Yorkshire Life Reader Event - Suzanne Gill at Black Swan, Helmsley

Readers meet award-winning milliner Suzanne Gill at an exclusive Yorkshire Life event<br/><br/>Photographs by Andy Bulmer

The print version of this article appeared in the July 2012  issue of Yorkshire Life 

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Hats change us. Be it a stylish beret or one of those more outrageous designs seen at weddings or the races. Hats somehow make us feel special. Or at least that’s what women at our exclusive Yorkshire Life reader event told us.

At least 70 readers arrived at the Black Swan, Helmsley, North Yorkshire to meet award-winning hat designer Suzanne Gill who gave us an insight into world of millinery.

She fascinated her audience with hat making demonstrations, using traditional tools and materials to create an exclusive hat usually seen at the races, weddings or royal occasions.

Bespoke hats, she explained, are not always more expensive than mass produced styles found in department stores and often last longer if handled carefully and looked after.

Suzanne, a mother of two, who launched her business in 2010, has already established a reputation for creating some of the most sought-after headwear seen today. She won her first award – Winner of Best Hat at Cheltenham Festival – within months of completing – with distinction – her studies at HarperLeeds College of Art.

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Ethical millinery has become more important to Suzanne as her business grows and she works to ensure materials she uses are environmentally friendly and ethically sourced whenever possible.

She urged her audience to support local milliners who are keeping alive very special skills which should not be lost. And I think her words hit home because many of our guests not only tried the different hats but bought them too.

Our special thanks go to the team at the Black Swan, Helmsley, who provided a delicious lunch and to Annie Stirk, our food and drink consultant who, in association with her company Absolutely Food, organised the event.


Suzanne Gill,01439 788170suzannegillmillinery.co.uk

Black Swan Hotel,Helmsley,01439 770466,blackswan-helmsley.co.uk

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