The 5th London Hat Week Exhibitions
“To the Future and Back”
Presented by X Terrace
Open from: 8th – 11th October 2020
Venue: The Black Swan Studios, Bermondsey Street, London SE1 3XW
The London Hat Week static exhibition, rescheduled from April, went ahead in spite of Covic 19, with a limited entry, masks worn, and every precaution taken to minimize the risks of the virus. Visitors were however given the opportunity to take a virtual tour of the show, thereby opening the doors to milliners from around the world.
This year, for the first time, The British Hat Guild presented awards to three of the designer/milliners taking part, for ‘Technique’, ‘Creativity’ and for ‘Wearability’.
Philip Treacy, a founder member of The British Hat Guild, agreed to judge the Technical Award, Rachel Richardson the Wearability Award and myself, Carole Denford, the Design Award.
With the reduced opening times of the exhibition it was decided that each judge select ten designs from high-resolution images sent by Monique Lee, the organiser of the event. The judges would then be given a one-hour window to view the exhibition, maybe select other nominations and decide between them the award winners in each section.
It was interesting to speak together regarding the making process of hats. Philip deliberated in regards to 3-D printing as there were quite a few hats using this process within the exhibition, each one beautifully designed and finished. But was it a millinery technique? Was the process of making creative? Was it wearable and retailable? The outcome was that this year 3-D printing was not considered to be a millinery process. However, we thought this was an interesting subject to discuss at a future date
Taking a final look at all the hats on display Philip was impressed with an embroidered close fitting felt that was ‘decorated’ with gold embroidery with a curved hand-cut edge. Taking a closer look he remarked ‘how well the points around the face had been finished, a process not easy to achieve’ he said.
Meanwhile Rachel agonised over two designs for wearability, between a beautifully made black brimmed hat with a lace crown and frayed trim from Brenda Naples (UK) or a very feminine dark blue peachbloom hat with exquisite gold embroidery. Philip liked the fact that the gold embroidery was not overdone, less is more he remarked. ‘This style’ Rachel added ‘was also less complicated to produce for the retail sector, and was therefore awarded the prize’.
The Creativity Award seemed far easier to select, as it was a stunning design using cellophane strips, positioned in two eye-catching and original ways. We all agreed, that in bright tones of turquoise and orange there was really no other choice. In the meantime, Hanna, Philips assistant, tried on an interesting black headpiece by Paul Marcher (Austria) that we’d all commented on, not the winner but certainly worth noting
The winner of the first British Hat Guild Award were then announced:-
The ‘Wearability Award’ to Karen Geraghty of Mind Your Bonce Millinery from the UK
The ‘Creativity Award’ to Federika Fabbrikaidee from Italy
The ‘Technical Award’ to Andrea Suto of Hats by Annity from Hungary
Each Award Winner will now receive, a certificate, a cheque for £100
with the opportunity to post a piece on themselves and their work on The British Hat Guild website for a year
Philip was quite overwhelmed with the display of 220 hats sent to Monique in London from all over the world. He was even more taken aback when she mentioned that there had been 350 entries! Speaking after the judging Philip said; “We really need to set up a millinery school, which would take all this creativity to another level of excellence. The high-level full time college courses are few, which mean that this couture craft is slowly diminishing. I am overwhelmed at the enthusiasm from both British and international makers to design for this exhibition producing such an array of modern, exciting headwear.
Congratulations to Monique, her team and all the milliners taking part”.