I am thrilled to welcome back three contemporary royal milliners to share their thoughts about the royal hats we see at the races this year. Fiona Mangan, Jill Courtemanche and Christie Murray are talented and delightful women I am very excited to have them join me for Ascot week. Each one of these accomplished royal milliners is immensely gifted in their craft and I am honoured to welcome them back. While you might remember Fiona, Jill and Christie from their contributions during Ascot week last year, here is a more formal introduction.
Fiona Mangan is an award-winning milliner is based in Co. Galway, Ireland. She has been creating hats and headpieces for races, weddings and special occasions since 2011. She has held the title of ‘Irish Accessory Designer of the Year’ at the Kerry Fashion Awards; been awarded an International Hatty Awards and her headpieces have won ‘Best Fascinator’ at the Breeders Cup in Los Angeles and a number of Best Dressed Ladies competitions in 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 having extensive Irish TV coverage.
The former Architect’s style is edgy with a distinctly fresh and contemporary quality. Using time-honoured millinery techniques with both traditional and unconventional materials she creates truly original creations. Her appreciation of form, proportion, composition, function and structure combined with a strong colour palette, are elements which results in clean cut hats and headpieces. The pieces are beautifully crafted with precision and attention to detail. This is the signature of Fiona’s brand.
For the bespoke service, each piece nods to the fashion of the moment whilst combining the wearer’s personality and style. Her style reflects the modern woman – the delicate, ethereal female, that is still edgy, strong and unyielding.
Fiona’s hats are stocked in Galway, Dublin, Kildare Village Outlet, Miami, London, Abuja 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 Murray is a certified Fashion Milliner and the Creative Director of CHRISTIE Millinery. Her unique aesthetic and sculptural designs have positioned Christie at the forefront of Australian Fashion Millinery, with collections shown at Australian Fashion Week & Melbourne Spring Fashion week. Christie also collaborates regularly with Westfield and other established Australian luxury labels.
Her multi-award winning designs have donned Royalty and have featured in VOGUE Australia editorials and In Style Magazines. In 2015 Christie’s Millinery was awarded the ‘Style Award’ at Derby Day at Flemington and a Millinery Award at Melbourne Spring Fashion Week.
Christie’s RTW designs can be purchased online and in a curated selection of boutiques across Australia.
I am so pleased to welcome back Fiona, Jill and Christie and am so very thankful for their willingness to share their immense millinery knowledge as we admire (and admonish!) the royal hats we see at the races this year. Check back later today for our review of Day 1.