Alva Wilson logoAlva Wilson of ALVA HEAD WEAR, specializes in hats for men and women and has been making, designing and teaching for 25 years. His work combines traditional millinery techniques mixed with a contemporary edge. Straws, felts and an array of luxurious fabrics are, swirled, twirled, twisted and pleated into hat creations, that evokes elegance, confidence, wit and charm. He is a sculptor who makes hats.

He studied fashion / textiles at Middlesex University and freelanced as a fashion designer before deciding to do millinery. He sold his first collection to ‘THE HAT SHOP’, in Covent Garden and then went on to sell other boutiques as well as commissions for the theatre, film and Television. In 1997 Alva entered one of his creation in ‘THE HATS OFF TO HACKNEY competition and came first. He opened his first shop ‘THE HAT GALLERY’ at the now thriving Broadway Market, Hackney in 1998-2002. During this time he went back to designing clothes as well as hats and collaborated with other designer makers, artistes in Hackney who frequently exhibited at his shop.
As well as doing hats for the Royal Ascot and other special occasions Alva teaches hat making & felt making at colleges, schools and museums. Alva is one of the co founders of THE HAT MAKING WORKSHOP at Telegraph Hill Community Centre in 2002. His teaching skills incorporate recycling, fabric manipulation, felt making and other experimental techniques. His work has been featured at LFW & ALTERNATIVE ARTS FASHION WEEK and has designed hats for music videos and fashion editorials.

He has also sold collections to shops in Japan, Paris and New York as well as boutiques in the U.K. “Designing hats and teaching is a wonderful counter balance. It not only helps me to remember and update what I know, but it gives me satisfaction seeing student’s creativity & self esteem excel.”

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