Leisure & Travel
by Aspect County

A Milliner’s Tale

Couture handcrafted treasures are thought to be a thing of the past, however these traditional techniques live on through modern millinery craft and design. The importance of these rare skills is sought after from across the world in a need for the unusual and exquisite in this current fast fashion era. The future of millinery is a very exciting and experimental one and one that Connie Norton Millinery is very much a part of.

Trained as an haute couture embroiderer, Connie Norton has lots of experience working in London’s most well-known couture and bridal fashion houses. All hats and headpieces have been made to be truly treasured for a lifetime, as they hold many hours’ worth of delicate embroideries of intricate stitches. By using glass beads, Swarovski crystals and silk floss also ensures that the embroideries are of the highest quality. Connie aims to make timeless pieces instead of trend driven designs which have a story within their making. Her signature style is a mix of theatrical and ethereal, historical and contemporary ideas. Starting with a first collection full of bright colours and beautifully detailed flowers and more recently moving into bridal wear, the collections continue to grow and flourish.

Every detail is meticulously thought through including the design of her hat boxes which are hand made by a British company based in Milton Keynes. The Connie Norton Millinery logo is embossed onto the lid of each box with gold foil, and all materials in the making of the hats, are also sourced from a family run British business. Knowing where all threads, millinery supplies and other embroidery materials come from is very important to the business, not only for the story of the couture making process but also for sustainability.

As well as creating her own pieces, Connie also offers a bespoke service with as much or as little collaboration as you would like. She welcomes the wildest imaginations to create the most spectacular pieces. The business has also adapted with the times and the growing popularity of rental fashion. It is a great means to be able to wear couture in a more affordable way for a range of events and different outfits. Selecting a new hat or headpiece for each event, rather than buying and wearing the same piece each time offers complete freedom of choice. The exclusive range of hats that are available to hire can be found on the website, along with the hire form where you can select the number of days you wish to rent a piece.

Currently working on an Autumn/Winter range of occasion hats, Connie has taken inspired from the coral reef for this collection. This will include experimental and completely unique shapes and styles – a collection certainly worth visiting.

Based in Royal Tunbridge Wells, Connie Norton Millinery offer hat consultations available by appointment only.