Open to the public Nov 16th to 17th 2024 Stratford-upon-Avon Town Hall at Stratford-upon-Avon Town Hall CV37 6EF

Son + Wedding = Hat



There is an equation many women know, it is the Son+Wedding=Hat.

One of my son’s is getting married in August and I realised that I needed a hat that fitted so well I wouldn’t know I’m wearing it, that would compliment my outfit but more importantly matched my personality – I am not a polite pillbox and veil type of woman, I want a hat that I can kiss and cry in, to make me smile with the design and feel magical in; I needed to commission a hat from a real milliner not just buy one off the shelf.

The only choice for me was a creation by Barry Flanagan from Alciston Model Millenary. His atelier is proud to produce bespoke, hand crafted millinery for every occasion. Traditional wooden and Espartre blocks and a collection of vintage straws, felts, fabrics and ribbons are used to create beautiful, desirable and individual pieces under the watchful eye of classically trained milliner Mr Barry Flanagan. I adore his whimsical and charming hats.

To commission a hat is similar to commissioning anything from an artist; you need to know what you want, what it is for, when you need it, very roughly how much you can spend and most importantly who you want to make it for you.

Commissioning anything, no matter how large or small is all about the relationship with the artist. Sometimes it is asking them to modify a piece of work you have already seen, or designing something new, just for you.

Talk to each other, listen to what is said, make notes, draw sketches, enjoy the creative process and if you are unsure, check again with the artist.

It is a often a slow process; the commission, discussions, verbal agreements, written confirmation maybe with drawings, written agreement, waiting for completion, collecting the piece of art and then finding an excuse to do it all again….

Nothing is as exciting and fulfilling as wearing a couture hat, a ring designed with love, getting lost in a painting of your special place or turning round a corner of your garden to see that sculpture that quickens your heart.

Share your passion. Commission work from an artist for generations of your family to enjoy….