1. WAS YOUR HEADPIECE CRAFTED FOR A SPECIAL EVENT?
Yes, my eldest daughter, Miriam, was getting married in Southwark Cathedral in London. I was looking for a suitable hat to wear, which would match her Art Deco wedding dress as well as the colour theme that was chosen for the wedding party: greys, blues and navys.
2. DID YOU HAVE ANY SPECIFIC REQUIREMENTS?
I wanted a hat which I could put on and forget about. I did not want to be conscious of it throughout my daughter’s wedding. I wanted something that would be comfortable which would not give anybody in the congregation cause to say “Crikey. Look at that!” I particularly wanted my daughter to be comfortable with what I was wearing so she could have a wedding without any stress.
I wasn’t looking for a fascinator or anything with big feathers. I wanted something more subdued. So that was the premise. The hat needed to be something that would be comfortable, something that I knew I would look good in and something that matched my chosen outfit and my daughter’s colour scheme.
3. WHAT WAS YOUR INVOLVEMENT IN THE HAT-MAKING PROCESS?
I visited Sue three times over a two or three week period. As soon as I entered her studio, I found an existing hat that I liked. I put it on and it felt comfortable but I wanted my other daughter’s opinion before I made any decisions. Sue welcomed us both back a week later. My daughter agreed that the hat I had liked was “very me” so the basic hat shape was already there but Sue altered it just for me. I took my wedding outfit along with me so Sue could see the colours and she created a flower embellishment to match what I was wearing.
When I put the hat on and walked about the studio, I didn’t feel it would blow off, fall off, change shape or move about on my head. This hat matched my specifications perfectly and it was beautiful.
4. HOW DID YOU FEEL WEARING YOUR HEADPIECE?
I felt very comfortable wearing my Sue Wood Millinery hat. I knew that it was well made and that it suited me. My family all liked it and said that it suited me. I just felt very confident in it. I was wearing a hat that was appropriate for the mother of the bride.
5. HOW DID YOU FIND SUE WOOD MILLINERY?
Sue and I had worked together in the same office at the Wirral Council before she trained as a milliner. Since my retirement four years ago, I have been volunteering at the Williamson Art Gallery once a week. One day, I spotted a poster for a millinery workshop with Sue Wood Millinery and I wondered whether it was the same person. I phoned up and it was! I explained about my daughter’s upcoming wedding and she took me into her studio and she had such a wonderful array of different shapes and sizes of hats.
6. WILL YOU USE SUE WOOD MILLINERY AGAIN?
Yes I’ve already said that I would love to hire another hat. My daughter wants a top hat for Glastonbury but I spotted a cloche hat in Sue’s studio. I’m going to make a cloche at one of her winter workshops.
I would comment that Sue is very talented. I just felt very relaxed about it all. I didn’t feel pressured into buying anything or hiring anything. I felt that if Sue thought something wasn’t going to work, she would have said
She was very encouraging. She just let me mooch about looking at the various hats and trying different things on. The whole experience was lovely.