Feltmakers’ Hat Competition 2009

Feltmakers’ Hat Competition 2009

Once again, another memorable day was enjoyed by the judges and guests at the Feltmakers’ Design Award, expertly organised by Past Master Mr. William Horsman at Haberdashers’ Hall on May 27th.

1st. prize

Joining him in the judging, were fellow liverymen Mr. Frederick Fox, LVO, Mrs. Rachel Trevor-Morgan and Mrs. Eda Rose-Lawson, as well as Mrs. Carole Denford, the editor of The Hat magazine.

2nd. prize

It was extremely encouraging to see the high standard of work achieved by the students who presented us with an exciting collection of fine quality felt hats, all professionally modelled by Jasmine, for our deliberation.

3rd. prize

The first prize of £1000 was awarded to Melissa Pemberton-Pigott of Kensington and Chelsea School of Art for her clever idea entitled ‘The Alien Eye’, a natty number in black and royal blue felt with diamanté detail. Certainly eye-catching!

William Horsman

Commercial Appeal

The second prize of £500 was won by Suzie Smith, also from Kensington and Chelsea, for her delicious little black leather and felt cocktail hat inspired by the shape of mussels, generously sprinkled with diamanté.

And the third prize of £250 went to Isabella Mazzitelli, an apprentice of the milliner, Marie O’Regan, for her well-executed piece inspired by the headgear of the Chinese terracotta army.

The Lady Mayoress models one of the entries

Very attention-grabbing!

Four further awards of £100 each were made for:

Ruth Heal and Eda Rose-Lawson share a joke

Craftsmanship. This was won by Miriam Benitez for a most unusual helmet-like creation called, the ‘Alien Hat’, which was an amazingly intricate wire construction, supporting an outer shell of black melusine, surprisingly treated with washing-up liquid to produce an unexpected finish. Not easily wearable, but a triumph of construction.

Delva Patman with the Innovative Use of Felt winner

Artwork and Presentation

Commercial Appeal. Drifting ice inspired Caroline Law, again of Kensington and Chelsea, to create a cute pale blue and cream felt blocked beret, decorated with beaded shards of ‘ice’, and very wearable.

Artwork and presentation. Each hat entry has to be supported by artistic interpretation, and this year, Lucy George of Northampton College, won the prize in this category. Her theme was endangered plant species entitled ‘Green Leaf’.

Last, but certainly not least in the Feltmakers’ Design Competition, was Innovative Use of Felt. The award went to Sarah Restrick of Leeds School of Art and Design for her jaunty grey felt blocked beret generously decorated with fine cut-out designs in navy felt, and featuring a side swept frill of felt. Very fetching!


The high spot of the hat judging day is always the delicious summer lunch in the beautifully panelled dining-room; a hidden gem and well worth taking a peep at, the next time you visit Haberdashers’ Hall. Joining us, and taking a great interest in the hats and the judging, were the Lady Mayoress, Mrs Lin Luder, accompanied by Miss Delva Patman, past master of the Chartered Surveyors and escort of Mr. Sheriff George Gillon, the Master, Mr. Nicholas Heal and Mrs. Ruth Heal, and liveryman Mr. Peter Shirley. The Clerk, Maj. Jollyon Coombs, joined us for lunch.

Once again, Kensington and Chelsea School of Art continue to produce winning students, which is a credit to Ms. Kirsten Scott, Head of Millinery and Fashion. Congratulations and hats off to them all! The winning hats will be on display as part of a hat exhibition at the museum, Wardown Park, Luton, until July 19th., except when they are taken to the Mansion House for all to see at the Feltmakers’ Banquet on June 12th.

Eda Rose-Lawson


Comments are closed