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A head start From The Oxford Times

A personal consultation with Eda Rose, for her expert advice on which style and colour she feels will best suit the client,

usually begins with a consideration of the other items in the new outfit which it is to complement, but that is not always the case.

Ms Rose said: “Some of our clients come to us first to buy the hat, because they know that they are going to find something special in our showroom and they then go out and buy an outfit to match

the hat.

“After all, there are far more good dress shops and couturiers than there are good milliners.”

That outfit may be for a wedding, a garden party, an event such as Henley Royal Regatta, or racing at Ascot where Eda Rose hats often grace the Royal Enclosure or many another socialShe only sells her hats at prices ranging from 295 and does not hire them out. Her customers include Harrods.

Her showroom is at her own home, where she also has her office and workshop.

There are up to 70 hats on show. All are made on the premises by a team of millinery assistants, to her own designs.

Clients come by appointment. They may see just what they are looking for straight away. Otherwise a hat will be made to their own requirements.

Before coming, they can view a selection of 24 hats on Ms Rose’s website.

If they live some distance away clients come from over a wide distance, even from New York. They can send details of the outfit that the hat is to complete. Ms Rose will then send back her ideas

for the hat design, and later the finished creation.

She uses luxurious materials, such as lace, silk, velvet and the very fine gauze like sinamay straw for her innovative and glamorous creations.

The Cheltenham Festival of Racing marked the end of the winter hat season, when headwear needs to be practical and warming, as well as decorative. Now spring and summer delights beckon.

Ms Rose stresses the importance of using only the best fabrics. “The most expensive outfit can be spoiled by a cheap hat,” she points out.

For trimmings, eye catching beadwork is one of the trademarks of her couture millinery collection. She may also use feathers, flowers, pearls, sequins and crystals.

She has been in business in Wallingford cheap jerseys since

1994. Ten years earlier, Ms Rose, who had studied art and design at Goldsmiths College in London and then went on to teach art, took the brave step of starting her own millinery business in Henley.

“You could say I burned my bridges, but I have never looked back.”

The move proved to be good in more ways than one, for it was in Henley that she met her husband George, who was press secretary of the Royal Regatta.

Back to the hats and a very important factor in the success of a particular design is that it should be a perfect fit.

Ms Rose said: “Not only are the style, colour and decoration important, the hat must be made to fit the head comfortably and not have to be held on by hand the moment there is a light.

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