Bryony Tayler, First prize
£500 first prize sponsored by Snooks the Hatters
Bryony says: Born in Devon, I’ve grown up on the edge of Dartmoor with a love for where I live and the surrounding area. I attended the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and last summer, graduated with a first class degree in Theatre Design specalising in costume. Since graduation, I work in both TV and theatre. With only less than a week of millinery experience during my degree, I’m entirely self-taught inspired by the great names and influenced by past decades. I’m both experimental and resourceful, believing that recycling is just as important as something new.
The changing environment of the Jurassic coast reveals its hidden past: The coastlines have transformed, revealing hidden formations and creatures, thanks to sea erosion and its powerful forces.
The historical element plays a large part in my fascination with milinery and I have taken both inspiration from maritime Britain, its history and its inhabitants.
My hat is an Elizabethan contempory twist, an era most known for its poetry, literature and music. In those times, innovative and exciting materials from the New World were highly sought after and shipped to major towns on our southern coast.
Working in satin and vintage lace, I kept my colour palette classical, adding in jewels and beads. Both remind me of when the sun powers down onto the coast on a beautiful day, glimmering and enticing.
With a base disk of ice wool covered buckram, wired to support the towering ruff-like structure, the hat is constructed traditionally.
The ribbon wrapped brass forms a frame, reflecting a fishing net. This provides the shells with a supporting structure, radiating from the centre. The shells are naturally formed adorned with beads, glued and hand stitched. The final construction reflects the foreshore of a West Country coastline; finished with a gilded net veil over the eyes adding a hint of mystery of what is to come.
The coastline has always been and will always remains a lifelong inspiration.
Jennifer Rowley, Second Prize
£250 second prize donated by Roger Snook, Hat Festival President
I studied Graphic Design at Middlesex University, specialising in photography and screen printing. After graduation I worked in publishing for a number of years until a career change led me into the theatre industry, working in lighting and electrics on many West End shows. I took a number of short Theatrical Millinery courses with Jane Smith at Morley College and Level 1 Millinery at Kensington and Chelsea College taught by Noel Stewart before undertaking the HNC. I started work experience earlier this year with Fransisco Rico working on hats for the musical Aladdin in London. As well as selling online and various London markets I have made hats for Ascot, weddings, reenactments, pantomimes, theatre and magic shows.
My inspiration was magic and illusion, using mirrors and a never ending circle. The frame is made from wire bound together then covered with mirror tiles.
Emily Molyneux, Third Prize
£125 third prize sponsored by Aspect Counselling Services
Emily says: I started working at Milliners Guild two years ago as an administrator.Before then, I had no millinery experience.I had never so much as sewed a button! During a busy period, I was asked to help out with some sewing, and have not looked back. I now help out three days a week as a millinery assistant.
I love how it is possible to take a few seemingly simple materials and turn them into a piece of art, how the same materials can create something simple and elegant, or a strong statement piece.
I have titled my hat Starry Nights, after coming across a piece of curled up plastic, which bought to mind the many swirls in paintings by Vincent Van Gogh. I wanted to put my interpretation of my favourite painting, The Starry Night, into hat form. I have used diamontes to invoke the feel and look of the stars against midnight blue felt.
I formed the base on a block, and wired the inside edge, which is attached to a wire band that I made, making it integral to the overall structure. I sewed the diamontes to all the edges – so many diamontes, so many edges! I then spent far too long finding just the right placement for the swirls so you can see the twinkling of the stars from all angles, before sewing them all into place.
Elizabeth Hurst, Public Choice
Elizabeth Hurst’s hat was chosen by the public whilst viewing the hats in the Town Hall on HatFest day. Elizabeth receives a years subsciption to the Hat Magazine courtesy of the Hat Magazine.
Elizabeth says: I have used three layers of sinamay to construct my hat with all wired bound edges. The midnight blue saucer and head fitting represent night time. The brown binding and the Lady Amherst pheasant feather that edge the saucer represent the tree. The serpent is made from three different coloured layers so as to blend in and hide in the tree. It also has coloured circles laid under the top layer of sinamay to create pattern. My serpent’s tongue is made from two narrow strips of red binding that have been Joined together with wire inserts to allow movement. The apple is made from two layers of sinamay that have been layered in a criss-cross manner with one under layer of craft felt to give it sewing stability.
All has been blocked on the presser of the saucer. This apple has been largely sequined and
beaded to make it look very tempting and be the main focal point. The apple stem is made
from wired binding. On the underside I have hand rolled apple leaves to represent rustling
shimmering leaves in the wind.