Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Milliners to the Royals - James Lock

When Kate wore this hat recently it seemed that the newspapers and the people equally loved it, as did I, however I was shocked when reading the newspaper article that accompanied the picture to read:

"She (Kate) has raised the profile, not only of established names like Philip Treacy but also little-known designers such as Rose Cory and Vivien Sheriff."

Granted this was the Daily Mail but still, Rose Cory a little known milliner?

It seems that, due in part to the royal wedding, everyone now knows the names of milliners such as Philip Treacy and Stephen Jones but what about all the other milliners out there.

Rose Cory is somewhat of a legend amongst milliners with comments such as:

‘Rose Cory… the milliner’s milliner.’ Vogue

‘Rose Cory who seems to have taught every couture milliner in the country.’ Harpers & Queen

springing to mind at the mention of her name.  Never mind that she has the Royal Warrant and was the milliner to Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother creating her signature up-turned brim adorned with a huge plume hat.  Little known indeed!

To rectify this gap in millinery knowledge I have decided to dedicate my next few blogs to some of the lesser known milliners out there, starting with James Lock.

Ok, so maybe Lock & Co. is pretty well known but it seemed like a good place to start as Kate recently wore one of their hats to start the Jubilee tour with the Queen in Leicester as well as donning their Betty Boop style hat for St Patrick's Day.

Though Kate may be new in the world of millinery James Lock & Co. definitely are not.  Founded waaaaaayyy back in 1676 Lock & Co. is a family run business that has become an international millinery standard.

It's own website boasts:

"Ask any London taxi-driver for "Lock's" and without question he will take you to Number 6, St James's Street, S.W.1, the home of James Lock & Co., Hatters.
A postcard from abroad was once promptly delivered there, although it was addressed simply to 'The best hatters in the world, London'."

I like to think that is a true story and intend to test a cabby on my next visit home.

As well as its Ladies millinery which includes everything from the casual trilby and rain hat through to one of a kind couture creations Lock's is equally well know for its men's millinery range.  This is definitely the place to go if you are looking for a Sherlock Holmes deerstalker, a smoking cap or a fez.

For some reason all of the hats above make me immediately think of Stephen Fry? 

The women's couture line is currently being designed by milliner Sylvia Fletcher and has just been extended to include a middle-priced hat line to keep things affordable for people who aren't Princesses.  Here follows eye candy.

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