Elaine Keogh – Milliner

Currently based at Belmont Mill Artist Studios, Co. Offaly. Elaine Keogh just over a year ago, on a random trip home, fell in love with Co. Offaly.

Previous to this Elaine was living in London for seven years. While in London she spent four years training under Rose Cory, by previous appointment to Her Majesty the Queen Mother. Rose is a traditional milliner. Vogue once described her as “the milliners milliner”.   Elaine says, “I feel very prevlidged to have trained under her. With Rose every stitch must be perfect or you start again.

Before my training with Rose I went to LCF and also while traveling worked under milliners in South Africa. While in London I made hats for KTZ for their AW catwalk show at London Fashion Week along with collaborating with Trine Lindegaard, a Danish designer, on her menswear collections.

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What sparked your interest in fashion? 
I always loved Art, drawing, anything creative, but of course growing up in a house with four sisters we all spent our childhood dressing up.

I worked in a fabric shop when I first moved to London. It was the most amazing place to work. I learned everything possible about fabrics. We used to burn the fibres of fabrics to determine the composition of the fabric. The fibres would behave in different ways and had different smells. This started my love for fabrics and manipulating natural fibres. It was here that I first learned about sustainability and the difference in fabrics sourcing ethically. Quality is never compromised.

Describe your collection: 
The AW16 collection is inspired by the sparseness of the boglands during the winter months. All the scenery is bare, and this is reflected in the structural design of the hats, which trades excessive detailing for a purity in design that emphasizes a gentlewoman style.

This collection is precise and measured, without sacrificing femininity. Masculine shapes, are introduced and balanced by a femininity that flows between authority and desirability. Mixing feminine trims with sharp shapes, the collection mirrors the perfect clash of the winter landscape’s harshness of beauty.

Do you have a favourite motto/quote?
“A smile and a wink gets you further than you think”

What advice would you give to young designers? 
Never let your standards drop. Take all advice. Find an amazing mentor.

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What’s next for you? 
Continuing to grow awareness about sustainability through my collections. SS17 is my strongest collection to date so really excited to see the reaction to it. We are shooting it in September.

Article by: Sarah Talty

Campaign images are shot by Lucie Roxx, model: Megan Deverson, Models1 UK.

Fusion Magazine
Written by Fusion Magazine