His little shop is tucked away
On a cobbled street on London’s fringe
Where ladies, royal and rich slip in
In private fittings they ooh and aah
At silky flowers and striking hats
Sure to turn the heads of peasants
And the ordinary folk who only dream
Of wearing something by the man
They all have fondly come to know
As the genius, the mad hatter who
Creates a world of pinks and greens,
Silks and suede and styles for sparkling stars.
One thing I have loved to see over the past few days are the hats that all the ladies have been wearing to the royal events. I have always said that if I could go back and do it all again, I would train to be a costume designer and work in film or theatre. But I’ve always been most interested in hats – I just wish that I could pull off wearing them.
I find the character of the mad hatter really interesting, because it is a character based on reality. The fumes that milliners inhaled as they steamed their hats into shape actually turned them a bit mad, and I just imagine these poor artists tucked away in their shops, slowly losing the plot.
It would certainly explain some of the weird and wonderful designs we see at places like Ascot. And we all remember Princess Eugenie’s crazy hat that was worn to the royal wedding.
And then think about all the rich and famous ladies that would come into your studio for fittings. There is a museum in my town that has a full size cobbled Victorian street and there is a little milliner’s shop tucked in one of the alleyways and I imagine princesses sneaking in under hooded cloaks so that they are not seen and so that they can have the best designs from their very own mad hatter.