Curious Trends


Arty accessories: curiosity hats

Quirky hats, adorned with bizarre curiosities are no longer confined to Royal Ascot. Unique and unusual hats and fascinators are increasingly being spotted at major sporting events and social occasions. Many are homemade by the wearers. However, established designers are trying hard to emulate the slightly eccentric, offbeat look, by creating handmade hats with arty originality, character and charm.

We’ve become accustomed to curious hats on the catwalk. Nagi Noda’s human hair animal head hats are some of the most unusual in recent years.

Many fashion designers also create millinery designs as part of their collections. This floral creation by David Longshaw being an example of a sculptural design shaped more like a long-haired wig than a traditional hat.

Whatever appears on the catwalk usually goes mainstream. Now hair is being used for embellishing hats (see Charlie le Mindu's work  below), as well as for hair accessories (as previously reported). And expect to see more hair-shaped hats in shops over the coming year.

Other trends are also filtering down – like the current fascination with natural curiosities, including shells, coral and insects.

Piers Atkinson is an artist, illustrator, costume designer, party organizer, fashion editor and project manager – in addition to being a milliner. His creative energies are matched by his insatiable curiosity, which is reflected in his S/S 2012 collection. Drawing upon nature’s flora and fauna, his hats are adorned with rhinestone and glitter embellished bugs and insects.

J Smith Esquire is another millinery brand to watch. Justin Smith, formerly a successful hairdresser, has created headpieces for the likes of Moschino and Manish Arora. His latest hat collection draws upon surrealism, with Magritte-like skyscapes and curious Daliesque influences.

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