Latest News – New Workshops and Pop Up Show

I hope this update finds you well. Here, at Isabella Josie Millinery, we have some great news to announce.

Firstly, we are delighted that our handcrafted hats and headpieces are now available though Cherry Vintage in Chichester. Cherry Vintage is a local independent shop that specialises in vintage inspired ladies clothes from various eras. To celebrate we will be holding a ‘millinery drop-in’ to answer any hat, fascinator or headpiece questions. If you are in the Chichester area on Saturday 22nd February from 12-2pm please do pop along and say hello.

Our second piece of exciting news is that we will be delivering some millinery workshops in the Botanic Room at the beautiful Denmans Gardens, Fontwell, Arundel.

To book a place on craft course email Spaces are limited to ensure everyone has just the right amount of attention.

If you would like to visit Denmans 4 acre garden which were designed by one of Britain’s influential landscape designers John Brookes MBE, before or after the workshop, you can purchase a ticket for a small additional fee at the gift shop. These photos were taken just this week in January – even in the depths of winter the gardens are stunning. Refreshments are also available at the gardens’ lovely tea rooms.

Season's Greetings from Isabella Josie

Thank you so much for your continued support over the last year, your encouragement has helped to guide me on my hat making journey. 2020 is going to be an exciting year for Isabella Josie (we have some fabulous plans in place!) and I very much look forward to sharing them with you. I hope you have a very special and healthy Christmas and New Year.

Hats off for Headbands

If you have picked up a magazine or popped into a hair accessory shop, you will of noticed the growing trend of chunky padded headbands. From a milliners point of view, it’s great to see headwear being worn as an every day fashion staple.

It has been great fun designing the headbands for my pop up shop in Bosham Walk – some trimmed with feathers, pearl beads, and other with sparkly Swarovzki crystals.

Originally on-trend in the 80’s, the padded headband is back, bigger and better than ever before. I’m loving the creative names that the media are coming up, ‘Power band’ with a reference to the 80’s era, ‘Halo band’ for the shape and perhaps my favourite name to date the ‘Hat band’.

Kate Middleton, The Duchess of Cambridge, is an avid wearer of the headband, choosing a beautiful Jane Taylor halo style headpiece for her sons (Prince Louis) christening. These halo headbands are blocked like a traditional hat on a wooden shapes and really do make you feel like a princess. I have been creating my own range which are proving rather popular with clients.

I’m currently developing my Spring / Summer 2020 collection and I’m sure you will be seeing a headband in there. If you were to design your dream headband what would it look like?

Goodwood Revival 2019

This time last week Goodwood Revival was in full swing. Thousands of people were dressed in their finest vintage outfits at the famous historic motor race meeting.

At Goodwood Revival, you will find me soaking up the atmosphere at the fairground, marketplace or watching the dancing – there is so much to see. My ‘must-go’ to place is the Earl Court Motor Show which, in celebration of the 50th anniversary of ‘The Italian Job’, was themed with a recreation of the filmset.

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Royal Ascot Hat Highlights

With the racing season in full swing, I thought you might like to see a few photos from my first Ladies Day at Royal Ascot. It was an amazing experience with a brass band playing on the lawn, singing at the bandstand and a fashion feast for the eyes. Here are a few pictures of some my favourite hats, of course I had to include a couple of my own designs too. I was so excited that one of my sculptural headpieces recieved some lovely media attention!

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London Hat Week

I hope you are all having a fabulous and very sunny Easter weekend. It’s such a beautiful time in the garden seeing the flowers spring into life.

A couple of weeks ago I was lucky enough to see some amazing handcrafted flowers at The London Hat Week’s X Terrance ‘ World Garden’ theme hat exhibition. Here are a few of my favourite hats and headpieces – I just love how millinery combines such a wide range of crafts. As you can see from these images, felt work, silk flower making, feather work, embroidery and hand sewing skills have all been used to create these masterpieces.

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Hand Dyeing Silk Abaca for a Bespoke Millinery Headpiece

This week I’ve been experimenting with colour to bring some sunshine into my West Sussex millinery studio. It’s the first time I’ve hand dyed silk abaca and I must say I’m delighted with the results. Would you like to see?

This photo shows the ivory silk abaca as it is placed into its bath of Jacquard acid dye – to make this colour I mainly used ‘yellow sun’ with a little pinch of ‘cherry red’. I just love how the colour slowly creeps up the fabric as it is submerged. Continue reading