From cushions to the catwalk milliner Jayne Elwell has done it all. etc’s Monica Turnbull asks her the obvious question: why hats?
Sedgefield born Jayne has a knack for creating fabulous fascinators and hats.
At NE1’s Newcastle Fashion Week’s (NFW) Front Row event her creations wowed crowds in a parade of English breakfasts, lampshades and birds.
Originally a fine art student, it’s taken Jayne years to perfect her craft, having previously used her talents to design t-shirts and home ware such as cushions.
After realising she wanted to specialise in a certain area, she discovered her love of hats, just around the time of their revival, which is still on-going.
She said: “It’s quite unusual, but I’m quite interested in bringing millinery back as an art form.”
Her interest has filtered down through generations of fashion lovers in her family. She said: “My mum and my grandmother were very into fashion and stuff. My grandmother owned a clothes shop. My other grandmother was very fashionable and my mum’s very into history. I spent a lot of holidays going to museums. I think it’s all filtered down through that.”
These various interests, as well as her training in fine art gave Jayne inspiration for her designs as she says her favourite periods are the forties and fifties, as well as the twenties, and describes herself as ‘a bit of a surrealist’.
Jayne’s label is The Libertarian, and she has been trading under the name since 2007, her collections include hire and ready to wear collections, both of which she showed at NFW’s Front Row event.
The pieces shown included some of her trademark bird designs, and even NFW coordinator Sandra Tsang bore delicate Libertarian magpie fascinator.
Discussing the designs, Jayne said: “I was at Ascot last year with my friends, there were six of us and we all had different bird designs. That went crazy because there was international press there.”
The Libertarian has been featured in publications such as vogue.co.uk, and the Guardian, and one of Jayne’s designs has been used on This Morning.
For more information on The Libertarian visit www.thelibertarian.co.uk