How to make a lily, with Katherine Elizabeth Millinery

one of Katherine Elizabeth's hats

Katherine Elizabeth Millinery shows us how to make a lily and answers some questions for us.

Katherine Elizabeth Millinery, one of our Oxo Tower Wharf tenants, is an award-winning designer who specialises in bespoke, custom hats; she has made hats for the likes of Lily Allen and Debbie McGee.

In the video below Katherine Elizabeth talks us through how to make a lily, which can be used to brighten up any hat! All you need is some sinamay fabric and she will talk you through the rest…

As well as creating this great ‘How To’ video, Katherine Elizabeth was kind enough to answer some questions for us. Give them a read below…

What is your favourite kind of headpiece to design and make?
I love creating sculptural statement pieces that reflect architecture as well as nature, my favourite time of year is Royal Ascot when everyone wants big crazy hats.

How long have you been a milliner and how did you get into it?
I have been a milliner for nearly 20 years and I absolutely love it, I first got into at university when a lady came in from Frederic Fox to teach us about hat making, she showed me a hat that she had cast from rocks and I thought this was absolutely amazing, from then on I was hooked. Hats are sculptures that you can wear, they make you feel more glamorous, taller, and give you confidence.

How many millinery challenges do you do a year?
I usually put on about 3 Millinery challenges a year but I have put on a few more during the Covid-19 lockdowns. It's been really fun and we have had thousands of milliners joining in so far, I think it has helped people cope during the lockdown and given them a focus, we will have lots of new budding milliners starting up businesses once Covid-19 is over.

What’s your favourite hat you’ve ever made?
I have made a lot but at the moment it's a new silver futuristic style headpiece, it's recently been photographed by a stylist for a magazine and is on my Instagram.

What do you love making the most?
I love making unusual sculptural pieces for the racing season, that's my favourite.

What’s your favorite thing about millinery?
I love the fact that you can make pieces of art to wear, they're 3D pieces that you can look at in a gallery or wear to an event, I love that cross-over between art and fashion.

As mentioned in the video, Katherine Elizabeth runs a Millinery Academy and regular Millinery Challenges throughout the year. In her next challenge, starting 23rd February, she will give you a fun task to complete every day for three days so at the end of the challenge you will have created your perfect mini top hat. She will also be giving away 3 prizes to people who have completed all the challenges and taken part. If you’re interested, sign up on her website here:

Katherine Elizabeth Millinery's website

Thanks again to Katherine, I loved working with you on this - Sarah