Congratulations to Angie Jackman whose headpiece caught the eye of judges at the 2020 Spring Carnival Millinery Award. This masterpiece received runner-up with inter-weaving of shape and colour to create such a unique work of art.

Perusing your millinery designs we are drawn to the geometrical line of all your work - simplistic with occasional feather or floral touch. What was your inspiration behind this headpiece?
This piece was inspired by the ‘Styled with Thanks’ millinery auction that took place in the U.K. It was a rainbow themed hat auction with proceeds benefitting various frontline charities including the NHS. I currently have five jobs. One is as a milliner, and the other four are in acute healthcare. This hat making process was an escape from the reality of how the pandemic impacted our family and my various work roles. Whist it was quite symbolic of what was occurring in my life at the time, it is also representative of causes that are important to me.

What title have you chosen for this work of art?
"Gelato Vortex." The repetitive pattern reminds me of a vortex. The soft feminine colour palette was very intentional. The rainbow of colours is symbolic of current issues that are important to me and is the opposite of the colours I would usually favour in my work. I like the juxtaposition of sharp lines and soft colour. Gelato was obviously due to the final colour palette, and a reminder that we should not take ourselves too seriously.

For many creatives, this mathematical challenge is mind blowing. What was your biggest challenge?
My studio is full of hundreds of miniature paper mock-ups. And my head is full of endless ideas. I very much look forward to the day when millinery and accessory design becomes a full-time pursuit. Lack of design ideas has not yet become a problem. The lack of time to create is my biggest obstacle. I see numbers as the universal language. The number patterns that occur in my work are no accident.

How many hours of work were required to complete this hat?
Most of my designs are drafted in paper in various sizes. Due to the intricate nature of my pieces, I find that sketching does not represent what the finished product will look like when worn. The 2020 Millinery Award design was about 3 hours away from completion when I decide I was not happy with the colours. I pulled it apart completely and started again. Including design, 3 paper drafts, and making the finished piece twice I would estimate the process took about 70hrs.

What is your favourite millinery material to work with?
There are so many that I enjoy working with. I realised a few years ago that as much as I have and will continue to enjoy learning about traditional millinery materials and techniques, I will not be constrained by them. My aim is to be different to everyone else. I make my own base materials by fusing and bonding numerous products together. In terms of my favourite material… I am still looking for it.

What is the most enjoyable factor about entering millinery competitions?
I love to see what fellow milliners create, and I certainly have my favourites that I follow. I like to see all the hats and pick the milliner from images alone.

What does winning this award mean for your brand?
I was thrilled to be recognised amongst such talent. However, this was the first year that I can honestly say I did not feel the need to prove myself to anyone. A huge thrill for me was to receive private messages of support from my millinery idols. The excitement of a private message of support from milliners like Louise McDonald, Felicity North East and Ian Bennett to name a few makes me stop in my tracks and think “Maybe I’m pretty good at this hat making gig”.

» More from Angie Jackman

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Tags: #2021, #behindthehat, #millineryaward, Angie Jackman, millinery award

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