Well what a summer season it has been for hats.

The Jubilee celebrations were a roaring success with many of the younger royals looking stunning and really elegant. Ascot proved to be a year of less is more, which I think, is fabulous and a trend which I think will continue into autumn/winter. I will fill you all in on the upcoming trends in my next blog!

After the rush of Ascot and wedding season I found myself up to my eyes finishing a collection for the Ladies' Day at the RHS Flower Show Tatton Park. It was a huge honour for me to be asked by the RHS and a huge honour for me to show my collection alongside two really established milliners, Adrian Philip Howard and Vivien Sheriff.

Another great honour for me is to team up with the wonderful Rijk Zeman of Zeman couture. Rijk and I first worked on a photoshoot in February and to say his clothes are exquisite is a huge understatement. Rijk showed a number of couture pieces with my headwear as part of two catwalk shows at Tatton.

The collection I showed is inspired by Vintage Hollywood from the 1920s through to the 1950s – the age of glamour!! The 20 pieces are all made in Ivory and black. I used a variety of materials to hopefully show my skill and diversity as a milliner.

I personally feel being diverse is a good skill to have. With such a wide range of customers, I need to be able to design and produce hats as unique and as special as each customer. It is really important to me that each client leaves my studio feeling they have a fantastic piece they will love wearing and will make them feel glamorous and truly special.

I have had so many phone calls from my clients to thank me for their hats this season; it really does spur me on to continue to follow my dream. I graduated two years ago and to say the last 18 months running my own business has been a learning curve is a huge understatement. Running a business and raising two daughters can be very stressful, but the kind comments I get really are a huge motivation and If I can make someone feel so special it really does makes the 18 hour days’ worth it!

Some of my clients have had a really tough time either emotionally or physically, some due to illness. I know many women out a there are going through the same. They have little time or money or have been too ill to feel glamorous. My company ethos is ‘every Woman deserves to feel special’ and with this in mind next week I have launched a FACEBOOK campaign to search for a ’Brand Ambassador’. Someone who would be a good advocate for Suzanne Gill Millinery.

I would like ladies to contact me with their inspirational stories, saying how they have beaten the odds. The lucky lady with the most compelling story will be invited to become my Brand Ambassador, and in so doing will enjoy some really fantastic experiences. They will of course be provided with a bespoke hat, and will have every opportunity to show it off. Their prize as Brand Ambassador will include a pair of tickets to a horseracing event, courtesy of Eclipse Magazine, who of course produce this fabulous online magazine devoted to the social side of horseracing. Not only that, but my Brand Ambassador will get the chance to live the high life with 1 night's Dinner, Bed & Breakfast for two at the prestigious Black Swan Hotel in Helmsley, North Yorkshire.

Whoever is chosen as my Brand Ambassador will feature in an afternoon fashion show to be held on Sunday 16th September 2012 at the fabulous Black Swan Hotel in Helmsley. 

If you have a story to tell and share my vision for helping women who are up against the odds to feel special, I would love to hear from you. Just log on to my Facebook site to enter.

I look forward to keeping you up to date with progress.





"I qualified with a distinction in HNC Millinery at the Leeds College of Art in July 2010.  I specialise in designing and hand making one-off bespoke hats and headpieces both in classic and contemporary styles, although Winter Fashion  forward pieces is where my passion really lies.

"Before graduating I was offered a commission to design and make a collection of 1940s hats for an exhibition at one of the country's leading tourist attractions. I have also collaborated both locally and nationally with LK Bennett, one of the country's most prestigious fashion brands.

"I have a real passion for my art, and I hope this is conveyed in each individual piece I design and produce. I believe designs that hold true to our British heritage have a strong place in today’s market where customers are seeking providence from the goods they buy.

"I live in Ampleforth on the edge of the North Yorkshire Moors, an area which is truly inspirational. I live at home with my two daughters. My husband is in the oil industry and travels away from home frequently. We have a soft Labrador called Harry, we enjoy a daily walk on the moors. When I do have time I love riding and make the most of the open moors for a good gallop!!

"I travel to Paris on a regular basis and again this is a huge inspiration to me. The city is so beautiful and I have always had a love of the French fashion houses of Chanel and Dior. I have a love of vintage clothes and I feel this feeds my inspiration."


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