As part of London Craft Week 2018, Milliners Rachel Trevor Morgan, Edwina Ibbotson and Noel Stewart curated an exhibition to highlight the excellence of the craft of British milliners. In a first for the industry ‘Unveiled – the Craft of Millinery’ was held at the Art Workers Guild in Queens Square and sought to reveal the workings of the best hat makers in the country.
Each milliner/hat was chosen to highlight a different a skill, material or design approach and each designer was asked to provide materials, tools and work in progress to reveal some of the inner workings of their craft. A large proportion of the exhibits were created exclusively for the exhibition including Karen Henriksen who focused on the unique ability of felt to be stitched invisibly to other materials and House Of Flora created a waved hairstyle shaped hat showing exactly how felt can be shaped unlike any other material. Stephen Jones gave us a fabric covered top hat inspired by the cotton reels of most milliners childhood and Philip Treacy showed how to clip and shape a feather like only he can. With special creations from up and coming milliners Jo Miller and Harvy Santos this exhibition was a landmark for the best milliners in the UK right now.
The week also included a program of ticketed millinery related talks and demonstrations. These we very well received and attended, milliners generously donated their time to get involved. Demonstrations included felt blocking with Edwina Ibbotson, rolling sinamay with Bridget Bailey. Talks included a fascinating Q&A with Jane Smith, doyenne of theatrical millinery, New practices in Millinery with Noel Stewart chatting to with Paul Stafford and Jo Miller, and Hilary Alexander interviewed Rachel Trevor Morgan. There was also a curators’ talk on Friday evening.
On Sunday Carole Denford organised for 2 films to be shown – ‘The Millinery Lesson’ and ‘Mad About Hats’
Thursday evening was the Private View which was well attended by over 100 people and generously supported by the the Livery who provided Cava for the evening.
All profits raised from the week (approx. £900) are going to the Master Charitable fund.
Many thanks must go to all involved. Special thanks to Carol Denford for organizing the films and her help throughout the week. Hilary Alexander and Piers Atkinson for their input with the PR. Special thanks to all at The ArtWorkers’ Guild, especially the guild steward Elspeth Dennision. The Guild generously provided the space and nothing was too much trouble!
Noel Stewart and Rachel Trevor Morgan