Ellie Vallerini

2022 QEST Scholar - Millinery
East Sussex

Ellie studied design and fashion before gaining a BA in Contemporary Crafts at Falmouth University of the Arts. She has done short courses, training, internships and apprenticeships with some of the country’s leading milliners, and in 2011 she was awarded first prize by the V&A Museum for a hat she exhibited there as part of their “Inspired By” award and exhibition. After an internship with Edwina Ibbotson, she took up a position at John Boyd hats, before establishing her own business, Ellie Vallerini Hats, in 2017. The majority of her work involves the design and hand-making of couture millinery for TV, theatre and exhibition, as well as bespoke work for private clients.

Ellie’s QEST Scholarship will support a bespoke training programme of six short courses. With Sophie Lambe she will learn bonnet making, and at West Dean she will look at the French and Japanese traditions of silk meadow flowers. Ian Bennett will provide tuition in block-making and feather-work and a second course at West Dean will focus on dahlias. Finally, one-to-one training with Anne Tomlin will concentrate on smaller, delicate flower-making.

My designs feature my love of colour, simplicity and style. Using traditional millinery techniques and a variety of materials, I make each hat by hand creating an object of beauty and exquisite craftsmanship which, I believe, adds to the magic of wearing a couture hat.