Hats off to what milliner has achieved in first year

Margaret Woodliff Wright with one of her creations for London Hat Week.
Margaret Woodliff Wright with one of her creations for London Hat Week.

A Northumbrian milliner is celebrating her first year in business by being invited to showcase her creations at two cutting-edge international exhibitions and winning a place in the finals of an industry competition.

Margaret Woodliff Wright set up her business at Doxford Newhouses, at Doxford, after graduating with high distinctions in Couture Millinery from Leeds College of Art.

The course taught her how to make hats and headpieces from scratch starting with the moulding process known as blocking, through a myriad of couture techniques. It also focussed on the design and marketing of couture millinery.

Since that time, she has forged a name for herself and she has now been invited to showcase her work at London Hat Week (LHW).

The prestigious event is being staged across the capital between October 6 and 12 and celebrates the art of hats in the City.

The official LHW exhibition will show hats created by some of the most talented contemporary international milliners so Margaret is delighted to be the only North East milliner selected to exhibit two hats at Milliner X Artisan, in fashionable Petticoat Lane.

She will also exhibit a headpiece at Cupola, an exhibition of hats by international designers being held in Kensington from October 9 to 11.

For both exhibitions Margaret has submitted designs with a recycling theme.

It follows her winning a place in the finals of last week’s North of England Wedding Awards, for excellence in customer service.

Margaret said: “I’ve only been in business for a year, so it’s a real privilege to be selected to showcase my designs during London Hat Week.

“I’m also very proud as I was shortlisted in the new business category of North of England Wedding Awards for my customer service skills.

“Creatively I think of hats as wearable works of art, whether they are a couture design or a unique up cycled piece, I believe that hats should reflect both your personal style and personality.”

Margaret creates couture designs suitable for weddings, special occasions and events such as days out at the races. She also up cycles ‘retired’ hats and fascinators for clients, and crafts men’s and women’s caps from recycled fabrics including old cashmere jumpers. Typically Margaret’s couture commissions each take around 50 hours to make from design to completion. One of her specialities is the creation of personalised trilbies and she has made a number of bespoke designs for members of various sporting clubs.