Fascinators may have fallen foul of the rules at Royal Ascot but that only goes to prove the huge rise in popularity of this often elaborate fashion accessory. We saw a trend in hats over the winter months and with the wedding season fast approaching it looks as if we can indulge in our love of kooky headpieces a little longer. Which is why I’ve been snooping around Chloe Haywood’s Folksy shop Hatastic!
Chloe’s hats and fascinators have created quite a stir in the last 12 months and she has recently been selected to show at The Green Closet as part of this years Milan Fashion Week. Here she shares her love of up-cycling, dressing up as a kid and where she hopes to be in five years time.
How long have you been selling on Folksy?
Since March 2009…when I set up my shop on Folksy, that was the day Hatastic! was born. I use my Folksy shop on all my stationery as my first point of contact.
Tell us about your work?
I design and make hats, headpieces and hair accessories out of upcycled materials but more and more now, my headwear is made from vintage materials…simply because I can find some really beautiful millinery materials in stunning colours and I love vintage remnants!
What’s your favourite piece of work?
I think my favourite work is always the last one just made, and currently it has to be Refresher from my Candy Collection. Vintage teal straw with vintage dusty pink millinery grosgrain ribbon and adorned with real sweets covered in resin.
When did it all begin for you?
I’ve always enjoyed dressing up. I used to buy and sell vintage clothes as a side line to my day job, and when my primary source closed down, I was looking for another way to earn some extra cash. I’ve always made things for myself that I can’t buy in the shops and I started making my own headpieces for weddings etc, and when I was asked to make a headpiece for a bride and her two bridesmaids, I decided to set up shop on Folksy. In 2010 I bit the bullet and I worked at Hatastic! full time. It’s been nuts ever since…but all great though!
Tell us about your work space? Favourite place to work?
I work from my workshop at the end of my garden in Surrey. It’s fabulous to have a space that I can go to and shut the door, whether it be to design and make some pieces, or to simply email with a clear mind.
How do you keep your work unique?
Eeek – that’s a question. My ideas come from people I meet, things I see, bits and pieces that I find or from ideas that people have offered me…I’m currently in conversation with a company to design and make some pieces using their remnants…can’t say anymore than that or I’ll give the game away, but its hopefully for my SS13 collection.
Describe your day as a maker?
I try to be as organised as possible which is tricky when you have a young child as plans can sometimes go out of the window. However, I’m lucky enough to have two full days a week that I can really concentrate on my work and then slot it in here and there in the evenings. I’m always checking emails throughout the day though…
What three tools could you not live without?
Needle, scissors and my Iphone!
What gets the creative juices flowing?
A good sleep and a bit of peace and quiet. My work tends to get quite strained when I am stressed. I can’t sew and get flustered, so I have to stop and do something else and then go back to it at a later stage.
Are you inspired by any artists from the past or present?
How do you know when a piece is done?
Love your question! Usually I know when a design is done when I’m happy with it. I treat my designs a bit like working with clay. I have to work and then leave it to rest…work and then leave it to rest… and then look at it again. Then – usually I’m happy with it!
What do you love most about being a designer – maker?
The fact that I have the freedom to do what I want to do gives me pleasure. I enjoy my business and everything it involves. It’s something that I’ve always wanted to do and I love meeting the most extraordinary people like stylists, singers, buyers and of course my clients.
Where would you like to be in 5 years time?
Well I never thought that in three years of starting my business I would be stocked in Fenwicks and going to Milan for Fashion Week so who knows?! In five years I’d love to have the chance to collaborate with a designer, but I’d be happy just earning enough money to carry on being a mum too.
What would you say to any makers starting out?
Believe in yourself and your designs, and make sure your brand is strong. Listen to everyone and talk to everyone in your field and be willing to bend and change according to trends and other peoples opinions.
Flora and Refresher photographs by Juliet Lemon.