Lifestyle Shopping&Fashion

Hats off

Edinburgh milliner Joyce Paton believes it’s usually the sheer needlessness of hats that makes them so appealing. Lindsey Johnstone finds out more

Y ou could say Joyce Paton was born to make hats, born as she was on St Catherine’s Day [St Catherine being the patron saint of milliners]. And since Joyce’s predestined profession is enjoying something of a renaissance, with headpiece addicts such as Lady Gaga leading the way, things are going well over in Joyce’s dressing- up box of a shop in South Queensferry.

Kate Moss worked wonders for the hat’s popularity a few years back when she started borrowing Pete’s fedoras; now standard festival uniform for the fashion-conscious. Last summer’s story was the straw boater, closely followed by the 70s-inspired wide-brimmed floppy hat, originally beloved of Bianca Jagger. Between the current trend for ladylike Mad Men glamour and an enthusiasm for polished, considered rather than thrown-on style, hats are firmly back on the fashion map. Self-taught, Paton began making hats and headpieces (just don’t call them fascinators,


* Stand up straight and carry yourself well

* Remember that you are wearing the hat, not the other way round

* The lighter the hat, the more you can forget about wearing it

* Be brave, experiment, and try lots of different styles, even ones you may not have considered before. There really is a hat for everyone.

26 THE LIST 18 Nov–2 Dec 2010

please) after she was asked to sew clothes for a Wella hair show six years ago and decided to make things to be worn in the hair too. Magpie-like, Paton collects anything that might make a good adornment, including art deco brooches, or pheasant feathers gifted to her by a gamekeeper friend, hoarding them till the time is right for them to take their place on one of her creations. When asked about the millinery revival, Joyce believes that it had been brewing long before the likes of Paloma Faith, Natasha ‘Bat For Lashes’ Khan and Roisin Murphy donned their pillboxes, Pocahontas headbands and mini bowlers.

‘In times of economic strife people

tend to dress up a bit more, probably for some escapism,’ she says. ‘You may not be able to splash out on a whole new outfit, but a hat can lift your whole look.

‘Hats make you smile, possibly because they are unnecessary. You don’t need to wear a hat, unlike most other items of clothing, so if you do, you are wearing it for the joy of wearing it.’

Paton is somewhat dismissive of the celebrity influence that seems to go hand in hand with the work of other milliners

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POP UPS are popping up all over right now. There’s the Pigeon Pop-Up over in Anstruther, Fife (opens Fri 26 Nov, until Christmas Eve, in the Murray Library, Shore St), selling a choice mix of wares from Edinburgh-based Elsie Dodds (alphabet themed textiles anyone?), Susie Maroon (leather cover for your iPod?) and Lizzie Stewart (Gocco print for your wall?), among others. Organiser/ designer Kirsty Thomas, aka Lovely Pigeon, will also be selling her own work (pictured).

THEN DOWN at Such and Such studio (105 Brunswick Street off, Leith Walk, Edinburgh) they’re hosting a Go Reborn! Pop-In (Sat 21–Sun 22 Nov), where the online fashion magazine will

enjoy a brief residence; followed by a Moon and Mars Pop-Up, where the eboutique will take over the premises. (Sat 27–Sun 28 Nov). www.go-,

TWO GSA graduates opened Au Boutique in Glasgow’s West End last month, selling some really quite stunning works from up-and-coming designers and silversmiths. They’ll

be running jewellery-making courses too. 281 Great Western Road, Glasgow, 0141 357 6455, CONTINUING their ‘Maker of the Month’ series, Concrete Wardrobe are focussing on Fiona McIntosh, who hand-prints neck ties (left) and arm warmers in silk and cashmere. Concrete Wardrobe, 50A Broughton St, Edinburgh, 558 7130,

such as Stephen Jones and Philip Treacy, though. ‘I would genuinely be just as happy to see someone on the street wearing one of my hats as any celebrity.’ That said, she does admit she aims for tears rather than smiles when it comes to dealing with her clients. ‘I do like to make them cry. Then I know I’ve really hit the personal note I was aiming for.

‘I had one commission from a lady who was going to Buckingham Palace with her husband, an RAF pilot who was being given an MBE for heroism in Afghanistan. I made her a hat using vintage parachute silk from the Second World War, and she cried, which was great.’

8 East Terrace, Edinburgh, 07879 407336,