We are just five days away from the start of Royal Ascot 2015. Joining our conversation to review this year’s royal racing hats – from the outstanding to the outré – are three special guests. From three different continents, each of these talented milliners can boast a royal client on their resumé. Let me introduce you to these three talented women:
Fiona Mangan is an award-winning milliner is based in Galway, Ireland. She held the title of ‘Irish Accessory Designer of the Year’ at the Kerry Fashion Awards in 2012 and the International Hatty Awards 2012. Fiona’s hat also won ‘Best Fascinator’ at the Breeders Cup in Los Angeles, USA in November 2012.
The former Architect’s hats have donned winning ladies in a number of Best Dressed Lady competitions, most recently the Grand National at Fairyhouse, Ireland. Her celebrity client list includes Zara Phillips and former Miss World, Rosanna Davison, amongst others. Fiona’s work has appeared in many local, national, UK and international newspapers and fashion magazines as well as appearing in Marie Claire Hong Kong and Elle Accessories Hong Kong. She has had extensive Irish TV coverage, most recently featuring on RTE’s Nationwide, TV3’s Xpose and Irish TV’s Galway Matters.
Her style reflects the modern woman – the delicate, ethereal female, that is still edgy, strong and unyielding. Fiona’s hats are stocked in Galway, London and Hong Kong.
Milliner Jill Courtemanche lives and works in sunny southern, California. She graduated from New York City’s prestigious Fashion Institute of Technology in the mid-90’s and after a decade of working alongside master artisans in New York and Europe, she opened her namesake atelier in 2006.
Jill brings a young, feminine and contemporary approach to her hats while incorporating traditional techniques and craftsmanship. All of her pieces are created using vintage materials, trims and embellishments combined with modern fabrics, and many styles are produced in limited, exclusive quantities.
From fascinators to fedoras, Jill’s hats have topped Yoko Ono, Donatella Versace, Crown Princess Mary of Denmark, and football legend Jose Foure.
Jill also teaches popular hat-making courses, for both beginner and more advanced students, which are attended by millinery enthusiasts from around the world. Jill Courtemanche Millinery accommodates a variety of client needs, from hats for social events, horse races, religious services and nights on the town, to custom bridal pieces and a modern men’s collection.
CHRISTIE Millinery is a luxury headwear service based in Brisbane, Australia. Christie Murray is the lead Milliner and Creative Director of CHRISTIE Millinery. Christie knew, from the moment she entered her first Millinery Salon, that this was what she was born to do. Millinery was the perfect expression of her flair for design and love of working with people.
Since graduating top of her class at both the Melbourne School of Fashion and TAFE, Christie continues to move from strength to strength. Her passion and talent as a fashion Milliner has led to many design and editorial collaborations, most recently with Westfield. Christie has designed headwear for the British Royal Family and was the only Milliner to show at Australian Fashion Week in Sydney this year.
Christie’s headwear has won multiple awards including the Myer Millinery Award at the Bendigo Cup in 2014 and the National Oaks Day Fashions Championships in Melbourne in 2013. Christie’s Atelier in Queensland offers a unique bespoke service allowing clients to be intimately involved with the design of their own headwear. Each headpiece is hand crafted in-house by Christie and her team of professional Milliners, using luxury materials and quality finishing techniques. Christie’s designs can be viewed and ordered online and in a curated selection of high-end boutiques throughout Australia.
I am thrilled to welcome Fiona, Jill and Christie to Royal Hats and am immensely thankful for their willingness to share their millinery expertise as we discuss royal hats next week at Ascot. Tune in first thing Wednesday morning for our review of hats worn at the first day of the races!