From The Maker: Let Them Wear Hats!

Só Collective | From the Maker | April 2017


Let them Wear Hats!


This April, Só Collective at Kildare Village showcases the work of some of Ireland’s most talented milliners as part of “Let Them Wear Hats!”, our special focus on dressing up and occasion wear.

View these unique millinery creations at Kildare Village’s Tourist Information Centre and in Só Collective from 4 April to 4 May 2017.

To celebrate the spirit of dressing up this spring join us on Tuesday 25 April 2017 for a special one off VIP trunk show featuring womenswear couturier and designer Umit Kutluk with consultations by milliner Emily-Jean O’Byrne. Drop in, with a friend, anytime between 10.00 - 12.00 or 12.00 - 14.00! 

You can enjoy an additional 15% off the Village Price on Umit Kutluk and Emily Jean pieces from the Só Collective Boutique during the VIP Trunk Event, Tuesday 25 April. Visit the boutique for further details or you can click here.


Umit Kutluk was born in Turkey, and worked across many disciplines in the Turkish fashion industry – textiles, manufacturing, sales and distribution – before moving to Dublin in 2007. He graduated with honours in fashion design from the Grafton Academy, Dublin and developed his brand Umit Kutluk in 2011. A year later he opened his salon in the relaxed grandeur of a magnificent Georgian building on Merrion Square. Here, using distinctive cutting techniques and exquisite fabrics that are mixed and embellished with great attention to detail, he produces elegant seasonal ready to wear, haute couture and wedding collections. Umit Kutluk is a member of the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland.

Umit will be joined by Irish milliner and jewellery designer Emily-Jean O’Byrne, who has been creating striking collections for the last ten years for both the hat couture and bridal market. Her boutique in Galway highlights a passion for working with diverse materials and embellishing her designs with jewels, crystals and handmade brooches. At the core of all of her designs is a sense of femininity, expressed using a wide variety silks, satins, plumes, quills and ribbons.

Emily Jean studied millinery at the London College of Fashion and following this she trained in London with renowned milliners Louis Mariette and Dillon Wallwork, before going to Paris to work at Maison Michel, the official millinery house of Chanel.


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Millinery will be on display throughout the month by:


Aoife Harrison
Dublin Based milliner Aoife Harrison has been creating bespoke hats since 2008, with eye-catching designs for bridal and race day wear. Pieces can be made to order, using materials such as pearls, silks, vintage lace and jewellery which are sourced worldwide. Aoife expertly combines sparkling detail with delicate fabrics and intricate beading to create timeless collections.


Aoife Kirwan
Having studied under couturier and milliner Thomas Von Nordhiem and at the London College of Fashion before returning to Ireland to launch her own label, Aoife Kirwan's technical ability shines through each and every piece. All of her hats are completely handcrafted using traditional millinery techniques and the highest quality materials. Aoife’s studio is based in Mountrath, Co. Laois.


Ashleigh Myles
Award winning Irish Milliner Ashleigh Myles from Dublin specialises in hand crafted hats and headpieces. Ashleigh creates unique styles with personality, finishing outfits for special occasions with an individual’s vision always in mind. Ashleigh’s designs are handcrafted from vibrant satins, silks, lace, pearls, feathers and more.


Caithriona King
Caithriona King is an award winning milliner based in Corofin, Co. Galway. Caithriona is inspired by materials and their sculptural qualities and derives inspiration from exotic birds and fauna, and sees millinery as an opportunity to create wearable works of art.


Catriona McLoughlin
Artist and milliner Catriona McLoughlin creates exquisite handcrafted contemporary designs. Graduating in Visual Arts Practice, she went on to train as a milliner with the Grafton Academy of Fashion Design, and fuses her work as an artist with technical craftsmanship to create individual and unique headpieces. The finest traditional materials sit alongside more modern mixtures so while contemporary in style, each headpiece pays quiet tribute to a timeless era of glamour and elegance when millinery was a staple of every woman's every wardrobe.

Carol Kennelly
Carol Kennelly’s decadent jeweling, intricate beadwork, exotic feathers and vintage inspired designs incorporate playful whimsy with a modern twist. An avid race-goer in search of a unique edge to her outfit, Carol won Best Dressed Lady at the Galway Races in 2008 in a self-made headpiece, and invested her prize into learning more about the craft of millinery, launching Carol Kennelly Millinery two years later. Carol’s speciality is racing headwear, hats and headpieces that are a blend of drama and elegance. As well as designing racing millinery, the Kerry based designer also makes both bespoke and ready made hats and headpieces for wedding guests, brides and mother of the bride/groom.

Catherine Cooke
Catherine Cooke is one of the most established and renowned milliners in Ireland. She has been designing and making special occasion hats for over twenty years. In the early 1990s she trained in Belgium with Milliner Elvis Pompilio, from there she went on to work in the Sydney Opera House, Australia. On her return to Ireland, she worked with Jacinta Fahy of Wicklow Street before setting up her own label in 1997. Now working from her private studio in Dublin, she concentrates on making one off, couture hats and headpieces for private clients for whom she specialises in dyeing her fabrics to match their outfits. All her hats are hand made, blocked and detailed using a wide variety of fabrics.

Catherine Buckley
New to millinery, Catherine Buckley started making hats more seriously only nine months ago, focusing on bespoke hats and headpieces for weddings and ladies days at races meets. A self-taught milliner, her creations are feminine and fun, with quality and attention to detail foremost. She enjoys vibrant colours, delicate fabrics, laces, feathers and semi-precious stones, which she says appeals to her ‘inner magpie’.

Davina Lynch
Davina Lynch is an award winning milliner, based in Cavan. She studied fashion design in Limerick School of Art and Design and went on to study millinery in Central St.Martins in London and Kensington and Chelsea College. Davina creates elegant, feminine couture hats and headpieces for any special occasion. She combines her extensive knowledge and experience with personal style and comfort. Her pieces are handmade using traditional and modern millinery techniques and materials, finished to the highest standard.

Deb Fanning
Deb Fanning is a young milliner from Dublin. Born in Rathfarnham, South Dublin, She enjoys making things beautiful and making beautiful things. In 2014, Deb start her own label Deb Fanning Millinery, selling her ready to wear pieces. Deb is mostly self-taught through experimenting with different millinery materials, fabrics and aesthetics. She enjoys the creative process from the first kernel of an idea to its manifestation in a headpiece or a hat. Deb describes her designs as vintage inspired with a contemporary twist. Her styles are inspired by animals, the colours of nature, rainbows, the reds and purples of berries and of course the people she meets.

Design by Shimmer
Galway sisters Sinéad and Emer McGovern created their brand Designs by Shimmer in 2009 and since then their designs have been worn by stylish ladies at weddings and race meetings all around Ireland as well as by International customers attending the Melbourne Cup, Kentucky Derby and Royal Ascot. Both having creative streaks from a young age, they became passionate about millinery after completing a course in 2008, and have been busy creating ever since. Both sisters are primarily self taught, learning new skills and techniques through a love of experimenting with different fabrics and materials. Sinéad continues to create headpieces from her studio in Kilcock, Co. Kildare while Emer has temporarily relocated to Sydney, Australia and is busy creating headwear for the upcoming racing season.

Edel Ramberg
Edel Ramberg is a Galway based designer specialising in millinery, creating hats, headpieces, masks and turbans for ladies handmade from her Galway City atelier. A graduate of fashion design from the Limerick School of Art & Design specialising in knitwear and leather, Edel went on to work in New York with design house Regatta USA and through Savills in Ireland, as Retail Fashion Advisor, she was inspired by many designers she encountered in Europe to set up her own business. Interning with Philip Treacy in 2009 she worked on collaborations with Valentino as well as creations for the Royal Family.

Edel Stauton
Edel Staunton is based in Co. Mayo. Having previously worked in graphic design Edel turned her artistic side to millinery and her creations can be seen at race meetings in Ireland, the UK and Australia. She is one of the few Irish milliners to have received a prestigious International Hatty Award. Her attention to detail and ability to design a unique headpiece has proved popular to race goers, wedding guests and brides.

Fiona Mangan
Galway-based milliner Fiona Mangan’s innovative ready-to-wear and couture collections feature classic headpieces with bold character. Using bright colour blocking, lace, beading and statement spiralling, Fiona creates a strong, feminine aesthetic.

Kate Betts
Highly commended finalist at Hat Designer of the Year 2012 in association with Premiere Classe, Kate Betts uses the time-honoured skills of the milliner to create couture hats and headpieces from quality materials. Kate Betts is inspired by dynamic lines, flowing shapes and beautiful materials, using these to frame the face and tempt the eye.

Laura Kinsella
Milliner Laura Kinsella creates striking angular, abstract hats, headpieces and accessories in her Dublin studio. A graduate of the Limerick School of Art & Design, and having interned with Philip Treacy, she launched her first bespoke range in 2013 and the label has gone on to win Breakthrough Designer of the Year 2014 and in 2015 was chosen to exhibit at London fashion Week.

Martha Lynn Millinery
Dublin based milliner Martha Lynn creates striking, handmade headwear while adhering to traditional elements of the craft. Trained in London by Philip Treacy and Stephen Jones, Martha’s designs use both bold, graphic patterns and ethereal, feminine forms and palettes.

Siobhán Daly
Five years ago, Siobhán Daly began dressmaking and making her own neckpieces. She has developed her own techniques over that time. Her creativity has continued to flourish and in recent years Siobhán has expanded her skills into millinery training under several milliners. In April 2016 she set up Siobhan Daly Designs using high quality components and a vast array of materials. Her pieces are bespoke and truly unique.

Sophie Hunter
Drogheda based milliner Sophie Hunter creates exquisite statement pieces that combine classic form with quirky, eye-catching detailing. Her bespoke designs have become a highly coveted modern bridal accessory and a winning favourite with stylish race goers throughout Ireland and abroad.

Wendy Louise
Based in rural Longford, milliner Wendy Louise is a long standing member of the Design and Craft Council of Ireland. All hand blocked, her bespoke designs range from vintage-inspired large brimmed showpieces embellished with beads and veiling to clean lined, tailored styles including chic cloches, pillbox hats, trilbys and fedoras.


Só Collective
Kildare Village


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