As we launch into December we've another favourite brand to share with you. The Season Hats is the creation of husband and wife duo Paul Stafford and Selina Horshi, who work out of their Wimbledon studio with the help (and distraction) of their spaniel, Willow. We spoke with the designer half of the pair, Paul Stafford, on his inspiration and plans for Christmas - but first let's see what special goodies his loved ones will receive this year...
Hi Paul, thanks for chatting with us today. 2015 has been a great year for you with the launch of The Season Hats and showing at Paris Fashion Week! What has been your best moment looking back over the year?
Thank you for having me! It's been a great year - our first ever collection has been available to buy since February. Our first sale was a very happy moment - it's just lovely to think that someone wants to wear something that you've made. It was incredible to be asked to show in Paris - and we were blown away by the response. It's taken a lot of training, hard work and refinement to get the product to what it is and it's just so lovely to have such a great response to the design and the make of the collection.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
It's always about the materials I'm working with - how they are structured and how they move. I like to find a completely traditional silhouette and make it in an unconventional way. I'm really driven by the techniques that I develop - how to make something beautiful that makes the most of the materials that I'm working with. I try to make pieces that will not date, by taking advantage of both the traditional methods of hat making and properly integrating modern techniques. My pieces are always very precise - there's a lot of geometry work that goes in to them - I'm still using my scientific calculator from my A levels. But then there's an equal amount of physical draping and sculpting, instinct is more important than the calculator overall.
“It was incredible to be asked to show in Paris - and we were blown away by the response”
What are your plans for Christmas this year?
My family are in Yorkshire and Selina's family are in Northern Ireland. We'll see them both this year before we fly to Stockholm to celebrate a friends wedding on New Year's Eve.
Is there anything in particular you're hoping for this Christmas?
We spend so much of our Christmas outside - long walks with the family and the dogs. We both got new hiking boots last year so now we just hope for OK weather. A bit of snow is OK, but it would be ideal if there isn't torrential rain all day.
What are some of your favourite Christmas traditions you're looking forward to?
Before we head up north, we've developed a few London traditions - lovely to dress up for a carol service. Last year we went to the Royal Albert Hall for their Carols by Candlelight which was beautiful. We also always go to a Christmas Ballet. Last year we saw The Little Match Girl, and this year we are seeing Matthew Bourne's Sleeping Beauty at Sadler's Wells.
“We've developed a few London traditions - lovely to dress up for a carol service”
And finally, what can we expect from The Season Hats in 2016?
We're so excited to see our SS16 collection in stores! We'll have a number of pieces at Fenwick's on Bond Street which has a great millinery department and Lovehats.com is just the best way of buying headwear online. We are so pleased with the capsule collection of unfolding satin pieces so it will be great to be able to see people wearing them - they pack small, so they are easy to store or travel with but when they are unfolded they become lovely contemporary millinery. 2016 might be even busier than this year though. AW16 will be our first collection to include a number of men's pieces and we will be really developing our Bridal range and showing at The White Gallery during Bridal Fashion Week.
Sounds exciting, thanks Paul!
Discover more about The Season Hats here.
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