Once upon a time in an idle moment in a little workshop in Battersea, we decided to attempt to make the biggest brimmed hat in the world. So one of the milliners, started on a stitched straw brim and kept adding and adding to the width. When it was finished we contacted The Guinness Book of Records to see if they were interested. A resounding apathy was the response. So, left with a hat with a brim six feet across and nowhere to put it, we decided to nail it to the wall of our shop as a decoration and there it stayed for a couple of years.
Moving on, we were exhibiting at the Clothe Show Live at the NEC in Birmingham and were asked last minute to provide a hat for their catwalk show. Panicking as there was nothing suitable it was suggested that we pull the nails from the hat on the wall and work out a way of keeping it on the wearer’s head. This was done with lots of ribbon and bows, then the hat was sent off to the show organisers with about 3 days to spare.
One can imaging the surprise we had when the finale of the show was none other then Naomi Campbell wearing out hat.
The following year we returned to the show and had the hat on our stand. There were queues of people wanting to try it on. So we decided to lend it to the charity, Fashion Acts, who were also there and suggested they charge a donation fee for people to have their photograph taken wearing it. They made quite a bit that week!
The hat followed us around for many years, gathering dust and getting in the way, finally living in our barn and becoming a home to a family of mice.
The bin men took it in the end!