Monday mornings are never my strongest days, Boo Bear is off to school and I miss her, I have to turn the cogs a little harder to get back into work mode and of course I always wake up and think it’s Saturday, then promptly get disappointed.  Only today was a little different.  I have a skip in my step, a whistle on my tongue and a smile at the edge of my lips.  Today, I get a day off. Yay!  Well, most of the day.

I pretty much work 7 days a week since starting AIW, my unique wedding blog and it’s a really new thing for me to work at such a constant pace so it’s taken a little while to get used to it.  I’m the kind-a gal who thinks of weekends as sacred, that time spent with family, and I’ve had to give up a lot of it in the last 6 months. But like every cloud… you know the rest… and the perks for me are Mondays… while everyone else goes back to work – sometimes, I go shopping, or I go for coffee!  And it makes those Monday’s soooo much better.

So today I leave you in the very capable hands of Natasha from Modiste to excite you with some gorgeous ‘curiously unusual hats’ to brighten your day and get you thinking about your wedding!! As she so wonderfully describes:

“Modiste is a closet of fabulous hats, fascinators and fashion accessories for those who get a kick out of fashion, or are just looking for an excuse to look fabulous”.

Hands up if that’s you girls!! {I’m crazily pointing at the roof right now}.

Get to know Natasha:
My love of textile pattern and detail developed at art school, studying textile design and surface decoration at Grays School of Art. Since then my professional history is in fashion retail buying, creating brands, designing, sourcing and buying products to stock in stores. After the recession hit retail hard I found myself going back to my roots of designing and making lovely things and the buzz was back! I love the theatre of millinery and accessories which always seemed to define the vintage images in the copies of ‘Vogue’ that I had spent all my pocket money on! A few friends requested some headpieces for weddings and it kind of just started from there, its quite an addictive discipline, and signed up for some courses with leading milliners like Jane Smith and Holly O’ Hara. My first pieces were in heritage fabrics of Harris Tweed with lots of detailed trims but with a vintage edge.

Natasha’s inspiration
I love fabric details and get quite a lot of inspiration from footwear – combined with great millinery, its the ultimate fashion statement. As a self confessed trim junkie, I look everywhere for old and new trims or ways of manipulating fabric to add texture and detail. The challenge of mixing vintage and modern details is key for me as it gives piece a unique edge and offers the possibility of including something more personal like jewel heirlooms or treasured clothing within a bespoke design. For millinery inspiration, Philip Treacy is sublime, but inspiration comes from all forms of fashion, design, music, film and travel. I also love fabrics that have some character and history.

About Modiste Headpieces
Modiste is mainly about accessories with an unusual edge, fabric focus, quality and great attention to detail. Whether its a bridal or fashion piece I would like to think that they have some character in form, print, texture, detail or attitude. A curious mixture of vintage and new. Influences from fashion and pop culture live alongside delicate vintage couture Dior details, so its important that Modiste is diverse and offers a broad appeal. The opportunity to create something totally unique to someone’s style is a priviledge and it comes with great responsibility, but when it all comes together and the client has something they have played a part in creating – there’s nothing better.. Clients can also purchase from the Modiste online boutique as seasonal ranges are also designed for ready to wear collections. In addition to bride and mother of the bride,  current commission and new products launching online soon include bridesmaids, flower girl, groom accessories and bags. I love brides looking at a wedding as their own, reflecting their own style and not feeling the need to conform to any pre-conceived notions of what their wedding should be.

Natasha’s advice to brides picking headpieces
If you can, buy bespoke, its always a more personal, unique option. So much time and effort goes into finding the dress, something different that reflects you, your style and then all too often random, diluted choices are made on accessories. There’s more to wedding accessories than a tiara! There are so many one to one services – hair, make up, dress design, so make sure that you look at your accessories with the same attention to detail. Remember to look at the whole picture, never think about anything in your outfit in isolation – balance is key with accessories and they should compliment and enhance – not detract, and often that takes a trained and distanced eye! Think about the style of your photography – how do you want to look? Styled or natural? Look at the qualities of the fabrics in your dress and try to be sympathetic to them in your choice of details and textures within your headpiece. And lastly don’t be afraid to look at all possible options of fixing the headpiece, considering combs,clips, metal bands, elastic etc to ensure comfort on the day, any good designer will advise you honestly in this area.

All photos by  Audrey Russell Photography.

Wishing you all a Mad Hatters Monday.



I’ve never followed trends as I disliked being just one of the crowd so my love for things that are different, unusual, beautiful and stylistic that I’d had all my life transformed into Alice in Weddingland.

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