Student Stories: The Hatologist, Millinery Intensive
Victoria Wright a.k.a the Hatologist, tells us about her career as a Freelance stylist and how taking the Millinery Intensive Short Course improved her hat-making skills and made her a more memorable Fashion stylist!
Tell us a little bit about your background?
I've been a Fashion Stylist for 10 years, having worked in roles at magazines and in e-commerce. Around four years ago, I made the decision to go freelance and have since been lucky enough to style fashion editorials abroad and also pursue Art Direction as well.
Before taking the Millinery Intensive course what were your hat making or designing skills?
Around the time I started pursuing my freelance career, I began experimenting with making and wearing my own headpieces, partly because I love wearing quirky hats and partly because I found that it made me more memorable as a freelancer!
My skills were very basic before starting the Millinery Intensive course and mainly consisted of small objects or scenes (like a beach, tea party or Rubix cubes often constructed using dolls house pieces) and a hot glue gun! I felt like I had the ideas but lacked technical skills.
Why did you choose London College of Fashion / How did you find out about the course?
I did plenty of research on the internet before booking this course and decided on Millinery Intensive as I felt that it would give me a thorough overview of the art of hat making. I also read about the tutor's experience and felt that she had a huge amount of knowledge to pass on. Additionally, LCF has a wonderful reputation and I knew that I would have access to the best tools and information on this course.
What were your highlights over the 10-day course?
There were so many, I don't know where to begin! Even on the first day, when we created a small sinamay base from scratch, felt like an impressive achievement to me.
Learning how to block different fabrics was definitely a highlight, as it felt like it opened up a new world into creating my own hats. And making my straw boater was also a highlight, I never imagined that I'd learn how to make a straw hat before!
Lastly, I met a fabulous group of like-minded people, who I enjoyed this journey with, and we were lucky enough to be taught by Jessica Broas, who proved to be a fun, informative, incredibly talented tutor.
What did you find most challenging?
Probably working with felt. I loved it but also found that it could be frustrating if you didn't squeeze enough of the stiffener out or didn't cut or sew the pieces correctly.
That said, I will probably continue to work with felt more than other materials in the future so I see it as a challenge to overcome!
I also know I can be a bit of a perfectionist, so I'd find it quite challenging to do something not quite right - inevitably I'd backtrack and start again!
Who would you recommend the course to?
Anybody with a really keen interest in creating different types of hats and a strong sense of their own style of hats that they want to create.
One of the best things about this course was that each student could choose their own design for each type of hat and the tutor would help you realise it. It was always best if you had an idea in mind beforehand of the style you were hoping to make.
Now you have completed the course what are your Millinery hopes and plans for the future?
Now I am armed with the actual skills of hat-making from this course, I very much hope to create my own collection! I intend to practice the skills I learnt as much as possible, whilst combining with my (sometimes slightly bonkers) ideas for headpieces.
I would love to continue learning, whether that be on another course or (if I'm lucky enough) with a milliner, but whatever happens in the future, I will continue to make and wear my own headpieces.
Victoria Wright - Wearing her own design