Follow The Good Cornwall guide on Twitter follow Good Cornwall Guide on Facebook
  • Thumbnail Image
  • Thumbnail Image
  • Thumbnail Image

A Milliner’s Tale…

Cornwall's very own Holly Young has been away for four months working for the incredibly prestigious Phillip Treacy in the Big Smoke: London Town (pronounced Taaan). Phillip Treacy is a renowned Milliner to the stars and has created hats and headpieces for runway, fashion shoots and celebrities such as Sarah Jessica Parker, Katherine Jenkins, Victoria Beckham and Kate Middleton - in fact, he created an incredible 35 hats for the royal wedding alone! He even designed for...wait for it, Elizabeth Taylor! He took her 25 hats to look at and she ended up keeping every single one - what talent.

During Holly’s hats in the city experience she worked on the run up to Couture Paris week and found herself working around the clock six, sometimes seven days a week, thrown into the deep end of utter vogue-ness!  The entire experience was a complete whirlwind and she worked on several creations, assisting Monsieur Treacy with swarvoski-clad python headpieces for Givenchy, hats for Armani and pieces for upcoming designer Didit on the runway.

The ultimate starstruck moment was when Holly told me all about the mask for the Lady Gaga perfume advert.  A wax cast of Gaga was sent to the studio from the New York Madam Tussauds in order to take measurements and inbetween the madness and mahem of couture fashion and the glamour of Gaga, Holly found herself colour matching fabric for a golden Cleopatra headdress for Madonna to wear to the Super Bowl: HOW starstruck am I?  To be honest, Holly had me already at ‘Givenchy’ – I have visions of Audrey Hepburn leaping through fields and now I’m trying to think of reasons why I need Holly to design a hat for my wedding: obviously I cannot get married without one of Holly’s hats now!


So what made our Cornish creative decide to set up camp in London?  Holly explains she went there for the Winter as it was a quieter time for her and she wanted to hone her skills and learn from the master himself.  Her aim is to be the go-to name in millinery for the South West and she is definitely going the right way about it!  “Being in London with Phillip has increased my confidence as now I know my sewing techniques are right for couture despite being trained in theatre and costume, I really sharpened my skills and whereas at home I’m often working ON the business rather than in it, this gave me the chance to make hats continuously all day, every day and 12 hour days too….it was like hat boot camp!.”


London sounds so exciting and fashion-forward so why did Holly choose to come back to Cornwall?  Because she simply loves it here!  “I got offered a permanent job working with Phillip which is an absolute honour but I turned it down.  Although I love making the hats, I love designing them also which is something I want to do under my own name as I build my brand and create my own label.  I love working for myself and I love Cornwall – there is nowhere else where you can pop out at lunch time for a walk along the river and really get that creative thinking space.”  Holly explains how passionate she is about Cornwall as a place for art, creativity and entrepreneurialism and although London has buzz, it doesn’t have such a concentrated number of creatives in such a beautiful and small space.

So what is next for Miss Young, the Milliner from the Country?  Currently she is preparing for the Cornwall Design Fayre taking place between 17th-19th August at Trereife House and working on new commissions for weddings.  She also has some work going into Trelissick Gardens Gallery and is now stocked in Bishop Philpotts; a stylish women’s clothing store in Truro.  She is currently looking into a possible collaboration with luxury brand Fortnum & Mason for the Winter and will be attending the Pentillie Festival of Speed ( for which she has designed some exclusive racing inspired hats.  Hats off to Holly!  For further information visit Holly’s website:

About the Author

A Milliner’s Tale…

Top Quote:“Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now” Johann Goethe – this quote was on my wall for my entire time at university, it has shaped my life

Read More of My posts


One Response Subscribe to comments

  1. Jane Adams

    Hi Holly, reading about you gave me an idea – I have been buying head bands for years, always the same style, and I am devastated as this year they are not doing it, I have an example, could you make me something similar as I would definitely be needing more than one?

    Jan 13, 2013 @ 6:39 pm