By Lubna Hamdan
Rachel Trevor-Morgan started making hats 25 years ago and her clients include England's Queen Elizabeth II and Dubai's Princess Haya
She might be the Queen of England’s hat maker, but Rachel Trevor-Morgan is one of the most humble people you will ever meet. At the launch of her collaborated collection with British occasion wear brand Jacques Vert, she tells Arabian Business she’s “a bit shy.” Starting from how she became Her Majesty’s milliner to hat tips for the Dubai World Cup, Trevor-Morgan shares it all.
Is it your first time in the Middle East? It is, yeah. It’s very exciting. It’s amazing but I haven’t been here very long. I think all the buildings are amazing, and we went down to Pier Chic yesterday. It was so lovely, amazing food as well.
Let’s start with why you picked hat designing: Well I started making hats 25 years ago and sort of fell into it by mistake, perhaps. I started doing an apprenticeship, so I learned with a designer and I loved it so much that I didn’t look back and carried on. So, I went to a sort of very traditional route of learning the craft in the workroom, and then building up my skills, and then learning the business course and absolutely loved it.
You’re the Queen of England’s milliner! How did that happen? And how did you feel the first time you saw Her Majesty wearing one of your designs? [Laughs] It was amazing! I had been contacted by her personal assistant and then I was asked to submit sketches. And of course I knew what she was going to wear, because it was her birthday. I knew that was happening, but until she stepped out of the car you can’t quite believe it. It’s wonderful. She’s worn more hats probably than anybody else in the world maybe, so you know, it’s such a wonderful feeling.
Have you made hats for any other public figures or celebrities? I make hats for various members of the royal family as well. There have been various people as well throughout the years.
And have your worked with any Arab clients? I’ve made hats for Princess Haya as well.
Is there any celebrity or figure that you’d like to see wear your designs? It’s always nice to see people wearing my designs. I think also it helps when you know everybody else is wearing hats. That’s where the royal family comes in, because you know these big events, obviously royal weddings, to have those events when they’re all wearing hats, I think it encourages everybody else to do that. And, of course, on the year of the royal wedding it was a massive year, sold out, because everybody wanted to go and have a bit of that glamour and wear hats, so it’s wonderful.
Will you be staying for the Dubai World Cup? Sadly not, I was just speaking to somebody else and they said you really ought to come to the event. Well, why not, I could stay here for the next month [laughs].
Do you have any favourite piece from your collection? Yes, I love that piece actually (below). It’s very simple and elegant.
With the World Cup just around the corner, do you have any fashion tips for women on how to wear hats? I certainly think when you’re choosing a hat it’s really important to just go and try it. Go on and try on lots of different shapes, because sometimes you think oh I can’t wear that or that won’t work and then when you put it on you realise it does. And also just to take into account your whole look. If you’re wearing something very simple you can have something more elaborate on your head but if you’ve got a busy outfit you want to keep it quite simple. Wear it with confidence and enjoy it! [Laughs]. That will be the biggest tip actually!