Who are you and what do you do?
I’m Emma Fozard. I studied Three Dimensional Design at Manchester Metropolitan University where I specialised in making headpieces using wood veneer; I have since taken millinery courses at Hatworks and now combine my own techniques with traditional millinery processes to create wearable sculptures that flatter and enhance the wearer.
What 5 words best describe your work
Sculptural, articulate, elegant, wearable, headwear
Do you have any design/art heroes
First and foremost is Philip Treacy for his belief and promotion of the importance of wearing hats “people better for wearing them”. Secondly is Dai Rees for giving me my first taste of experimental millinery whilst I was at university and for redefining the boundaries of headwear.
Tell us all about what you do? Materials? Processes?
I am a designer maker of headpieces and hats; I use traditional Millinery processes such as blocking to create perch hats in felt and sinamay which I trim using wood veneer forms. I am inspired by the sculptural quality of wood veneer and exploit its natural tendencies to bend and flex whilst pushing its fragile nature to the limit. I use the lamination process to add colour, pattern and texture to accentuate the forms and create a connection with the wearer.
I am fascinated by the transformative properties of the right hat, the interaction between wearer and audience and the relationship between the maker and client. Hats are worn so infrequently these days that many people feel awkward when a formal occasion arises and they are required to wear them; I believe that there’s a hat to suit everyone and that the right hat will enhance the stature and feelings of the wearer whilst completing their outfit.
Describe in 10 words a typical day in your studio
Iron on, block, steam ,sew, cut veneer, bend, flex, rivet.
What will you be selling at the Artist Takeover ?
I will be showing my Spring Summer headwear ranges:
“Pastels” a range of sinamay perch hats and headpieces inspired by the muted tones of a Liberty fabric.
“Brights” a collection of button hats in tropical felt colours with vibrant trims and metallic laminated zebrano headpieces.
Woodbands and Bridal headpieces for wedding guest and brides.
All pieces are for sale and bespoke commissions are welcome.
Tell us something we don’t know
After graduating I lived in Paris; in order to try and sell some headpieces I walked into Le Bon Marche (the French equivalent of Liberty’s) with a hat box, mumbled something in pigeon French about being “une creatrice Anglaise” and was whisked off in a lift to meet the accessories buyer-one of my braver moments!