millinery

Gatsby 1920s black Feathered Headband Commission


The 1920’s were an exciting time for headwear, they gave us intricate headbands, art deco tiaras and the ever popular closh. It’s no wonder that the glamorisation of the 1920’s wild parties and fun adventures has allowed the era to maintain its opulent influence over fashion today. Literature and film really keep the style of the era alive.  Television and film in particular have kept our love affair alive over the decades with such features as Bonnie and Clyde (1960s), Bugsy Malone (1970s), The Cotton Club (1980’s), House of Eliott (1990’s) (I often find myself wondering what the Eliott sisters would do), Downton Abby (2010), and my particular favourite for authentic 1920’s style and atmosphere: Boardwalk Empire (2010). These titles are just from the top off my head, there are plenty more to fuel our adoration of 1920’s style. Arguably one of the most influential stories responsible for championing the roaring 1920’s style is F. Scott Fitzgerald’sThe Great Gatsby. Originally released in 1925 the first film was made in 1926, followed by 1949, 1974, and 2013 versions. I have no doubt the Great Gatsby will be reproduced in future decades, keeping 1920’s style admiration alive.

  

 

The opulent glamour of the Gatsby tale is massively appealing and it is no wonder that it is a fantastic theme for a costume party. I was very excited recently when someone got in touch with me and asked me to design and make a headpiece for her to wear to a Gatsby themed party. She had originally seen the piece that I had made back in 2003 for my own 1920’s costume party (see here), and really wanted a piece that was completely black but still had sparkle. After some initial sketches we decided on a classic black band with feather detail at the front. She had really wanted to add some beaded details at the front to create a ‘princess’ style so I strung a selection of faceted beads (for maximum sparkle!) and draped them across the front of the band. It is worth knowing that my mannequin heads are smaller than a human head so the beads sit just above the eye on a person.

 

It was also requested that the feather part of the piece could be detachable so that it could be worn separately on other occasions. I love it when customers ask for pieces to have dual functionality. Not only is it a fun challenge for me, but I know that the piece will be worn more and the customer receives more for their investment. For example this piece is essentially three different pieces; it can be worn as a black beaded band alone, as a feather clip or as the complete feather band.   

 

My customer had mentioned to me initially that she love sparkle and black lace, so I made sure both were incorporated into the design. I used a black applique piece of lace at the front of the feathered part and use as many Swarovski and faceted beads that I could which created a beautiful shimmer of sparkle as the piece moved.  

 

It was the customer’s preference to have the band elasticated, so I added some beads next to the elastic to echo art deco lines and add some interest to the back of the piece.    

  

The beauty of using a headpiece to define your costume is that you can wear contemporary clothes and let the headpiece do the talking! In this instance the customer was planning the wear a simple contemporary maxi dress with 1920’s influence, so she was able to wear an intricate headpiece to set the tone of her look.  

I welcome your costume enquiries, afterall a bespoke costume headpiece is true Gatsby style!

 

~Jayne 

Branston Pickle Ascot Commission

Branston Pickle themed Ascot Hat by The Libertarian Jayne Elwell, commercial millinery

 

 

Earlier this month I was asked by a creative agency to design and make a Branston Pickle themed hat to be worn at Royal Ascot Ladies Day.

To give you a little insight into the processes that are involved in creating such a hat, I took a few snaps along the way.

 

 

The agency chose this design out of a selection so I set to work.

 

 

I blocked the hat with sinamay and hand carved the jar and pickle structure. 

 

I then painted the detail onto the jar and pickle. I made sure to paint slight pickle detail and the reflection of the glass jar to increase the realism. It was then varnished. I hand painted some cream duchess satin with a red gingham check to cover the hat base and worked on the slice of bread.    

It was then time to put the structure together, adding a ribbon lettuce and slice of cheese along the way!

Commissioned Branston Pickle sandwich themed Ascot Hat

 

 

Commissioned Branston Pickle themed Ascot Hat by The Libertarian Jayne Elwell

 

Back view of the Branston Pickle themed Ascot Hat by The Libertarian

 

This is of course a very simplified version of all the work that created the hat but it was certainly all worth it to hear such wonderful feedback from the creative agency. 

 

~Jayne 

Fashion Front Row Catwalk @ NE1's Fashion Futures 2015

Dart Board Hat by The Libertarian on the catwalk at The Baltic

I was so happy to be involved in the organisation of yet another successful Fashion Front Row catwalk show. This year the catwalk show showed off nineteen North East designer’s collections and The Libertarian was lucky enough to show alongside the likes of Dayne Henderson, Tallulah Love Lingerie and Scott Henshall.

The catwalk, now in its fifth year, has evolved into one of the North Easts main fashion showcases for local designers and is a pleasure to be involved with. It is now part of NE1's Fashion Futures and took place at the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art. 

Here are some of The Libertarian’s hats on the catwalk. All pieces are now available to hire.   

 

on the catwalk at the Baltic Gallery

Chess Board Hat. Model: Louise Herron, Photography: Christopher RD

Chess Hat by Jayne Elwell, The Libertarian on the catwalk at the Baltic

Chess Board Hat. Model: Louise Herron, Photography: Peter Alan Reed

Hand painted portrait hat by Jayne Elwell at the Baltic Gallery

Hand Painted Portrait Hat. Model: Cindy Nicoll, Photographer: Christopher RD

Hand painted hat by The Libertarian on the catwalk at Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art

Hand Painted Portrait Hat. Model: Cindy Nicoll, Photography: Peter Alan Reed

Burger Hat with mini flag by Jayne Elwell at the Baltic art gallery

Burger Hat. Model: Stephanie Grieve, Photography: Peter Alan Reed

Brown saucer hat on the Catwalk

Peacock and Pheasant Saucer Hat. Model: Katy O’Brien, Photography: Peter Alan Reed

Dart board hat on the Fashion Futures 2015 Catwalk by Jayne Elwell, The Libertarian millinery

Dart Board Hat. Model: Sophie Gilmour, Photography: Peter Alan Reed

Milliner Jayne Elwell displays her hat collection on the Fashion Front Row catwalk 2015 at Baltic art gallery

 

The Fashion Front Row Catwalk Team Backstage with models and dressers ready to go!

The Team! Backstage before the show. Photography: Idene Roozbayani 

 

Catwalk Credits:

Make up by BareMinerals
Hair by Zanders Hair Design


~Jayne 

One Hundred Years Of Hats

Meridith Towne Costume Historian and dressaker Talk Middlesbrough Library

 

I had the exciting opportunity yesterday to see some rare hats from a costume historian’s private collection. Meridith Towne is a costume historian and dressmaker, and gave a wonderful insight into the history of the hat at her talk: “One Hundred Years of Hats” (1860-1960) at Middlesbrough Library last night.

 

Victorian Straw Hat with handmade flowers and ribbon trimming

 

The Newark based historian has such enthusiasm about the subject, I was given the impression that the talk only slightly touched on her comprehensive knowledge.

 

British Edwardian and Victorian antique Hat PinsAbove: Edwardian Hat pins; a handy weapon for ladies at the time

 

I was amazed to see some pieces have only seen in books and museums such as this wired hood that would protect straw bonnets.

 

British antque wired Victorian Bonnet Hood for keeping bonnets dry Above: Victorian bonnet protector

 

British Victorian Bonnet Cap with lace trim Above: Victorian Bonnet Cap

 

Meridith kindly allowed everyone to take photographs and even try on some of the hats at the end of her talk, so I’d certainly recommend attending one of her future talks.   

 

Velvet Victorian perching hat in blue, antique millinery Above: Late Victorian velvet hat

 

Victorian Straw Flowerpot Hat, historical millinery Above: Late Victorian Straw Flower Pot Hat

 

Bristish Late Victorian Bonnet with lace frillAbove: Late Victorian Bonnet

 

Vintage Millinery Flower trimmings in pink and blueAbove: Millinery trimmings

 

Antique sequinned lily millinery trimming flower Above: Sequinned Lily trimmings

 

Edwardian ladies hat typical of the First World War FashionsAbove: Edwardian First World War Ladies Hat

 

Antique vintage Feather flower millinery trimming Above: Feather flower trimming

 

 

My favourite piece from the evening was this 1930's wide brimmed straw hat trimmed with hand-made flowers- delicious! 

1930's wide brimmed Straw Hat trimmed with handmade flowers

Above: 1930's Straw Hat 

 

Hand made icing hats on cupcakes

Lastly I couldn't not mention the adorable little hats that cupcake baker "Tilly's Creative Cupcakes" made for the evening. Which meant everyone happily ate their own hats.

 

~Jayne

Victorian Riding Hat

Perching Victorian riding hat in navy felt with full birdcage veil

 

I had the very exciting job of creating this Victorian style felt riding hat for Rebecca to wear at this year's Equifest

 

The perching navy felt hat has a full birdcage veil, a train at the back, velevet ribbon tie and hand dyed feathers.

 

Rebecca is an incredible designer and maker of Concours de elegances costumes and she of course made her own dress. To find out more about Rebecca click here >>>  

 

Her beautiful horse Duds, is wearing a coordianting browband by Charleys Browbands.  

 

Bespoke Victorian Riding hat at Equifest by The Libertarian Millinery

 

What a team!

 

~Jayne 

TICE students create corsets for Libertarian Hats

Talented students from this years TICE scheme have created a set of beautiful corsets based on four of the Libertarian Hats.

They used the magpie, teapot, pile of cakes and Eiffel tower hats as starting points to design and make these coordinating outfits.

TICE students work displayed with The Libertarian's hats

 

TICE (This is Creative Enterprise) is a “non-profit organisation dedicated to support young students in exploring the creative sector in regards to career prospects and/or the choices in vocational and academic pathways.”

Tice students next to their work and The Libertarian's Hats

 

Textile, craft and design artist, Charlotte Liddle, lead the group of young students and I am really impressed with the results.

It has been a great project to be involved with and I wish all the budding designers luck with their future.

 

Well done everyone!

~Jayne 

Ascot Ladies Day 2014- A Painterly Affair

North East Milliner Jayne Elwell of The Libertarian, featured in Independent Newspapers coverage of Ascot ladies day

This year was my fifth year at Royal Ascot Ladies Day and was certainly one of my favourites. I opted for a ‘hand painted portrait’ theme for my set of hats and as always, they went down a treat with the press and the fellow hat lovers in attendance.

I was particularly happy with the new shapes of the hats that I created and I plan to work on some more (less decorative!) pieces along these lines.

Here is my photographic tour of our day with some of my favourite press clippings. 

 

Ascot ladies day hats created by The Libertarian millinery

Arriving at Royal Ascot. This year we were stopped by so many photographs, it took an hour to reach the actual gate! 

 

Press at Ascot ladies day photographing The Libertarian's hand painted hats

Once finally making it into the Grandstand, another hour was spent satisfying the requests of the press photographers and journalists.

 

The Libertarian's and Painted portrait Hats at Royal Ascot ladies day

Five of us manage to get a quick snap for ourselves. Every hat featured at least three straight edges as the shape of a canvas would morphing into a hat. 

 

Press interviewing milliner Jayne Elwell at Royal Ascot Ladies Day 2014

You can catch a snippet of the above interview here >>> 

 

Hand painted Royal Ascot Ladies Day Hats by The Libertarian

Each hat had accenting paint brushes splodged into dollops of vibrant paint. I created drips of paint falling from the brims and even added little tubes of paint.

Paint splat hats at Royal Ascot Ladies Day by The Libertarian Millinery

 

Grazia features The Libertarian Millinery in Ascot Ladies Day coverage

Constance Peach featured in Grazia's coverage of Ascot ladies day waering The Libertarian's fascinator

 

 

Constance Peach photographed wearing The Libertarian Hat at Royal Ascot Ladies Day

 

Jayne Elwell of The Libertarian's work featured in The Daily Telegraph at Ascot Ladies Day

Constance Peach featured in The Daily Mail newspapers Ascot coverage wearing The Libertarian's fascinator 

 

Sandra Tang gets a press selfie at Ascot Ladies Day

Sandra Tang manages to catch a selfie with the press. You can see Sandra's blog about the day here and her street style blog of the day here 

 

Angela Tinkler wears The Libertarian at Ascot Ladies Day

Angela Tinkler poses for the camera wearing a Libertarian Hat. I hand painted all of the portraits on to my hats by hand.

 

Middlesbrough based Milliners work Featured in MSN's top ten photos at Ascot ladies day

The Libertarian hats make it into MSN's top ten images of the week 

 

North East Milliner Jayne Elwell of The Libertarian gets Global Press Coverage at Ascot Ladies Day

An abstract shot of the hats in situ 

 

Hand Painted portrait hat with paint drips and paint brush accents worn at Royal Ascot Ladies Day 2014

 

 

Royal Ascot Ladies Day Couture Hats by The Libertarian Millinery

 

Constance Peach with Press at Royal Ascot Ladies day wearing The Libertarian Millinery Fascinator

North East Milliner Jayne Elwell of The Libertarian's work featured in Vogue Italia

Constance Peach featured in Vogue Italia's coverage of Royal Ascot 

 

Ascot ladies day crowd of hats taken by Milliner

My Mandatory shot of a crowd of hats

 

Middlesbrough based Milliner Jayne Elwell's work at Ascot Ladies day 2014

 

 

North east hat makers work by The Libertarian at Ascot Ladies Day

To see the hats in action, click on the image above 

 

Bespoke hat maker from Middlesbrough, Jayne Elwell of The Libertarian Millinery's work at Ascot Ladies Day 2014

 

Press at Ascot Ladies Day 2014

The press looking to get a photos of the Royal box

 

 

The Queen in blue at Royal Ascot Ladies Day 2014

The Queen watching the Gold Cup Race from her private Royal box

 

 

 

North East hat designers work on ITV at Ascot ladies dayThe Libertarian hats featured in ITV's coverage of Ascot Ladies Day 

 Ladies Day hats by The Libertarian at Ascot 2014Image above: Courtesy of The Metro Online 

 

Ladies day hats by The Libertarian at Ascot 2014Image above: Courtesy of The Metro Online 

 

Hope you have enjoyed the photographs, it was certainly another memorable year and a very special experience.

We had some wins, some laughs and even a new romance was born!

 

~Jayne

Kate's Organza Circle Bridal Veil

1950's style commission bridal veil by The Libertarian Millinery

 

 

I recently created this organza ribbon edged Ivory veil commission for bride Kate to wear on her wedding day.


 

Circle Bridal Veil made with Organza and ribbon edging

 

Kate came to me with quite a specific idea of what she wanted to go with her 1950’s style dress so I sourced a colour matching shade of organza (the outer layer of her dress is made with a similar organza), and set to work.

 

 

Vintage style bridal veil at Beamish museum wedding

 

 

She specifically wanted a veil without straight edges so the whole veil is made up of circles, which gives the piece a wonderful volume and shape.

 

Satin Ribbon edged bridal veil in Ivory by The Libertarian Millinery

 

She chose to edge the veil with thin ivory edging to echo the edging of the ribbon used on the dresses waist bow.

 

 Comissioned organza ivory bridal veil with ribbon edge by The Libertarian Millinery


She was so happy, as was I, with the finished result and I am sure you will agree that she looks stunning!

 

If you are curious as to where the wedding took place, it was at the wonderful Beamish Museum. A wonderful setting for lovers of vintage, antiques and history. 



~Jayne 

My Students Exhibiting at Somerset House

Above: One of my students hats inspired by Tim Burton

 

Since November I have been teaching at CCAD (Cleveland College of Art and Design) every Saturday as part of the Sorrell Foundation's National Art and Design Saturday Club (NADSC). NADSC was started by the Sorrell Foundation to give young people the opportunity to learn and experience art and design skills that are not typically taught in Schools, with the intention of building confidence and giving an insight into higher education and creative careers.  

I have been so impressed with my student’s talent and enthusiasm. We have been doing all sorts of Art and Design activities over the weeks covering Fine art, graphic design, illustration and fashion design. These images are just a small selection of the final pieces we have been working on; hats based on the theme ‘nature’. As is clearly evident, each student ran away with the theme in their own direction, resulting in a highly imaginative collection of final pieces.

I am very proud that their final pieces will be displayed as part of the NADSC’s summer exhibition at Somerset House, London from 12th-19th June. The exhibition is open to the public so please pop along to see the full collection of their work exhibited alongside the other Club’s work.  

I would also like to point out that my students are all aged between 13 and 16 yrs old! Their work is amazing isn't it!?

     

#

Above: Students Tree Hat


Above: Students Starfish Hat


Above: Students Peacock Hat


Above: Students Ink drawing hat detail



More exhibition photos to follow!

 

~Jayne 

Fashion Front Row Catwalk Show 2014

Couture Pheasant Feather tweed Headdress by The Libertarian Millinery

Above: Bethan Sproat modelling The Libertarian's new Pheasant Feather and Tweed Headdress with amber trimmings. Soon to be added to the hire collection.

 

Last night was NE1’s Newcastle Fashion Weeks annual Fashion Front Row Catwalk show. It’s an event that I co-organise to promote local North East Fashion designers and this year we showcased seventeen different brands.   

WOW it was wonderful to hear people gasping (in a good way) as my first model walked onto the catwalk waering The Libertarian's new Black Floral Sunburst Headdress:

 

Couture Black Floral Crown Sunburst Headdress with chains

Above: Belle modeling the new Black Floral Suburst Headdress. Soon to be added to the hire collection 

 

Bridal Beret with rose and cream veiling by The Libertarian Millinery

Above: Violetta Jesinka modeling the veiled cream beret. This beret was bloced on a vintage 1930s hat block and would be ideal as a bridal or wedding guest hat.

 

Nude sinamay fascinator with black lace and arrow feathers by The Libertarian Millinery

Above: Inda Bastaman modeling the Nude and Black Lace Fascinator 

 

Red 1940s vintage perching hat for ladies day or Wedding guests

Above: Alexandra Constanitin modeling the new 1940s style percher soon to be added to the hire collection.

 

Large brimmed hat in pink with cream quills, ideal for Ascot or weddings

Above: Mellissa Loraine modeling the Sophia Hat in Ivory and pink, soon to be added to the hire collection. 

 

Newcastle Fashion Week Team 2014 at Fashion Front Row Catwalk

Above: Myself and (almost) all of the NE1 Newcastle Fashion Week Team 

 

 

 

 

Carinval Showgirl Headdress with tweed and Pheasant feathers

Above: Bethan Sproat wearing The Libertarian's new Pheasant Feather and Tweed Headdress with amber trimmings. Soon to be added to the hire collection

 

 

I’ll be posting up full details of the other designers involved with more images in a later post becuase it was so much fun and so good to have so much talent in one place!

~Jayne

 

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