Finding a good hat for the impending Royal Ascot week is always a challenge and while in the good retail hat departments you can gain inspiration and some variety there is always the option of visiting a good milliner. We set off to North London to visit Rosie Olivia a wonderful hat designer. Rosie supplies hats to both Fenwick of Bond Street and Selfridges but also works from her studio in North London. Here in total tranquility and calm you can discuss your requirements whether they are for a royal day at the races a wedding or another special occasion it is a great experience.
Rosie began her career at Nottingham Trent University with a decorative arts degree. This is a combination of textiles, glass, ceramics and she then specialised in textile design. Having always made hats for her mother and friends her degree show was a collection of hats and the deciding factor of which direction she wished to pursue. Rosie then attended a short course at St.Martins in hat blocking. The idea of joining the rat race of the fashion world did not really appeal and making a name in fashion seemed daunting. Millinery seemed like a great route to exercise creativity and make a name for herself. Having completed internships with Philip Treacy, Stephen Jones and Victoria Grant she felt ready to embark on her own creativity and her move to London from Liverpool became more permanent. Through the The Princes Trust Enterprise programme she gained the experience and training to complete a business plan and with the mentoring programme they offer was able to embark on her creative venture.
Five years on and Rosie designs a winter and summer collection each year. Her hat blocks are made at Boons and Lane in Luton and she tries to introduce two or three new shapes each year to ensure some variety in her designs. She limits herself to how many retailers stock these beautiful hats as Rosie says herself she would like her clients to all feel as though they have an individual piece. The most difficult aspect of production is sourcing good feathers and accessories for the hats and Rosie uses her embroidery skills to produce a beautiful lace feature which is woven in silver or black thread with which she can decorate some of her hats. This is very much her signature detail and is really beautiful and extremely decorative.
I would thoroughly recommend a visit to Rosie. Her imagination and selection of hats is fantastic and with prices starting at £280 you can own a unique and completely individual piece to add the finishing touches to your outfit. You can see some of Rosie’s magnificent millinery on her website Rosie Olivia Rosie Olivia Millinery so give her a ring and make an appointment! Rosie also recently exhibited one of her designs in the exhibition at Fenwick of Bond Street as one of the celebrated milliners in the Decades of Drama exhibition.