i have collected on my travels in France. My bridal collection consist of two parts-firstly, pet-a-porter pieces, and then secondly I can work directly with a bride to make her the perfect piece for her special day. A bespoke bridal piece can take up to 6 weeks to create. I also make Mother-of the Bride hats.