LOCK & CO. HATTERS

St James's St, LONDON, Founded 1676 #mystjames #london #hats

THE VISIT...

Visiting Lock & Co., the oldest hat shop in the world, established in 1676 & still a family run business, is like visiting a museum & gallery in one. The women’s couture hats, designed by Sylvia Fletcher, are such beautiful works of art & Lock and Co. is just a glorious world of history, tradition & beauty & also where the bowler, or ‘Coke’ hat was born...

Nelson's and Churchill's hats were made here...

This is the conformateur, a head measuring device invented in 1852 & still used in the shop today. Many paper head shapes are framed at the back of the shop & include heads from Roosevelt to Tracy Emin...

paper head shapes fill these drawers...

UPSTAIRS...

When I went upstairs onto the first floor, I was basically in couture hat heaven! I don’t think I’d realised how much I actually truly love hats & how much I want to wear them. I’ve always been in awe of designs by Irene in films like 'Easter Parade', and stepping into a room full of Sylvia Fletcher hats felt a bit like I was in vintage Hollywood...

The workshop...

I could have stayed with those hats for hours...it was such a lovely experience, and I was incredibly lucky to have both Sue Simpson and Ruth Ravenscroft arranging and re-arranging hats on the mantlepiece for me to photograph... Ruth then took me to the workshop at the top of the building where these hats are made...

the amazing Dickensian London view from the dying room...

The trip also inspired today’s table composition,with the Beatrice Baker hat I wore when I got married; my Mum bought me the hat and it inspired my whole outfit design, and which I still adore... even though I’m divorced!!

...

From my teens & into my early 30’s I always loved wearing hats, so after my visit I unearthed a few of my collection & counted over 40! I also dug out some of my own outfit designs from years ago, which often featured a hat ( I used to make lots of my own clothes )...

one of my favourite vintage hats...

some of my collection...

If you find yourself in London, in or near the St James’s area, you really must make Lock and Co. part of your visit, if not the reason for it...it's very inspirational! #mystjames

There's more about my visit on my blog here: www.5ftinf.com www.lockhatters.co.uk

Instagram: 5ftinf & lockhatters Snapchat: five5ftinf

Share This Story
  • tilly2milly

    This is gorgeous ❤️👌🏻

  • copperline

    LOVE this story! Love all the detail shots in the shop - the lasts and the ribbons and fabrics. This must have been a fascinating place to visit!

  • 5ftinf

    @tilly2milly thank you D 😘💕

  • 5ftinf

    @copperline thank SO much! I really loved it there, it was a fantastic experience to be shown around!!

  • ygershel

    Great trip to this famous hat makers! Love those crazy hats!!💖💕

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