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Piers Atkinson Millinery

This madcap milliner takes us into his studio and sketches where he manages to fuse Mickey Mouse ears and Rorschach ink blots.

Piers Atkinson is probably better known as the man responsible for setting up Daily Rubbish, the fashion newspaper distributed at London Fashion Week but he is primarily a milliner with photography, illustration and writing on the side. Born in Norfolk and having studied graphic design at the University of West England, he winded up working at various PR stints in London. Now he has decided to carve a niche in extreme millinery with his first collection having debuted for A/W 08-9.

Atkinson let Dazed Digital take a look at his studio and his sketches.

Dazed Digital: When did you move to London?
Piers Atkinson: I came to London when I was 20 to meet Andrew Logan having heard about ‘Alternative Miss World’. I loved it here and have never left.

DD: What have you been up to in London?
PA: I have worked for Zandra Rhodes, Mandi Lennard PR, BLOW PR and Disorder Magazine.

DD: When did your interest in millinery begin?
PA: My mum was a Milliner for the Royal Opera House and the English National Opera so I used to sit under her table when she was making hats, making my own out of all her scrap materials.

DD: What was the first hat you made?
PA: For my degree show I made hats called “Siandeleer” and “ Fleurdelys”, which Stephen Jones came to!

DD: What are you doing now?
PA: I am now concentrating on making my own collection each season. A / W 08 was my first, titled ‘The Little Mouse that Rorschach’ed’. It consists of  9 pieces. Each design represents a character in a story so we have ‘Ear Ear’, ‘The Dalston’ The ‘Showgirl’ etc….. I enjoy collaborating and so my collection includes work by Andrew Logan, Ryan Styles and Darren West.

DD: What materials do you use?
PA: My materials vary a lot; mrror and resin, wool, suede, mink, glass, found objects, paper, wood, silk, perspex and even neon tubing.

DD: What’s your favourite part of designing?
PA: For me it’s drawing, I love sketching all my initial ideas and then seeing the whole process – through to handing it over to stylists and seeing how my designs have been used.

DD: What Can we expect to see from S /S 09?
PA: This season is based on my concerns with capitalism. Split physical relationships with people, sitting on buses with headphones, texting, emailing, being all digital, being watched on CCTV everywhere, Big Brother. This collection is called “Cover her Face” and is a little larger with 12 pieces and introduces weird and wonderful balaclavas and a hint of Swarovski.

DD: Have you collaborated with anyone on this collection?
PA: I have collaborated with Zandra Rhodes and Vera, an 80 year granny up north who is on board as my knitter!

DD: Are you working on any other projects?
PA: Yes I am collaborating with NOKI for a celebration at the White Cubicle, George and Dragon, on the 15th of Sept .This is an exciting collaboration with a view for future projects.