We catch up with London's hottest young milliner, Bundle MacLaren. BundleMaclaren.co.uk
How did you get involved in millinery? I’ve always loved hats but I felt that there was a real gap in the market for an interesting, contemporary and bold designer who could make hats for more affordable prices, so I did a year’s apprenticeship with Gina Foster and then completed the BTEC in traditional millinery at the Kensington & Chelsea College. The mixture of the two was great as got to see how a millinery business runs, as well as being able to learn traditional millinery techniques on the side.
What do you love about designing headwear compared to other areas of design? Hats are great fun. They don’t take themselves too seriously and it’s always for a special and exciting occasion when someone comes to you to have a hat made, so you get to build up amazing and very personal relationships with your clients.
What three elements do you feel are needed to create an amazing headpiece? Color, confidence and wit.
How do you think your culture heritage contributes to your design aesthetic? Hats are such a huge part of our British heritage. No one does pomp and circumstance like the Brits and we love any opportunity to bring out our finery and play at dressing up! I love the traditions and etiquette that sit alongside wearing hats ie. what type of hat to wear to what occasion. What’s appropriate if you’re mother of the bride or what’s expected if you’re attending the Queen’s Garden Party at Buckingham Palace.
What materials do you most like to work with? I love working with felt. It’s wonderfully versatile and durable so you can be really experimental with it. We also use a lot of feathers in our designs which are such a clever and natural material with timeless elegance, color and beauty. There are no ends to what you can do with the humble feather!
What has been your crowning achievement thus far? I’m just thrilled to have started a millinery design business from scratch in my Battersea kitchen which has flourished five years later into a successful, busy and booming business. It’s a wonderful way to spend your day and earn a living and I feel very lucky.
What does the future hold for the brand? We produced our first trilby collection this year along with a bridal collection and both have been a huge success so we will continue to grow those. Our trilbies are going to be stocked in Anthropologie this autumn/winter which is very exciting. And we’re also in the creative phase of a very exciting new collection called Dare to Dream which is going to showcase some really special designs. So watch this space!