Wednesday, 7 March 2018

Majestic Millinery: Catching up with Margaret Woodliff-Wright...

Hello lovelies!

Aside from finding an outlet for my passion for fashion, my favourite part of writing a fashion blog has to be the wonderful contacts and friendships I have made along the way.  I have so many amazingly talented friends and I love to promote their work through my blog whenever I can, so today I thought I'd feature one of my favourite ladies from the world of millinery.  That's right, today we're catching up with Margaret Woodliff-Wright and her majestic millinery!

A little bit of background...

If you're new to 'I dream of Coco' (hi! Thanks for stopping by!) you may not be familiar with Margaret; she found my little corner of the internet and in return I found a great friendship and a wonderful talent.  But if you'd like to learn a little more about her, you can check out her blog here or learn a bit more about our friendship and previous meetings here.  Today's post however will concentrate on what she's been up to, and I promise it won't disappoint!

Exhibitions and Competitions...

The Great Hat Exhibition, Kings Cross, London 

Organised by the X-Terrace Fashion platform which aims to link creatives in Europe with fast growing fashion companies in Asia, The Great Hat exhibition runs in London from March 22nd-March 28th, 2018 (tickets available here).  Featuring over three hundred hats in the exhibition and over one hundred hats for sale in the pop-up shop, this is a must for hat lovers everywhere.  The Great Hat Exhibition will feature two of Margaret's pieces this year and here is a little sneak preview:

  • 'In Celebration of The Alnwick Garden'

This piece is one of my favourites that I've ever seen from Margaret.  In stunning emerald green and finished with handmade cherry blossom, this piece was inspired by the sculptural landscaping of Alnwick Garden and the Tai-Haku cherry trees that bloom there.  Chosen as one of the exhibition's top thirty pieces, it certainly is one worth visiting for!

  • 'An English Country Garden'

Her second submission is this delicate floral piece aptly named 'An English Country Garden'.  Inspired by the flowers in her summer Northumberland Garden, this piece was originally made for a competition arranged by Margie Trembley, a milliner based in Springwood, Nebraska, who sent a blind selection of materials to nine milliners for an exhibition she was arranging, challenging them to make a piece each from the materials she had provided.  Whilst the exhibition was being arranged, Margaret also submitted this piece to last year's Melbourne International Millinery competition.  'An English Country Garden' went on to win Margie Trembley's competition in Nebraska, and came second in the worldwide Facebook vote for the Melbourne International Millinery Competition.


Another competition that Margaret recently took part in was "Influence", organised by the lead suppliers of millinery materials in the UK, Parkin Fabrics.  Margaret's piece named "Aureole" (above) was inspired by the work of Austrian milliner Adele List and German textile designer Ulf Moritz (since each piece had to be influenced by something, hence the competition's title).  For this competition, each participant had to buy a pack of basic materials and had to make a piece from what they received.  "Aureole" was ranked third out of seventy entries by judge Rachel Trevor Morgan (who is famously known for making hats for the Queen!)-an amazing accolade I'm sure you'll agree!

Rebranding and a Northumberland Collection...

Margaret's new logo, surrounded by some fabulous pieces from her Northumberland collection

In amongst entering pieces into competitions, Margaret has also managed to rebrand her logo and packaging (I'm not sure how she finds the time to fit everything in!!).  To tie in brilliantly with her 'The Northumberland Milliner' label, she has created a beautiful Northumberland collection using luxurious fabrics including the Northumberland tartan, black and white tweed, raw silk and tooled leather and carefully selected feathers.  The colours of this padded crown headband style, shown in Northumberland tartan finished with pheasant and guinea fowl feathers evoke feelings of autumn and the English countryside.

The corsages pictured above complete the Northumberland Collection.  These smaller pieces are perfect for clipping onto clothing or to be worn in the hair and come lovingly packaged and sealed with a Northumberland tartan-style ribbon.  I was lucky enough to receive one of these as a birthday present from Margaret and it is absolutely stunning (I promise I'll share this via Instagram so be sure to follow me here!)

I am completely in love with Margaret's headbands; particularly this tartan piece (below) which I'm sure you'll agree, is absolutely breathtaking!

All Ready for Summer, at The Bowes Museum...

After admiring Margaret's amazing work for a long time (whilst enjoying her updates!), I decided to book a place onto her workshop at the Bowes Museum (March 25th, 1-4.45pm book here!) for myself and my lovely Mama L!  The pieces pictured above, modelled by the lovely Esther and Gina, are what we are going to be making and I'm so excited to take part.  The afternoon is to be rounded off with a delicious cream tea, quite possibly my favourite thing ever!  I'll be doing a full blog post of the day after the event, but as it's set to be a great one, be sure to book your place now to avoid disappointment!

I hope you've enjoyed seeing Margaret's latest pieces and hearing all about her latest events, as much as I have enjoyed writing about them!  To keep up to date, be sure to check out her website here.

Until next time,

Kayleigh x

All images are © Jim Gibson of GIS photographic


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