Head turning fashion designs made in Norwich

PUBLISHED: 12:00 17 April 2013

The Designers Show at Epic Studios for Norwich Fashion Week 2013. Wright & Revell. Picture: Denise Bradley.

The Designers Show at Epic Studios for Norwich Fashion Week 2013. Wright & Revell. Picture: Denise Bradley.

Archant copyright 2012

Get a head for fashion as the hat is the must-have accessory this year, says EMMA HARROWING.

Regular readers will know that the hat is making a comeback this year. As I reported a few months ago hats were all over the catwalks in London, Paris, New York and Milan and now it’s a look that has filtered down to the high street. New season collections feature wide brim hats, caps, straw boaters and the trilby, there is also the suggestion that the full hat will soon replace the fascinator as the headwear for choice for wedding and race day goers.

At Norwich Fashion Week last month it came to light that there are many milliners in Norfolk who have the talent to turn heads with their collection of hats. The Designers Show highlighted the work of three of these designers. Norwich based milliners Siofra Connor with her Betsy Hatter collection of fairy- and nature-inspired hats and fascinators, Mandy Wright of Wright & Revell with her geometric style collection and Annelli Clarke of Annelli Clarke Millinery who was part of the next generation bridal designer collection BridalNEXT with a bird/insect-inspired mask.

Bridget O’Connell a felt maker from Norwich also showcased her collection of Felt by Bridget bespoke felt hats at the Retailers Show that launched Norwich Fashion Week 2013. Her hats were part of the Ethika set alongside raffia hats by Julia Hurst of Raffique Hats in Wymondham.

And it is not just hats that are causing a stir in Norfolk at the moment, masks were also a trend at fashion week, and not only with Annelli Clarke’s design. The craze began when King’s Lynn designer Ashley Pearce of Mystic Magic Masquerade won the first BridalNEXT competition in 2012. His pearl design mask showed how brides could wear a mask instead of a veil on their wedding day, with even the groom having a mask in what could be a masquerade themed affair. At Norwich Fashion Week Ashley showcased a collection of steampunk-inspired masks at the Fashion Mash Up show, again questioning whether this niche look could become mainstream fashion.

What is clear is that headwear is making a statement in fashion circles not only in Norfolk but throughout the UK. It’s the chance for you to express your personality and change your look in one single tilt of your hat. What’s more it’s a fun trend that anyone can wear, as if the milliners in Norfolk are anything to go by you can get a hat designed specifically for you.


Annelli Clarke Millinery, 07507 521812,

Betsy Hatter,

Felt by Bridget, 01603 630188,

Mystic Magic Masquerade,

Raffique Hats, 01953 601456,

Wright & Revell, 07941 464183.

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