Piers Atkinson has worn nearly as many hats as he’s made. Artist, illustrator, milliner, costume designer, party organiser, fashion editor, project manager – his creative energies only seem to be matched by an insatiable curiosity.
He grew up in Norfolk with three generations of women – his mother, herself a milliner; his sister Lucy, the long-suffering photographic model for his teenage reconstructions of Grace Jones and Art of Noise record covers; and his grandmother, the artist/writer/horticulturalist and illustrator Lesley Gordon, from whom he took his multi-disciplinary cue. Piers has had many great influences down the line, from his mother the theatrical milliner Hilary Elliott, at whose knee he learned hat-making, to Stephen Jones, who paid a brief but memorable visit to his grad show at University of Bristol, where he studied graphic design and photography. Moving to London in 1995, he helped out at that year’s Alternative Miss World, the brainchild of artist Andrew Logan, now an occasional collaborator but constant inspiration to Piers: ‘He helped me see the rich possibilities of free-form events and a ‘just do it’ attitude.’