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HATVENT DAY 2 - "Just Chill, it's a hat!"

Updated: Dec 15, 2020

Giulia at ‘Giulia Mio Millinery’ gave an in-depth interview on her fantastic millinery work. She shared her unique background, her approach to her creative process and the needs of her wonderful customers. She also revealed some of her ideas in hat making, her wild ideas and a glimpse of the detail she incorporates into every piece of headgear. The influences that give her headpieces their showstopper qualities and how customers can approach hats in the future.

It was fascinating to discover that Giulia ‘fell’ into millinery work while studying her Masters in Milan, the home of millinery couture. Her studies with historical costume took her into the world of corsets, embroidery and dying methods and many more handcraft skills. She needed to make a headpiece for her course project; in-depth research was required. Her passion was ignited and her thirst for knowledge was set on fire. Her desire to create a piece that is ‘part of the head’ gives her fantastic positioning with her customers. She has to meet or talk on Skype with them to read and interpret their inner character, before she is able to take the next steps in the design process. Their personal aspirations have a leading part to play in the final piece. It also includes the build up of trust and opportunities to push their personal boundaries in their creative horizons. Everyone has a different image which is incorporated into the final magnificent look.

Influences for Giulia involve images and a narrative. There is no set pattern, so current fashion trends do not feature in her work. She uses other elements from life and has a fond link to all things Japanese, so there is often a Japanese twist in her designs. Her attention to detail is extraordinary. From silk flowers to incandescent feathers to sculptured wiring, her creations have an embryonic growth to become a clear and cutting edge form.

You heard it here first, her new collection is phenomenal. Our sneak peek unveils ‘The Glamorous Gal’ collection. A vision with fresh elements, the impact of vintage clichés embraced with a new vibrant feel. Headpieces in pastel tones with neutrals and a touch of bold infuse her collection. Adorned with silk flowers and handmade delicate details, offers ornamentation that wraps beautifully around the head. Some classic delicate colour combinations with a few surprises from the palette too.

Her creations are a sculpture for the head. One amazing signature piece is ‘Aki’, meaning autumn in Japanese, was inspired by a Japanese garden in the autumn. This dynamic piece shows the leaves and flowers in the wind as they lift up. The leaves are Ginkgo and Japanese Maple intertwined with various flower forms including dramatic clusters of Spider Lily blooms. These reach blood red in November as the season of the dead is acknowledged in Japanese culture.

Curled ostrich quills are caged into the wire sculpture to offer places for the hand painted silk flowers and leather tooled leaves to sit at every angle to support the final finished creation. Giulia was keen to work towards the perfect finish with a neat and precisely captured angle for every part of this.

When asked about sustainability, Giulia talked about the need to choose ethical

sources with high quality materials. Handmade hats are a niche area in the millinery field. These pieces are made with attention to detail using animal byproducts like leather and feathers. The

quality of the headgear has to be of the highest level to maintain a standard to be worn on a number of occasions.

Commissioned to make a vegan hat, Giulia explained that this was a challenge. She couldn’t use silk, leather or the gelatine stiffener. This left limited material to work with. As it was a summer hat, Sinamay was the solution. Made with the fibres of the banana palm, this was an ideal material. She made and painted Sinamay flowers to create a truly vegan hat, a magnificent achievement. When asked, “What makes a hat magic?” Giulia explained that this would be a combination between the person wearing the hat and the person who made the hat. The connection between the wearer and the hat maker is key. Fairy dust may have helped with the spell, but the true magic of hats correlates with the confidence and inner sparkle of the wearer.

There are so many opportunities for hats. Giulia wanted to offer some words for everyone. She suggested that we all let ourselves explore the possibilities. Don’t be afraid to show your personality. “Just chill, it’s a hat!”


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