Here’s a heads up on the autumn/winter collections of the milliners who showcased their collection at London Fashion Week AW18, Headonism: a British Fashion Council initiative for emerging milliners.
Stephen Jones the curator of Headonism
Titled Crowns, Stephen’s collection celebrates African-American millinery and its glamorous wearers.
Mae Reeves was a pioneering milliner famous for her custom-made hats and 27th July is a ‘Hats Off to Mae Day’ in Philadelphia where she opened her shop in 1942 becoming the first African-American woman to own her own business in downtown Philadelphia. Stephen Jones’s tribute to Mae Reeves is a cartwheel hat in velvet and burnt ostrich feathers.
One of Mae Reeves’s many celebrity clients included Lena Horne, a premier nightclub performer and civil rights activist. Jones’s hat for Lena Horne is a red velvet orchid and crystal headdress.
Jones was inspired by his love of jazz singers Billie Holiday and Nina Simone.
The Nina Simone hat is a tulle and crystal Zulu tiara.
He re-interprets the fantasies he created for supermodels Naomi Campbell and Pat Cleveland when they conquered the catwalk.
Pat Cleveland was one of the first African-American models to achieve prominence as a runway model. Her hat is a gold straw cocktail beret with tulle and straw spotted veil.
Naomi Campbell, wore Jones’s original hat in 1988, this season he creates the new version – a cut away top hat in lame panne red velvet with satin ribbon.
Another fashion model is Iman, a pioneer in ethnic cosmetics. Iman’s headdress is in resin with velvet ribbon.
His collection spans decades ranging from Josephine Baker, American born French entertainer at the Folies Bergers and a French Resistance agent, to present day Kimberla Lawson Roby, an American novelist depicting real life social issues in a fictional format.
Josephine Baker – crystal and cabochon embroidered cocktail toque with plumes.
Kimberla’s headdress is named after her novel: The Reverend’s Wife and is a crin, tulle and embroidered asymmetric top hat.
Jones seeks to capture the exuberance and elegance of all these women and their crowning glories. Faith & Fashion – sinamay and tulle reversible brimmed top hat with embroidered band.
Her second season at London Fashion Week designer showrooms, Merve’s AW18 collection is collectively titled ‘Unidentified’ and made up of different stories: The Gold, The Formal, The Rose, The Autumn and Feather.
The Gold story is inspired by Victorian details. The pieces have a posh attitude flourished with gold. Although designed as occasion pieces they are sturdy enough to be worn during outdoors events. Main materials are peachbloom felt, gold coloured brass decorations, veil, beads, malleable buntal, silk taffeta and silk velvet.
Formal story is inspired by the sense of a sheer snowflake that finds itself a new look in black and gold. A very formal indoor occasionwear. With dramatic lace and beaded decors, the main materials are peachbloom felt, gold coloured brass decorations, silk abaca, buntal, veil, beads, silk velvet sinamay lace and lace.
The Rose story is inspired by autumn roses. Romantic colour palette of red and black with touches of gold. Main materials are peachbloom felt, silk abaca, buntal, silk taffeta, silk veil, and veil.
The autumn story is less dramatic but easier to wear. Inspired by autumn colours of green and copper. Group image shows Twins (left) Maple (top middle) and Fall Roses (right)
The Feather story shows that the everyday casual hat is not just a simple piece you put on your head and go out in – it still can be the crown on your head. Inspired by the dramatic colours of the Baroque era.
Titled ‘Divertissement’ Harvy’s new collection is inspired by the world of ballet. As a classically trained dance, Harvy draws from his own professional experience on stage. The 24 handmade pieces take their cue from the lead characters in The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty and Swan Lake as well as the daily grind of the dance class.
From the Nutcracker is the Waltz of the Flowers elongated cap adorned with silk flowers, Sugar Plum Fairy (the ruler of the Land of Sweets), a show stopping half doll headpiece and Fritz wool & mohair knit beanie hat.
From Sleeping Beauty is the Lilac Fairy embellished headpiece with crystals.
King – Cracker crown in nylon and crystals.
Swan Lake is Odile embellished sunglasses with crystals and veiling.
He nods to the actual dancers:
Natalia Makarova, prima ballerina in the Kirov Ballet and Royal Ballet in London. Knitted turban with veiling and crystals.
Rudolph Nuryev regarded as the greatest male ballet dancer – printed velvet cap.
And the newly promoted coryphée who stands out proudly from the corps de ballet. Velvet bucket cap with leather crown shape hat band.
Corps de Ballet – leather headband with lacquered walnuts and one standout pecan in shells.
He tips his hat to the performers who have moved to an off stage role while still carrying traces of their greatest performances.
Ballet mistress – leather boater with bow and glass pearls.
Choreographer – embellished squaret beret.
The collection ranges from wearable everyday pieces to those destined for that grand entrance
The Season Hats
For AW18 inspiration came from a pack of playing cards. Like the cards, colour palette is red and black. Renowned for their innovative foldable hats, AW18 features the laser cut satin folding hats and laser cut leather non folding sculpted headpieces.
In leather there is:
Showing all its cards is the 4 Suits Sculpted headpiece. Price £225.
Large perching Black Spade with red contrast underneath. Price £295.
Using your head and your heart with this Swarovski edged Red Heart Price £225.
In matt black or glossy red is the large Diamond Ruffle. Price £345.
In folding satin there is:
Pleated Red Heart. Price £195.
Honeycomb Red Heart. Price £2653.
Honeycomb Red Diamond. Price £195.
Honeycomb black spheres representing Clubs. Small clubs £245, larger spheres £465.
Looking like a Queen is the honeycomb red headband in the form of a crown. Price £180.
Titled ‘All The Rage’ Piers Atkinson’s AW18 collection is a glamorous affair featuring leopard prints, ostrich poms and Swarovski crystals.
The felt leopard print boldly contrasts with the black rims on a fedora and toweringly tall bowler hat.
The leopard print comes in many disguises. As a laser cut pattern veiling tightly hugging a black leather micro beret.
As sparkling detailing on a laser cut mask and the laser cut veiling of a micro beret adorned with a large black magnolia.
And also can be seen as a pillbox hiding behind ostrich feathers and a micro beret concealed behind a crin swish.
Combining fluffy with sparkle is the lofty black ostrich pom pillbox hat and its Swarovski veil.
Blending the roaring twenties with a sci-fi twist is the eye mask adorned with black silk flowers and Swarovski crystals.
Injecting colour in to the collection is the headband adorned with two large blood red roses and black veil.