As Easter approaches and Irving Berlin’s lyrics about sonnets and Easter bonnets hits the airwaves, one might be forgiven for wondering not if clothes are modern (as the MoMA recently did), but if hats are. In England where there are races and an upcoming royal wedding, the answer is a resounding yes. “Hat wearing,” explains the award-winning London-based milliner Noel Stewart, “has been one of the most uniquely British conventions, as it plays to two of our opposing passions: our love of tradition and also of tearing up the rule book at the same time. From punks to princesses, everyone loves the drama and elegance of a hat.”
Falling for a hat is one thing, wearing one is another, as Stewart acknowledges. “It’s a totally unique experience and takes a little bit of time invested to get the rewards,” he admits. The point, he believes, is to have fun. For Easter, Stewart suggests the wearer focus on color and indulge in a sense of renewal. “It’s spring!” he writes from a drizzly London town, suggesting that revelers focus on fresh colors and “frothy and light textures. This time of year, more than any other,” he adds, “we want to be inspired and provoked by newness.”
Becoming a milliner wasn’t a long-held dream for this Southampton, England–born creative. “Until I was in my early teens, I wanted to be Lou Reed or Nico or an architect,” he tells Vogue. In fact, Stewart started out studying decorative arts before opting for work experience in what became his chosen field. Working with Philip Somerville, who was Queen Elizabeth II’s milliner, and Stephen Jones OBE (Stewart assisted his mentor at Christian Dior haute couture, Louis Vuitton, and John Galliano) inspired Stewart to open his own label after completing a master’s in millinery at the Royal College of Art.
“Classical elegance” defines Stewart’s designs; it’s from this base that he innovates, often finding inspiration in art and architecture. For Fall, Stewart created “spotty veils” for Erdem, wide-brimmed pieces for Mulberry, and “sexy sou’westers” for Eudon Choi, who was inspired by the English countryside of Cornwall. “There is no better way to express your individuality than the right hat,” Stewart states, “You just have to find it. [Once you do, it] will provide power and protection. What more can you ask for?”Read more at:formal dresses canberra | blue formal dresses