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.
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.
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.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
The only bit of Jean Paul Gaultier that I have even been able to afford was in the form of a 12 ounce can of Diet Coke. I happend to be in Paris this fall when the couture cans hit the bistros. Silly as it sounds, I couldn’t help but imagine myself the absolute picture of glamour, as I strolled down Boulevard Housmann with my Hermes scarf billowing gently against the lapel of my perfect brown trenchcoat, all the while stylishly sipping my can of Jean Paul Gautier coke. I was born and raised in Atlanta- so, here’s to you Coca-Cola. This idea is a stroke of genius… Thanks for the Coke and a smile. And, no Madame, Pepsi will not be ok!