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With wedding season upon us our search for the perfect occasion headwear has led us to Rachel Trevor-Morgan – the milliner to the Queen no less


or more than 20 years milliner Rachel Trevor-Morgan has been designing glamorous and feminine headpieces for the UK’s top fashion

retailers and her discerning client list. With this in mind, we tracked her down to her 17th century atelier in St James’s, London, to fi nd out what inspires her coveted designs. “Anywhere and everything inspires me,”

she says. “It could be a beautiful bunch of fl owers or an idea that has come from working through designs for my clients. I also get a lot of inspiration from hats and headdresses worn in the 1940s and ‘50s, which was such an elegant era when women wore hats with such ease. “My mother always wore a lot of hats and

I’m sure that must have had a positive eff ect too. I initially thought that I wanted a career in the theatre and I suppose it was that sense of drama that led me to hats.” Despite her initial ambitions to become an

actress, Rachel’s passion for couture millinery evolved following apprenticeships with leading hat makers Philip Somerville and Graham Smith. “Graham was a master of his craft,” she says,

“and his fi nish and technique were second to none. I always felt his designs were perfectly balanced and pure elegance. “I think that nowadays there is a real return to beautifully handcrafted couture. T e quality

of your fi nish and design should always win through. T at said, it can be a slow process to build that reputation and good PR is a must.” She adds: “When I am designing hats I want

to create feminine hats and headdresses that are going to fl atter my clients and make them stand out for all the right reasons. Whilst I keep my eye on general fashion trends, I prefer to create timeless pieces. My hats are always perfectly fi nished and balanced.” Each piece is also individually hand blocked and stitched in her London workshop, with every fl ower hand dyed and rolled. It is this commitment to her craft that has seen Rachel recognised among her peers and collaborate with designers such as Caroline Charles, Stewart Parvin and Bruce Oldfi eld. Awards success has also followed and she has become a customer favourite in Harrods, and supplies to stockists in the US and Japan. “I think I do have my own particular handwriting and a client base that come to me because of that,” she says. “You are always conscious of your clients and the types of events that they are likely to be attending. Most of all, I want my clients to look beautiful and feel perfectly fi nished.” Since 2006 this client list has included the

Queen, whom Rachel has designed hats for on numerous occasions, including Royal Ascot, the monarch’s 80th birthday and Diamond Wedding anniversary celebrations. She also

designs pieces for other members of the Royal Family. She says: “Of course my appointment to make hats for the Queen has been my greatest achievement. It is such an honour, and I am now making hats for the younger generation of Royals too. I was also delighted to see so many of my hats worn at the Royal Wedding – it was such a positive event that has had a wonderful eff ect on hat wearing in general. “Obviously there are certain considerations when making hats for the Queen,” she adds, “but they are mostly practical, such as making sure that the brim is not too big so that she can get in and out of cars easily and, of course, so that people can see her face. As a designer you always have to consider the occasion for which the hat is being worn.” To conclude, with one of her busiest times,

Royal Ascot, on the way therefore, what can we expect from Rachel’s latest collection? “T ere is a mix of brimmed picture hats,

delicate pillbox hats and headdresses,” she says. “Silhouettes follow structural, simple lines. We have lots of beautiful hand tooled fl owers and alluring veils too. It is chic and striking.”

So please form an orderly queue ladies…

For more information on Rachel Trevor-Morgan and her latest collections visit


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