Hat Generation

Hats, hats and more hats!

Fabulous Milliners: Nigel Rayment

August 9, 2013 by Nina

Source: nigelrayment.co.uk

Nigel Rayment attended the London College of Fashion before joining a company from which he bought out his business partners. The name of the company is now Nigel Rayment.

Nigel’s hats and fascinators have been worn by royalty, politicians, stars and celebrities as well as fashion gurus and icons across the world.

His innovative designs are adorned with hand-dyed flowers and feathers. Hats can be colour-matched to outfits for special occasions such as weddings, the races etc.

Visit Nigel’s boutique: www.nigelrayment.co.uk


Posted in Fascinators, Hats, Milliners |

Fabulous Milliners: Lock & Co Hatters

July 31, 2013 by Nina
lock hatters millinery

Source: lockhatters.co.uk

Located on St. James Street, London, James Lock & Co was established way back in 1676 to provide services for the Royal Court. Lock & Co Hatters now create hats and fascinators for clients all over the world. Winston Churchill was one of their famous clientele!

Their website offers beautiful couture pieces as those shown here, and they also create casual hats for both men and women.

Have a look on their website for an interesting brief history of particular styles of hats too.

Visit Lock & Co Hatters: www.lockhatters.co.uk

Posted in Fascinators, Hats, Milliners |

Fabulous Milliners: Philip Treacy

July 18, 2013 by Nina

pretzel hatPhilip Treacy is one of the talked about milliners of modern day and shot to fame for his ‘pretzel hat’, worn by Princess Beatrice at William and Kate’s wedding. Philip Treacy’s hats can often be seen at royal weddings and extravagant events like Ascot.

Philip is from Ireland, United Kingdom and he attended the London College of Fashion in London. After graduation he worked for Karl Lagerfeld at Chanel for 10 years. Philip started sewing when he was just 5 years old and his passion for fashion can clearly be seen in his imaginative use of bold lines and colours. His hat designs display a sense of drama and creativity.

Now an in-demand milliner in his own right, his own brand of beautiful hats and fascinators are sold worldwide and also via his own online shop.

Philip Treacy millinery

Source: www.philiptreacy.co.uk


Posted in Hats, Milliners |

Hats for Everyone

July 2, 2013 by Nina

assorted hat blocks

Welcome back to the Hat Generation website, which is a website all about… HATS! Fancy that ;-) My own obsession with hats started about 3 years ago when I discovered those delightful little mini hats called fascinators. I learned how to make them and became more curious about how to create more advanced designs. I dearly wanted to make a mini top hat and so started to research how to make a hat based on a wired construction.

After I was approached to make some custom fascinators for a wedding a couple of years ago, I quickly became frustrated at the lack of quality millinery flowers available in different colours. Imagine my delight when I found a weekend course outlining the techniques of traditional silk flower making. A couple of weeks later I made my first hand-painted silk flowers which were an exact colour-match for my customer’s dresses.

Excited at the success of my silk millinery flowers I then enrolled on a millinery techniques course which lasted a few weeks. The course covered techniques using hat blocks, felts and straw as well as buckram and sinamay fabrics which I’d already used before.

This website is dedicated to sharing techniques and how-to’s with you as I’m sure you’ll agree it’s not easy finding good reference guides and photos of traditional millinery techniques.


Posted in Millinery |

Custom Fascinators: Color Matched to Outfits

May 1, 2013 by Nina
custom fascinator colors

Color matched fascinators

A few months ago one of my brides brought along a friend of hers while she had her dress fitting. That friend was attending a wedding in October, along with another friend, and they both wanted fascinators to match their existing dresses. This proved extremely difficult due to colours: one dress was silver, gray and blue metallic in colour; the other was taupe, lilac and lemon. Luckily I’m impossibly stubborn when it comes to facing a challenge. Rather than give up I dig my heels right in and go on a mission for finding the best solution!!

My single-minded determination paid off and Alexa and Catharina were thrilled to bits with the resulting, perfectly colour matched hair accessories. After searching for many hours to source colour matched fabrics and silk flowers, I gave up after finding *nothing* at all! I then came up with the idea of contacting artists who painted on silk and asking them to colour match some small pieces of fabric. I found some enthusiastic artists but as soon as I sent the specifications through I received no response at all. Although I’m a creative person I haven’t painted anything since I was at college, but I guessed I could give it a go and set about ordering some silk organza fabrics from Hong Kong.

The next step was to learn how to make silk flowers. Easier said than done! After searching around I realised there wasn’t much in the way of online tutorials or books on Amazon. I did find some odd looking modern and vintage millinery tools but didn’t have a clue how to use them or how to work with the silk fabric. That sounded like a recipe for disaster and I wasn’t going to risk it with a customer project.

Imagine how surprised I was to find a silk flower making workshop not very far from where I live, which started only a month later. It was meant to be! I booked the workshop and hoped for the best. I would have exactly FOUR days to get the fascinators done, after the workshop was finished.

making fascinators

From top left: fascinator base, silk covered headband, hand-made delicate silvery silk leaves, hand-made lilac petals

After the weekend workshop I had 4 days to make the fascinators and I ordered the flower irons on the first day, and waited patiently at home for them to arrive. They turned up a couple of days late meaning I was now in a bit of a panic trying to get everything done in time!! The photo on the left shows the leaves and petals I finally got to make using the irons I’d been waiting for.

Next I put the fascinators together and sent photos to Alexa and Catherina. After receiving feedback I made some changes and sent a new photo – and worked in this way until they were happy with the designs. I then sewed everything firmly into place and the fascinators were collected the same evening that I finished them!

I’m always really excited to receive customer photos so thank you very much to Alexa and Catherina for sending some lovely photos after the wedding.

Here’s a close-up of one of the fascinators:

silver gray fascinator






Posted in Fascinators, Silk Flowers |

Making Custom Silk Flowers for Millinery

April 6, 2013 by Nina

silk paintingI have spent many hours driving myself *crazy* in the search for beautiful silk flowers to use in my fascinators, hair accessories and clothing projects. Most items available are cheap nasty things using outdated designs and colours that would look better in the garden anywhere near your dress, never mind on it. What happens when you do find something lovely, the supplier turns out to be unresponsive or difficult to order from.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Millinery, Silk Flowers |