the age of sixteen, after attending trade school, I began an
aprenticeship with Rudolf and have now been a milliner for over
40 years. I finished my training at twenty-three and left Rudolf’s
employment to gain experience with other prominent milliners
of the day, such as Mitzi Lorenz, Verniers, Langee, Otto Lucas,
Bermans Theatrical and Frederick Fox. During this time I made
hats for many celebrities and members of the Royal Family. After
seven years I returned to work for Rudolf who, as well as making
hats for many eminent people and theatrical productions, was
Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother’s Milliner.
I left full-time employment after Rudolf’s death in 1982,
but continued to work with his partner Miss Joy Quested Nowell
until her death, making hats for the Queen Mother. I continued
this honour under my own label and as a Royal Warrant holder
until Her Majesty’s recent death.
At the same time I have maintained my teaching commitments both
with the Local Authority Adult Education classes and privately.
I have always loved teaching and passing on the skills of my
trade to others. Students have come from countries around the
world including Africa, Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand,
USA, Europe and of course all over the UK. Many of these students
have returned to their homelands to take up employment in the
trade and have become successful milliners.
I believe millinery should be taught as a traditional craft.
My aim is that students should experience pleasure in designing
original creations and if they so choose, go on to become successful
milliners in their own rights. For many years I organised trips
to Royal Ascot for students who under my tuition had designed
and made hats. These creations attracted a great deal of interest
from the media. Four of my students have now been successful
applicants of the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust.