Interview: Rachel Trevor-Morgan – Milliner

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Meet the latest addition to our London Fashion Lowdown interview series, milliner to H.M. The Queen Rachel Trevor-Morgan. Rachel established her business in 1990, building a thriving and successful brand from her 17th-Century atelier in London’s St James’s.

Her hats are renowned for their beautiful handwork and design, and each creation is meticulously hand-blocked and stitched, and every floral appliqué is hand-dyed and rolled. Unsurprisingly, her brand is famed for its feminine elegance. Trevor-Morgan believes that glamour and elegance are timeless, but draws particular inspiration from an era when millinery was de rigueur.

It was in summer 2006, that Rachel was first appointed to design hats for H.M. The Queen, who has worn Rachel’s hats on many high-profile occasions. She also designs hats for other members of the Royal family and has collaborated with many respected designers.

1. When did fashion/a sense of personal style first become important to you? 

At school, a desire to be different.

2. Who is your style icon (living or dead)? 

Coco Chanel.

3. How would you describe London style? 

Diverse and individual.

4. If you could live anywhere else in the world where would it be (and why)? 

Actually, I love London and would rather be here than anywhere. I also have a beautiful stone cottage in mid Wales where I run away to unwind. I need both in equal measure.

5. Limited to just a suitcase, which items from your wardrobe would you have to take with you? 

My style is very pared down and I could be happy with a small suitcase. I would need my black skinny trousers, several simple fitted tops, my Stewart Parvin black dress for dressing up, Alice Temperley ribbed black jacket, Pretty Ballerina pumps and my Barbour International jacket.

6. What are your most used grooming/beauty products? 

My Estée Lauder foundation and eyeliner along with my Jo Malone lime, basil and mandarin body crème.

7. When and where did you look your best? 

Earlier this year I was photographed for Tatler for their Jubilee issue. I wore Dior couture and a beautiful pillbox from my Spring collection – a black satin headpiece with feather and jet bird.

8. Which is your favourite season of the year (and why)? 

Personally, Autumn/Winter. I much prefer winter clothes and autumn colours but I love my business in the spring and the excitement which each day brings.

9. Who in your own family most influenced your sense of style? 

No one particularly but my love of hats was probably sparked by my mother always wearing hats to church. She had quite a reputation for her millinery.

10. If life was a movie, which film would you most like to live in? 

Brief Encounter.

11. Which grooming or fashion mistakes most irk you in others? 

Beautiful clothes let down by a poor hat.

12. Cat or dog? 

Cat but don’t tell my dog!

13. What lesson would you pass on to younger people following in your shoes? 

Take time to learn your craft and take every opportunity offered to you.

14. What motivates you in your career? 

Perfection – beautifully crafted hats. Making my clients happy and confident and helping them to look their best.

15. If you could trade looks with anyone who would that person be? 

Kristin Scott Thomas.

16. What category of clothing are you most drawn to/are most likely to overspend on? 

Shoes. As with hats, keep your style simple and stand out with accessories.

17.Which is your most treasured sense? 


18.Name three elements of a perfect holiday? 

Sea, a wild coast (preferably Pembrokeshire) and peaceful surroundings.

19. If you could change a single aspect of your appearance what would it be? 

Maybe just turn the clock back 10 years… otherwise I’m quite content.

20. Your ideal lunch venue and guest? 

The Wolseley with my paternal grandfather who I never knew.


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