Sheffield-based bespoke millinery for all occasions

Millinery

How to Leave a Review

How to Leave a Review
How to Leave a Review

Your feedback really matters!

Whether you have bought from me online, or in person either at the studio or an event, this is my guide to help you tell the world how much you have enjoyed your Imogen’s Imagination experience.

Obviously, we all love to be told that we’ve done a good job, and I’m no different! Who doesn’t love seeing lots of gold stars!

As a small business, reviews are so important. Your reviews, testimonials and feedback help me to know that I’m doing things right…and they’ll give you a warm and fuzzy feeling too!

How to leave a review for your online order?

I’ve got you covered with a few ways to leave your feedback, depending what your preferences.


Is your design still in stock?

Simply search for your design in the shop and open the page. 

Click on the reviews tab and you’ll see the option to leave both stars and a text review.

You will be asked for your email address and name, however don’t worry – only your first name will be shown on the site.

(Top Tip: Your order confirmation email will include the name of the design you bought)

How can I leave a review if my design is sold out?

Sadly, you can only leave a review for in stock designs…but you can leave me a review on Google!

Have you left a testimonial?

If you are a bespoke client, it would be fantastic if you would write me a testimonial. I know myself that writing these can be a little daunting. So to make it super simple, I’ve created a form, which will hopefully take out some of the hard work! 

All you have to do is answer the questions, and I will email you a draft of the testimonial. That way you can see it before publication to make sure you are happy with the way I have used your words. 

Have you tagged me on social media?

I love to see my designs in action!

Seeing how you wear your goodies, what outfit you’re wearing them with…and how much fun you’re having wearing them! That is simply the icing on the cake for me.

You can also follow my hashtags on Instagram #beretchic and #imogensimagination

Do I have to do all of these?

Obviously, it would be a-may-zing if you would use all these options to leave a review – but I’m not greedy!

Even if you have can just do one of them, I’d be so very grateful.

Thanks so much for your support,

About Imogen's Imagination

Nautilus Headbands Now In Stock

Pleated Ribbon Shell Headband with beads

Brand new for Spring 2020 are these little pieces of millinery history; I bring you the Nautilus headbands and they are in stock now!

If you’ve been following my blog series on the Nautilus technique so far, you’ll have seen I’ve been having a lot of fun with it. And these headbands are no exception!

These are a wonderful way to own a little bit of millinery history and would make a unique gift or glorious bridal headpiece. I could mount these shells on a comb and in combination with a birdcage veil, these would be perfect for a vintage inspired bride. 

(I should probably add making a sample of this idea to my to-do list!)

There are currently 3 designs of Nautilus headbands now in stock, however I do have more to photograph. Easier said than done as this ribbon ripples in the light! I will be adding those to the shop in due course.

Aside from the colour of the ribbon and beads, each of these designs is subtly different. By using different widths of ribbon I have created different size shells.

By combining the shells with different feature points, I can create more oval or more scroll-like shapes. Who knew these shells could get more swirly!

However, I can also make these headbands in custom colours of both ribbon and beads. If you would like to have a chat about this, please do get in touch

I have just sent my first bespoke designs to a client in Slovenia, I hope you like these designs as much as she does!

X Terrace Exhibition 2020 at London Hat Week

X Terrace London Hat Week Exhibition 2020
X Terrace London Hat Week Exhibition 2020

The X Terrace Exhibition is the jewel in the crown of London Hat Week and this year, I am incredibly honoured to have one of my designs featured!

My “Nautilus” hat has been selected as one of the 200 designs to be be shown during this week long festival of all things millinery. 

With milliners from all over the world submitting their designs, I am simply over the moon that my hat has been chosen for this accolade.

London Hat Week takes place between 16th and 22nd April 2020 at a variety of locations across the capital. The week kicks off with a Launch Party (naturally!) and the schedule includes exclusive tours, workshops, talks, and social events bringing milliners together from all over the world.

The X Terrace Exhibition: To the Future and Back will run between 16th and 24th April and tickets for admission can be bought here.

Menier Gallery, 51-53 Southwark Street, Bankside, London, SE1 1RU

11am-6pm  (Closed Sunday 19th April)

 

Frequent readers of my blog will know that 2019 was most definitely the year of the Nautilus for me. 

From learning how to create these extraordinary shells, to researching their history (I haven’t finished that yet!) and creating this hat, it’s certainly been a “journey”.

However, it feels wonderfully apt that this part of the story, that started at London Hat Week 2018, should finish right back where it started.

Click here to read the full blog series to date.

Image: Mark Howe

Beaded Nautilus Hat by Imogen's Imagination

In addition to the exhibition, X Terrace are also hosting a pop up shop where participating milliners can sell their designs. Many of the exhibition hats are for sale, however this shop will showcase the further talents and expertise of the exhibition milliners, at dare I say it, non-exhibition prices!

Sadly, my exhibition hat isn’t for sale. I simply couldn’t put a price on it! I suspect you may spot a familiar theme for my choice of hat for the pop up shop though. 

I shall be in London for part of the festivities and I can’t wait. So far on my itinerary are two launch parties, two talks, a possible trip to Luton, some serious supplies shopping and potentially even a catch up with some family. It’s going to be a VERY busy five days for me! 

If you are visiting London at this time, I hope you will make time to visit the exhibition which promises to be a hat lovers delight. It goes without saying that I will be making a very special visit to see my hat on display too!

My Nautilus Hat

My Nautilus Hat a blog by Imogen's Imagination

I am thrilled to be able to finally unveil my finished Nautilus hat! My blog series about the technique still has a few more installments to come. However, this hat has truly been a labour of love (and occasionally hate!) as I massively underestimated the work involved it’s creation.

Edward Mann Hat 1956 - Hat Works Collection

Whilst I absolutely adore the red nautilus half-hat I saw at Stockport Hat Museum during my research trip, I didn’t want to make this style of hat.

I wanted to create a vintage inspired design, not a faithful reproduction.

However, I was inspired by the construction of this hat for my design. Rather than used a blocked foundation, I decided to do something I’ve never done before. After all, this project has been all about challenging myself!

With this design brief in mind, I decided to pick possibly my favourite hat shape, a boater. A classic shape, reminiscent of days gone by, but fabulously contemporary thanks to a revival on the race tracks of both Australia and the UK

My first task was to create the nautilus motifs. I hadn’t entirely decided how I was actually going to create the shape. The plan was to do some thinking whilst I pleated and stitched. I knew I was going to be spending a lot of time doing that!

I knew I would need a lot of nautili to fit my boater block and it took an entire weekend in the studio to complete the motifs for the brim…even with some sneaky production line techniques

Planning a Nautilus hat by Imogen's Imagination

I used my block to plan the layout of the nautili. This also allowed me to build the design from the brim upwards.

I knew I wanted to create distinct sections to the hat; brim, hat band, crown.

I decided I would use varying shapes and sizes of nautili to create these layers to that hat. I also knew I wanted to add extra embellishment, however that too was to be considered during pleating time!

The next big consideration was the foundation of the hat. I chose to replicate the wire frame of the classic 1950’s half hat. However, there was a significant amount of engineering involved. I used wire shaped around my hat black to create the frame.

This was then wrapped with tulle to add both strength and anchorage for further stitching. I also added tarlatan bias strips to all the areas that would support the next layer of the hat base.

I wasn’t so diligent at recording all the following stages of the process as by this time I was getting a little concerned about timescales. This was my work desk at the end of the second full weekend working on the hat!

Nautilus Work in Progress

Half a wire frame hat made
x2 metres of wire wrapped in tulle
x3 stabbing injuries
x5 metres of ribbon pleated
x10 new nautilus sewn
x10 6mm Swarovski pearls sewn
x16 hours of studio time
x330 2mm Swarovski pearls sewn

After a third, and final, full weekend of working on the hat I’d made good headway. I’d covered the frame with silk dupion and all the decoration was finished. I did wonder whether I should be faithful to the 1950’s construction and kept the gaps between each nautilus. However, my  pledge to avoid an attempt at reproduction won…and I also wanted the hat to be perfectly finished at whatever angle it was seen from.

wire frame for a boater hat covered with silk

The final task was to add a lining to the crown and an inner hat band.

I often joke that millinery is all about hiding your working, unlike maths! However another reason is that the first thing a milliner will do when looking at a hat is to take a peek inside.

We want to know how a design has been made, so we’re always looking for secrets. But we’re also looking to see if the same attention to detail has been lavished on the one part, that no one but the wearer sees. It’s all about the details!

 

Mark Howe photographing a hat by Imogen's Imagination

After my Herculean labours, I felt this hat deserved to documented for posterity. 

It also deserved to photographed by someone who could capture its intricacies as I really wasn’t the woman for the job.

A huge thank you to my fellow Yorkshire Artspace studio holder, Mark Howe, for taking on the challenge.

As you see from my rather shaky picture of Mark at work, I was absolutely right to leave this job to a professional!

So here it is, my finished Nautilus hat in all its swirly, whirly and utterly unique glory!

I don’t think I’ll ever be able to put a price on this hat, nor will I ever be able to part with it. However, if you would like to own a little bit of millinery history, I have just launched a range on Nautilus brooches. You can find them in store here.

STOP PRESS: This hat will be on display as part of The X Terrace Exhibition: To the Future and Back during London Hat week in April 2020. Click here for more information.

Nautilus Boater Hat by Imogen's Imagination
Black and Cream Nautilus Hat by Imogen's Imagination
Beaded Nautilus Hat by Imogen's Imagination
My Nautilus Hat a blog by Imogen's Imagination

Imogen’s Imagination: Milliner to a Dame

Imogen's Imagination: Milliner to a Dame

I was thrilled that Dame Sara Thornton chose Imogen’s Imagination as her milliner in advance of her investiture at Buckingham Palace. As a milliner, it’s always wonderful to be chosen by a client to create a design for their special occasion. However, to be chosen by a Dame is an even greater honour.

Dame Sara is the current UK’s Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner and has had a long and illustrious career within the police service. In her current role as Commissioner Dame Sara has a UK-wide remit to encourage good practice in the prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of modern slavery offences and the identification of victims.

Dame Sara received her honours from Her Majesty the Queen on 21st November 2019, and  you can more of see the official photos via the link below. You can also find them via my boards on Pinterest.

The design chosen was a black felt mini button hat, the perfect cocktail hat for an indoor autumnal occasion. The hand cut petals and stamens of the flower have been machine embroidered with lustrous art silk thread.

The petals of the flower are not wired, these glorious curves are a natural reaction between the felt and the tension of the of the stitching. The design was lined with a coordinating turquoise silk dupion.

As a former employee of both Staffordshire and South Yorkshire Police, with a combined service of 11 years, it was even more special to provide Dame Sara’s hat. It is so exciting to see such an inspirational woman smashing the glass ceiling of UK policing and now leading the fight against modern day slavery. For me, as Imogen’s Imagination in the second phase of my career, I hope I can repeat this highlight and be a milliner to a Dame again!

If you would like to chat about a bespoke design of your own, please do contact me. I have more designs in store that are a similar shape to this hat and you can browse them via the link below.