A passion for hats was only part of what brought Gabrielle Djanogly and Adele Mildred together. The two milliners, who met while working at Stephen Jones, were also truly baffled that many stylish women couldn’t, well, get their heads round their hats. “We wondered why women who have the confidence to wear a fabulous dress, with great shoes and a cool bag, seem so unsure about what to put on their head,” says Djanogly. So was born Hood London, a millinery website that launched last autumn featuring some 20 hat-makers, including themselves and their friends.
The site ingeniously deals with quandaries about what to wear (way) up top by splitting its selection into six clear and simple categories: black, white, event, hot, cold and day. “Hot”, for example, offers an array of sun-shielding options, such as Rachel Black’s straw Maisie (£265, second picture) with its eye-catching pink metal-effect bow, or Sophie Beale’s knotted, polished straw Bardot Breton (£205). “Cold”, meanwhile, serves up Mildred’s Dita Berlin turban (£145, third picture), as well as Piers Atkinson’s playful Kitty Beanie (£390), topped with pink and black Perspex cat ears.
The most dramatic styles can be found via the “Event” link, where Awon Golding’s crin and tulle star-shaped Aster (£430) is bursting with crystal details, while Magnetic Midnight’s stunning Lagrimas headband (£525) is skilfully crafted from gold-dipped iraca palm leaves. It’s with such avant-garde pieces that the site truly excels. Further standout designs include a Mildred’s tie-knot, black crin Marlene mask (£275, first picture) and Rachel Black’s funky red floral Fire Cracker headband (£450) in patent leather, while Djanogly specialises in veils. Her black waffle Climb creation (£205, fourth picture) features pressed-silk ivy leaves and is classic while still pushing boundaries.