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LOVELY doesn’t begin to describe the work of my friend, the London based, millinery artist Bridget Bailey. Having worked in the fashion industry for over thirty years, Bridget’s work has evolved from the more traditional, into accessories and headpieces that are true works of art with a functional twist. Vibrant color, drama and a dash of whimsy are all ingredients in a recipe that yields her delicious results. Taking her inspiration from nature, Bridget’s approach to accessory design is fresh and lighthearted.

4 Lily collar. Dress By Stamo

This fall, I sat down with Bridget to ask her a few questions about her work.

Kaki: What elements of your childhood do you think contributed most to your creative endeavors?

Bridget: I grew up in the countryside. My dad was a farmer and my mum is an artist. I have always been surrounded by animals and gardening, as well as the art thing. I was always making things and growing things then and now.

Kaki: How did you come to work in the accessories and hat designing side of the industry?

Bridget: I studied textiles at college in 1980. I did lots of hands on work with dyes. The first collection I made was a range of pleated fabrics. I showed my work to Jean Muir the classic designer of little black dresses, and she commissioned me to make cocktail hats for her catwalk shows. That is how the hat thing started.

Vine basket with wearable lid

Kaki: How would you describe your work? How would you describe a Bridget Bailey customer?

Bridget: My work is a combination: All the colour and richness of textiles mixed with the elegant lightness of millinery. I love the unexpected where the lid of a bag becomes a fascinator or you wear a pea pod instead of a rose. My perfect customer is a creative person: actress, writer or architect who likes to be witty and elegant.

Kaki: What projects do you have planned for the future?

Bridget: I showed a collection of jewelry pieces at the Philadelphia Museum of Art in November and had a great response so; I’m working on expanding that range. Getting the lightness and fun of millinery into jewelry makes a very fresh look.

6 Shoe Hat02526180_238126636287150_169563173_n318660_134413476658467_566947669_nTwin Strawberry necklace

Her flawlessly executed craft aside, Bridget is a delightful friend. With a kindly spirit she exudes life and a sincere curiosity for that which God has given us. She is a delightful combination of the same lighthearted freshness that her work exhibits. And I am grateful to have her as a friend.

Contact her in her London studio for commissions at: hats@baileytomlin.com