Hats off to My-wardrobe.com’s co-founder Andrew Curran whose latest project is to take millinery global. Lovehats.com is the first of its kind, an e-shop dedicated to high fashion millinery and housing established names—from Royals’ favorite Philip Treacy to rising starlet J Smith Esquire. The online boutique strives “to get everyone wearing hats” and features updated millinery news and original editorial content via its Headlines magazine. The anticipated success of Lovehats.com not only lies in its innovative virtual “try on” app, but in the eclectic mix of designers it will introduce into the market. Here’s our shortlist of favorite designers discovered on Lovehats.com.
Louise Mariette was a party and wedding planner, before transitioning into millinery in 2002. His first collection, presented in Milan, received high praise. It also captured the attention of Harrods, which later commissioned the ‘Chapeau d’Amour’, a £1.5 million hat made of platinum and diamonds for the posh department store’s revamped millinery department. The Malawi-born designer has since collaborated with Manish Arora, Qasimi and Nichole de Carle, and has a strong celebrity following that includes Kate Moss, Lady Gaga and Erin O’Connor, to name a few. Mariette’s fantastical headpieces defy heights with elegance and glamour, and draw inspiration from his travels as a child between Africa and London.
Like Mariette, Marie Mercie’s collections are based on her childhood, growing up in the forests of Fontainebleau, France. The former artist and writer is also a veteran of the industry. Mercie’s success lies in the novelty of her playful designs, which are rooted in nature. Since opening her Parisian boutique, she has received fashion kudos for her blithe creations. Mercie revels in all things whimsical—from leopard print kitty ears to a hedgehog cap fitted with felt nose, eyes and lashes—which suits her most sophisticated fans, including Milla Jovovich and Kristin Scott Thomas.
Award-winning designer Emma Yeo discovered an interest in millinery midway through an MA Design Jewellery course at Central Saint Martins. With training in multimedia textiles, she made the leap into headwear upon graduation. The young designer is transforming traditional millinery with fresh techniques such as her innovative Lasercut woods, a frenzy of intertwining molded lines covered in rich velvets and metallic. Her recent collaboration with London based designer Corrie Nielsen, titled “Solitary Motion,” explores new combinations, morphed leather and blacked dyed pheasant feathers with signature dynamic silhouettes.
British label Bernstock Speirs, designed by Paul Bernstock and Thelma Speirs, was born out of the ‘80s underground club and music scene in England. Inspired by youthful rebellion, the duo designed men’s and women’s hats that defied conservative norms. Since then, they’ve maintained a fashion-forward spirit through collaborations with Peter Jensen and Richard Nicoll as well as a shop in trendy Shoreditch. Their recent collection features amusing styles like their signature Bunny Cap, a cotton baseball cap with canvas bunny ears and bow, and trilby hat made of twisted paper straw with contrasting brims.