Tag Archives: millinery

Introducing: The Milliners Guild

Milliners Guild to become Bristol’s only hat shop in September

Launching in September, Milliners Guild will open as part of a re-vamp of the historic St James Arcade, Broadmead. Dating back to 1825, it was the second shopping arcade to be built in the UK. Milliners Guild will become Bristol’s only hat shop, focusing on up and coming milliners and related makers from around the country.

Milliners Guild will feature millinery and accessories of the highest standard, and workshops by both myself and the various makers with work in stock. This will be a valuable opportunity for lesser known milliners to build their profile, as well as for millinery enthusiasts to make exciting discoveries.

Makers wanting to stock their work in Milliners Guild should make contact via mail@millinersguild.com, as I will be constantly looking for new people and styles to stock. The shop is already set to feature beautiful necklaces made from upcycled inner tubes by Emma Ware; organic hand-felted top hats by Innerspiral; and a selection of work by independent milliners Catherine Povey and Holly Young.

Bristol is a fantastic bubble of creativity and design, but there are very few outlets for it. And there are precious few opportunities for up and coming makers to have their work recognised. Milliners Guild will be full of one-offs and short-runs by artisans hand picked by me for their high quality workmanship and interesting style. The shop will take a lower commission than the standard 50%+ as part of my commitment to making the work of artisans financially accessible.

The second floor of the shop will house my own design atelier, from which I will work. Originally, traders in the arcade would have worked and lived above their shops. I’m hoping to bring a little of that spirit back!

If you’d like to support this project, you can via gofundme.com/millinersguild

I will also be taking on people for work experience over the next few months, please get in contact if you would like to be considered.

Email: mail@millinersguild.com

Web: www.millinersguild.com (under construction still!)

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Weekly Millinery Workshop – Felt

So the Felt workshop came to a close on Monday. Jo, Louise and Tamsyn have all worked fantastically hard to create three very different, but very stylish hats.

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  20130316-190853.jpgLouise created this stylish black hat by blocking the crown on a block and then hand manipulating the long brim by hand. It’s been simply finished off using feathers ethically shed from her own fowl.

 

 

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Jo also hand shaped her wide sweeping brim. The high crown adds height to Jo’s petite stature, so was a great choice.

 

 

 

 

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Tamsyn used a Guy Morse-Brown block to shape her brim. She then carefully removed it and cut out this striking peacock silhouette. Tamsyn has finished it with a little peacock sword twirl

The next workshop term starts on Monday 18th at 6pm and the theme will be straw, in the hope that it helps to ease us into spring!

Email workshops@anitownsend.com to check availability.

My shy students!

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New archive blog feature

I’m starting a new feature on the blog, where I will photo & detail vintage pieces from either my own archive or those of others. The most notable archive I have access to is the Bristol Costume Services stores and the University of Bristol Theatre Archive.

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The BCS store is immense, with boxes and boxes of fabulous vintage examples of millinery, alongside their many, many costumes. I rent my studio space from them and they’re very nice, so it’s like a large costume lending library for me!

The UoB Archives are open to the public and mostly have costume designs rather than physical examples. But a great resource, none the less.

I’m in the process of a History of Art MA from the University of Bristol, so I will also be including headdresses contained in art.

My own archive is more of a haphazard magpie hoard. Some things gifts, other spontaneous eBay purchases. All quite lovely though and very varied.

First up will be either a beautiful 1930s wax flower bridal headdress or possibly a beautiful feathered 1950s hat.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

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Arnolfini

Over the Easter weekend the Arnolfini Gallery, Bristol, hosted an Easter Bonnet Fascinator workshop. Here are a few of the results!

      

      

      

 

 

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Crowning Glory

On June 16th I facilitated a workshop at the Tower of London.

We were treated to a guided tour of the Jewel House by a charismatic Yeoman and then we got creative!
Using millinery materials and old jewels, the group of 12 created an interesting array of unusual pieces.

I didn’t manage to photograph all the final pieces, however you can see the rest on the Tower’s blog.

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first post

Welcome to the first blog post.

And quite a week to start in, it’s been non-stop. Work has started in earnest on Welsh National Opera’s exciting new production of Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg. It’s a full on Wagner number directed by Richard Jones, staring (amongst others of course) Bryn Terfel, has a chorus of 80, with an estimated running time of 6 hours (yes 6, normally it’s about 8 but in the name of sanity it’s being trimmed) and of course, because it’s Bryn, it’s 110% sold out. Not actually opening until June 19th, all the cast and chorus have hats, the women’s chorus have three. Naturally. So we’re starting now.

The designer is Buki Shiff and we have some very exciting designs to work from. Most excitingly I get to use my wire working skills again in a combination of millinery and also collaborating with WNO’s wig department to create wig frames for their hair pieces.

At WNO this week, we have also started technical rehearsals for the spring season. First up is The Abduction from the Seraglio. The cast features Wynne Evans as Perillo. Wynne is well known to us as a WNO regular but he’s becoming known countrywide for amusingly being the curly-tashed tenor from the Go Compare adverts!

In other news, Bristol Art Fringe are on track for the second Montpelier Art Trail.  We’re still looking for artists and performer to get involved.  And of course I need to make some work to exhibit myself. I have a terrible habit of forgetting about that part until it get too late. This year I shall probably be exhibiting in Hamilton House so I will hopefully have more space than usual. Therefore I am very tempted to make something huge out of wire. There will be workshop on during the weekend too, so I am trying to work out if I shall have enough time to run a workshop myself along side the Chair commitments of the weekend. I’ll keep you posted, so to speak!

Now it’s almost officially the weekend, so I am looking forward to a relaxing dinner tonight with my husband, sister-in-law and some good friends. Then a visit to St Werburghs City Farm tomorrow and a 30th birthday party in the aptly named Hatters. Naturally, guests must wear a hat which I finding problematic as I cannot decide which one……!

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