A Very Royal Week

Everything seems to be focussed on the royals this week, with the arrival of Her Majesty The Queen visiting our lovely city Chichester on the 30th November, the first time in 27 years, the announcement of Prince Harry and Meghan Markel’s engagement, and THEN the advert I saw on the front of the TV Magazines whilst queuing up this morning for a pint of milk… the hit TV series The Crown is back, I am not sure which of the 3 royal subjects I am more exited about!

As a milliner, I study the Royal family closely (from a fashion point of view of course) and just love the varied hats, the one thing about Her Majesty The Queen is that she always pulls off those bright bold colours.

What I do know is next May, when Prince Harry and Meghan Markel finally wed in Windsor Castle, all eyes will be glued on the celebs and their outfits! I cannot wait to see what hats, fascinators and headpieces are shown off at the wedding of the year. Lets hope the fashion has moved on from these!

I am sure the Spring Summer 2018 collections from all the fashion houses, which will be announced at London Fashion week on February 16th will come through at the party (sorry wedding) of the year. My thoughts and designs are already being planned for the next Clare Louise Millinery collection! Watch this space

Keeping up with the trends!

This week saw the launch of my new Autumn Winter 2017 collection of bespoke handmade hats. From vibrant violets and rocking reds, to more subtle colours such as saffron and soft grey. I love playing with the colours, but the textures that can be created on a hat are stunning! The use of feathers and fur are perfect for the autumn.

But as we all know, fashion doesn’t stay still! With London Fashion Week just over a month ago it was fascinating to see all the fabrics, styles and colours that will be coming in the Spring Summer 2018 season.

Here are 5 tips from the LFW17

Greenery is the top colour for SS18

  1. Clothing is all about layering up and sheer fabrics
  2. The nautical theme is still around, instead of straight lines it will be about the s-lines
  3. The textile trend is tartan
  4. Best quote from LFW ‘Glitter is for the day, not just the night’ Victoria Beckham

So, back to the here and now… if you would like to see the Autumn/Winter collection first hand, then come and see me at the Rare Brand Market on the 16th November at Goodwood Race Course, Chichester or view my shop for more details.

What will the Mother of the Bride Hat look like in 100 years time?

Visual futurists all over the world are predicting all kinds of trends, what will technology look like in 100 years time? How will we conduct our social life 100 years from now? How will we interact with our family even 50 years from now? What will life look like?

Being in the fashion industry, creating bespoke handmade hats, I often look to the past for inspiration, but I often wonder what fashion will look like in the future? I mean… have you seen cyberpunk? It will be robot girls wearing cyber dresses with geek gas masks and geometric hats!

If you search for futuristic fashions, you tend to get a feel of the whole steam punk, post apocalyptic trends at the moment, I wonder if 100 years ago, they also looked to the future wondering how fashion would be?

Turning the attention to the wedding of the future, and what outfit the mother of the bride will be wearing, I am hoping, as fashion usually does, the decades will come back around again, who knows, it may be the gorgeous Cloche hat of the roaring 1920’s with a futuristic crazy twist!

If you want a hat that is perfectly suited to your personality, then get in touch!


5 reasons Why I Love Millinery (And You Should, Too!)

Couture Millinery has become my life passion, being able to create beautiful works of art to compliment an array of outfits and events. So why should we all love millinery?

  1. Expressing the personality of its wearer from embellished headbands to wide brimmed dress hats.
  2. Oh so British! Royal weddings will always see a surge in hats as will the pageantry of Royal Ascot and other racing events.
  3. The varied history of hat making, and the trends through the years… just fascinating!
  4. Celebrities and iconic women, such as Audrey Hepburn who have brought hats to the fashion forefront.
  5. Adapting hats to create the overall look, from vintage pillboxes to look the part at events such as the Goodwood Revival or being the proud Mother of the Bride at the wedding of the year.

This is why we love British Millinery and creating handmade bespoke hats for every occasion, for a consultation or to find inspiration on the perfect hat, email me or call me to arrange a consultation


Here come the girls!

The Qatar Goodwood Festival, my favourite in the horseracing calendar. Not only is it local to me near Chichester, it is one the most glamorous in the race season, and the biggest focus of the 5 day festival, fondly know as ‘Glorious Goodwood’ is Ladies Day.

Being the most photographed event of its kind, ladies day is most definitely the place to see and be seen. The rich and famous flock to Goodwood, hoards of women spend hours (often days) in preparation carefully putting their outfits together, including the pièce de résistance, the showcase of their personality… the hat!

Attending Goodwood is like being in heaven for me, surrounded by these amazing pieces, an abundance of inspiration… too busy people watching I sometimes forget to place my bets!

One of the very unique points about Ladies Day at the Qatar Goodwood Festival, is the Magnolia Cup presented by Swarovski. Silks created by high profile designers, 12 fearless women, some who have only just recently jumped on a horse, compete in the charity race for Place2be


We are all very much behind our very own local Olympian Sarah Ayton, although she only had her first jockey training session in December, with her winners mentality she is sure to succeed, we will all be cheering for her!

If you have missed out on your handmade bespoke hat for this season, please keep an eye on our shop for our after season sale hats.

Quintessentially British Fashion at the Races

This is my absolute favourite in the horse racing calendar, not only is it on my doorstep (living just a stones throw from Chichester) in my opinion, it is certainly the most glamorous of all the race festivals.

We are having the most amazing summer so far with scorching temperatures and long sunny evenings, I do hope the sunshine carries on until the 1st of August when the Qatar Goodwood Festival starts. Lovingly known as ‘Glorious Goodwood’ this event is the largest race meeting in the world with an amazing mix of sporting and social highlights.

The social and fashion element of the Qatar Goodwood Festival is also very unique, the quintessentially English ‘Goodwood’ style is certainly a theme that runs throughout, its smart but never stuffy, a wonderful excuse to dress up and express yourself through fashion.

Here is your guide to the Goodwood Racing Festival dress code, remember the Qatar Goodwood Festival is one of the most photographed events of the season!

Richmond Enclosure

Ladies: an effortless dress that feels fun but chic would be perfect for this enclosure, vibrant prints will be sure to make you stand out. This is the perfect place to wear a bespoke hat from Clare Louise Millinery, stand out with your own handmade one off piece.

Gentlemen: A jacket and tie is required for the Richmond Enclosure, dressing for Goodwood should be relaxed and elegant, the kind of outfit that has timeless appeal but a smartness to make sure you fit in wherever you go.

Gordon & Lennox Enclosure

Gordon Enclosure: More informal than the Richmond Enclosure but no less elegant. Jackets and ties are not compulsory, but still dress to impress.

Lennox Enclosure has no formal dress code.

We only have 19 days left until the festival starts, so if you haven’t yet sorted your outfit or your hat, contact me to book in for a consultation to start creating your bespoke handmade hat or visit our new shop for inspiration

Royal Ascot Overview 2017

As Royal Ascot 2017 comes to a close, I’ve found it fascinating as a milliner to see what crazy as well as chic styles there has been! From fashion fails to sheer perfection Ascot has definitely seen everything (good and bad) this year!

One great thing that has come from Royal Ascot 2017 is the jumpsuit which has made it onto the new dress code list, and I do think the classic jumpsuit is here to stay!

The Queen, dressed in beautiful bold colours such as lime green and pink, looked stunning even at 91 with the Duchess of Cambridge looking beautifully chic in her Alexander Mcqueen lacy number.

Big bold florals and pinks seemed to steal the show. There were so many beautiful hats, I couldn’t possibly choose a favourite feathers and butterflies certainly had a place this season, mind you, I would say that sometimes bigger isn’t better!

Temperatures reached a soaring 33 degrees, so the lovely ladies wearing a thick layer of self tan certainly found that in the heat… you can melt! The streaky patchy look was certainly noticed throughout. I do love checking out the latest fashion faux pas!

The best part of Ascot for me was having our lovely ladies send me photos of their day, our wonderful competition winner Andrea Mills and one of our other customers Lara Goldsmith, looking very ‘race chic’ It makes me so proud to see the hats I’ve made showcased at such a prestigious event.

Next on the list is the ‘glorious’ Qatar Goodwood Festival, working day and night at the moment with the orders coming in for the August Racing Festival. So if you haven’t got your hat sorted yet for Goodwood, contact me and we can get you organised, you never know, you may be ‘papped’ wearing one of the Clare Louise Millinery Bespoke hats!

Our Glorious Winner of a Beautiful Bespoke Hat

We had such amazing response to our latest competition at Clare Louise Millinery, there are so many people out there who deserve a hat for their event, whether that’s for a wedding or for Royal Ascot, so thank you to everyone who engaged with us on facebook.

But there can be only one winner… drum roll please… that was the lovely Andrea Mills from Littlehampton, West Sussex, who I have to add, has never won anything in a competition before! Andrea was incredibly surprised.

Andrea is an avid fan of the Qatar Goodwood Festival and heads up to the racecourse at least 3 times during the festival week, she will also be showcasing her beautiful hat at Royal Ascot this year! And also had an added bonus of a second hat for hire for a wedding in Spain.

In an interview while she was having her bespoke hat designed, Andrea told me ‘I am always a hat wearer, and any occasion I will find an excuse to wear one. After losing 2 stone with slimming world, my confidence has grown more and more with finding outfits and hats to compliment’

Andreas friend summed it up in a message after saying… “OMG !!! That couldn’t have happened to a more deserving, hat loving, hat needing, gorgeous girl! Fabulous! you look beautiful in both xxx”

For more information on how to get your hands on a stunning bespoke hat, please contact me via our website or call me on 07901 717900

Mad as a Hatter!

For those of you who know me, or we have met through my millinery consultation appointment, you will know this title is quite apt! I just love hats, mad about them! Beavering away till early hours of the morning threading, sewing and sculpting the perfect hat that is as unique as you, but did you know where the term ‘Mad as a Hatter’ came from? Or anything about the history of wearing hats?

Did you know the earliest record of hat-wearing comes from a cave at Lussac-les-Châteaux in central France. The rock drawings there are 15,000 years old and we’ve been putting things on our heads ever since.

I can’t imagine they would have the style and sophistication of the 21st century, they certainly wouldn’t have had the amazing materials such as beads and peacock feathers more a cap or material for practical purposes.

Bringing us more to the present day and away from caveman times, our second fascinating, (yet a little gory) fact is hats were used to poison people- literally! The term, ‘Mad as a Hatter’ comes from the process of using mercury, a highly toxic liquid which when exposed for prolonged periods can cause severe damage to the nervous system, with dementia type systems. I promise you, this would never happen at Clare Louise Millinery! You are in safe hands.

In 1960 hats became less popular, when beehive hair dos would not accommodate them. However when Princess Diana started wearing them, and Philip Treacy began designing for the Royal family, they made a huge comeback, and have been a very important part of the outfit ever since.

The wonder of wearing a hat can transform a complete look, and portrays a unique image to the individual wearing it. Combining style, fashion and attitude, the hat can give any message the wearer desires.

So my question to you, do you choose your hat first or your outfit? If this perplexes you, contact Clare Edmonds of Clare Louise Millinery or Creations Hair Salon in Chichester to book for the style event Chic! The Race is On 24th May 5:30pm to get the low down on how to dress for the 2017 race season.

Vicky Booker our Style Guru, along with Clare Louise Millinery and Creations Hair Salon will help you achieve the perfect look for Goodwood or Ascot this year.

For more information contact

Clare Edmonds  –  email me

Emma Shepherd – email me

Vicky Bookeremail me

Hats Fit for a Queen

There is something really special about us ladies getting organised for a day out at the races, or figuring out the perfect outfit for the role of Mother of the Bride or Groom at the wedding of the year. The thing that ties these two fabulous events together is Hats!

I have always had a great passion for hats, it’s amazing how you can be so creative and expressive with different headpieces or fascinators. Many years ago, after lots of research and purchasing some materials I started having a go at creating my own designs.

I was inspired at a very early age by my grandmother who was a first class seamstress, but wanted to learn the art of traditional Millinery and I was lucky to find the perfect person!

Rose Cory, who had been the Milliner to the late Queen Mother, she took me under her wing and taught me how to create bespoke handmade hats for all different occasions such as weddings, proms, and horse racing. Being local to Goodwood Racecourse and Fontwell Park, I get the chance help so many ladies with their total look.

I believe people have become interested in Hats again, I think they enjoy the glamour and elegance that a hat brings to an outfit and the way it can be used to express your personality, a hat is so much more than just a hat!

Every piece I create is made by hand, all hand sewn, every flower created and placed by hand, every piece of detail carefully thought out, which gives us the point of difference. Who knows, with the link to Royalty, you may see the lovely Kate Middleton wearing one of my hats sometime in the future!

For more information on hiring or buying hats contact Clare on 07901 717900