Ana Bella Millinery is an international, award-winning, bespoke Millinery brand with a studio in both London and Australia, the luxury brand is specifically known for its renowned racing day and wedding millinery.
Ana herself trained with prominent UK milliners including Sophie Beale, Noel Stewart and others at the London College of Fashion. These experiences have led to her creations having a contemporary feel that is dramatically decadent. Her latest collection includes delicate lace, feathers, elaborate trims and spikes! We sat down with Ana to understand more about her work, find out why celebrities all over the world love her designs and discover what direction her brand is racing towards…
What’s it like being a milliner with studios in England and Australia, does it impact your work?
Having these two different studios means I don’t need to base my collections around winter hats. I work throughout the year with summer hats; the standout events that I work towards are in Dubai, Australia, the US and the UK. These all hold major racing Fashion events during their respective summer times.
The races are clearly an inspiration for your work! Recently, Marie Claire noted you as having one of the best fashion looks at Royal Ascot. In what way are you involved with Royal Ascot?
I’m involved with Royal Ascot through my clients, yet it’s not always about their hats – a lot of the time I get asked for advice from race goers about their entire outfit. I understand so much about each race day in different countries because I’ve attended them and know what they require – and i’ve won awards at some of these events!
That is what is great about your hats on LoveHats, your clients can now virtually try on your hats with their outfits! We’ve seen your hats at many racing events and you of course have won three consecutive titles at the Dubai World Cup for your Millinery and elegant styl. But away from the races, are there other socialite events you think more people should wear headwear to?
I wish we could see more hats worn by celebs at events such as the Met Gala. I would also love for hats and headpieces to be worn to special everyday life events like birthdays – why not complement an outfit with a hat? In the same way people use shoes or a handbag!
Recently you were selected to work on a show with Gok Wan, at the Perth Races Fashion Show! How did that feel?
When Gok’s office rang me, I wasn’t sure what to think, it was a bit surreal, I had been so focused on Royal Ascot at the time and now I had another amazing experience to look forward towards. I have watched his styling shows on TV, often whilst stitching my hats. The girls in his office told me Gok had seen my Millinery, and asked them to contact me because he personally wanted my collection at his VIP Scotland show. When they told me that, I was so flattered. Everyone loves Gok, he is such a lovely down-to-earth person, so after it was all confirmed, I let my secret out that Gok had invited me to exhibit with him at his VIP show – my clients and especially Australian Millinery fan base were so excited to see the upcoming show with Gok and I had a great time working with such a lovely person who loves fashion and styling as much as I do.
What else has been exciting for you in the past 12 months?
There have been a few exciting moments, but the third consecutive win of “Best Dressed Lady” after winning Dubai Best Hat and Longines Most Elegant Lady at the Dubai World Cup Fashion Style Stakes was definitely unexpected. I was so focused on my millinery exhibition at Meydan Hotel Dubai and working with my clients, that I left my own hat and outfit until the last minute. Before I won, I was actually hoping for one of my clients to win and thought she looked better than me!
Sorry to your client but it says something that you thought they looked wonderful. Lastly, how do you hope a customer feels when they place one of your hats on their head?
Totally fabulous, elegant and like they can attend the event they are going to, knowing they look sensational. Putting on a hat, is like crowning yourself, that’s how I feel anyway, it gives my clients confidence that they didn’t have before.