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Maidstone Milliner breaks into London Fashion

With Autumn arrives the hedonism of new fashion trends with every fashion house worth their salt displaying their new catwalk creations to wow us.  The world of millinery is no exception and our local milliner Chris Garner – creator of the Julian Garner Headwear label – is taking the millinery world by storm.

Having held his first exhibition at Maidstone Museum last Autumn, this Autumn two of Chris’ unique and inspiring pieces of headwear have been selected for exhibition in the prestigious and eagerly awaited Official London Hat Week Exhibition at the Coventry University London Campus.

The exhibition was created by leading milliner Monique Lee Hyland-White is is curated by X Terrace Fashion Platform.

Two of Chris’ creations were selected from 250 applicants.  Both are ‘unique as you are’ and hand-made by Chris from his Ki Mi Collection and Chris is thrilled to be part of the exhibition.

Currently Chris’ headwear can be seen in Maidstone’s bridal boutique ‘Bridal Gowns at Jodi’ on Gabriel’s Hill and on the Julian Garner Headwear website


The London Hat Week runs from the 6th to the 12th of October with the exhibition running from the 7th to the 12th of October (11:00-18:00 daily) at the Coventry University London Campus, in the heart of the East London Fashion District, close to Liverpool Street and Spitalfields Market.

The whole week included events such as classes with established milliners like Jane Taylor (who caters to the Duchess of Cambridge) networking events with industry greats such as world renowned milliner Stephen Jones and Hilary Alexander, fashion journalist to the 2016 London Hat Week Official Exhibition – Milliner X Artisan.

The theme of this year’s exhibition is celebrating the collaboration between art and millinery. From over 250 applicants they have selected the finest 130 hats made my milliners from 20 countries (among others UK, Japan, Sweden, Australia, USA, Spain and Russia) to be showcased at the exhibition. You will be able to see the beautiful hats inspired by artists, architects, musicians and scientists.

For more information and tickets go to their website and follow @XTerrace #hat16

The first of Chris’ two pieces that will be on display in the exhibition are ‘The Delicious Monster’.  This was inspired by the giant leaves of the plant used in Ikebana Floral Arrangement – often cut and manipulated to create a shape that could not be found in nature. The simplicity of the design creates harmony between the material, the wearer and their setting.  The second piece of headwear is entitled ‘The Red Fern’, inspired by the spine of the fern plant leaf. – a plant that is very structural.

Chris explains: “I wanted to create a sculpture like piece and did so by hand manipulating thermoplastics into the desired shape. I combined the fabrications, the sleekness of the PVC and the fluidity of the sculpture, creating a bold and simple headpiece.”

Julian Garner Headwear is one of Maidstone’s success stories that keeps on growing and growing and if you are on the lookout for any millinery investment then I would suggest you snap up some of the designs from the Julian Garner Headwear Label.

‘The Red Fern’ from Julian Garner Headwear modelled by Glory Pearl
‘The Delicious Monster’ by Julian Garner Headwear modelled by Annie O’Quigley

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