Tuesday, 10 February 2009
NVU with Noel Stewart-Millinery
Dear Shaded Viewers,
DP: How did you get started?
NS:I was always constructing things and making stuff as a child and following school I did a degree in decorative arts. One of the projects was to make lampshades out of wire and tissue paper and this lead on to making a hat for someone, which went to a wedding, got noticed, and I made some more, had an exhibition, did a performance based installation, so when I graduated I thought I would need to get some proper experience. I had a friend who introduced me to the work of Dai Reece and Philip Treacy which completely blew me away, so I got a bit of training . I'd barely picked up a needle at this point, I was happier with a soldering iron!). I got a work placement with Dai, and then a job, and worked with them on their first catwalk show, they focused on clothes so I went to Stephen Jones. I had always wanted to do my own work and while I was at Stephen's I applied to the RCA and got in.
DP: Did you study sculpture?
NS: Sculpture was the path that I did not take. My foundation was mainly sculpture and I sometimes daydream about where I'd be if I'd focused on that. I think I'm too involved in other people, I love the fact that with what I do I get to work with so many people all over the world on every kind of project. A lot of my friends are artists and I recently collaborated with Alice Channer making hats for a Henry Moore and a Barbara Hepworth which was quite an extraordinery experience!
DP: What did the first hat that you made look like and how long have you been doing this?
NS: My mother was clearing out the other day and found what looked like a jelly fish made out of baby blue and pink lace ribbons thrown over a Brazils box.This was my first hat. I was 7 or 8. My mother had a suitcase full of cereal packets, loo rolls and anything else disposable, and if it was miserable outside we would make things with the contents of this box, hence the jellyfish.
DP: If you had to define your work, how would you do it?
NS: I'm a Scorpio so I try to avoid definition.
DP: You have a hat in the upcoming Hats exhibition of Stephen Jones at the V&A, which one is it?
NS: I have a few hats in the exhibit. The stacked ostrich feather cube headpiece from my ss09 collection, the neon yellow 'crash' hat from Hussein Chalayan ss09 collection and a big black rose from the first show I worked with Roksanda Illincic in Paris.
DP: Can you give me a short description describing the hats in the 6 images that you sent to me.
NS: Black and white crin shard kokoshnik, Hussein Chalayan (see above) smashed opal print satin coolie, black lacquered silk muslin rock head piece, black straw beret with pink crin origami trim and crin feather mohican.
DP: What has been your most challenging hat design so far?
NS: The hats that I made for Richard Nicoll ss08 were quite a challenge. We wanted them to have a square brim which is nigh on impossible to do. Also we wanted them light and transparent so the structure was interesting. It worked very well though. I find that generally, the more of a challenge the more exciting the results!
DP: Do you work for private clients?
We do, we have clients come to the studio for appointments. They range from the obvious to the obscure and I love it.
DP: If someone wants to order a hat, what should they do?
NS: Send me an e mail or give me a call, all the details are on the website. www.noelstewart.com.
Posted by diane pernet at 10:00 AM | Permalink
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wow, bring on the heads! these are gorgeous. the hats too... yes hats gone beyond post modern. i love them. xoxooxox
Posted by: ~lt | Feb 10, 2009 8:32:02 AM