Margaret Woodliff Wright, a well-known hat designer from rural Northumberland, is making spectacular headway in the millinery world.
Not only did she find one of her hats in the top three from creations from 75 of the world’s finest hat makers in a recent prestigious competition, she’s also taken the bold step of rebranding her entire company.
The Northumberland Milliner, as Margaret’s business is now known, features a collection of stunning headpieces and accessories inspired by the landscape and beauty of her home county. She said: “It was on a recent master class in France where I made the decision to rebrand my business as The Northumberland Milliner.
“I’m immensely proud of my home county, especially our unique Northumberland tartan.
“Our region has an outstanding palette of colours to choose from and a wealth of textures. For example, I love using pheasant feathers in my designs and I’m looking forward to bringing Northumberland’s vibrant natural beauty to the rest of the world in my hat and corsage designs.”
Margaret has enjoyed major success at several notable millinery competitions in recent years.
Her work was a stand-out piece at the recent Influence competition, in association with Rachel Trevor Morgan, the British millinery designer who holds the Royal warrant to supply hats to the Queen, was organised by Parkin Fabrics, the UK’s leading supplier of creative millinery and fashion materials.
The competition required the entrants to create a unique hat with the theme of Influence. Using the red felt, black veiling and wire in her creation, Margaret created a stunning hat entitled Aureole. Her design was influenced by the work of the 20th century Austrian milliner Adele List and inspired by the fabric and wallpaper creations of German textile designer, Ulf Moritz.
She added: “I doubt I’ll ever get to a stage where learning more about millinery isn’t my passion. I’m constantly developing new techniques and styles and absorbing influences from things around me.”
Margaret enjoys sharing her experiences and knowledge, organising millinery workshops and giving talks. Yesterday, she staged a talk at the Northumberland Golf Club, entitled A Royal Celebration of Hats and Flowers.