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LiveStudio: Piers Atkinson

published on 28 July 2017

Watch the highlights from Piers Atkinson's two-day live residency. The milliner crafts a series of hats inspired by 'the language of flowers'.

Watch the highlights from Piers Atkinson's two-day live residency. The milliner crafts a series of hats inspired by 'the language of flowers'.

Q&A

21 NOV 2012. 14:03

Q. If you had to make a hat for the queen, what would it be like?
A. I guess that's the kind of thing you'd ask her! I actually think she is a great hat wearer. I think I'd rather make her a crown, we could work with Erin and David Morris and create something spectacular!

21 NOV 2012. 13:54

Q. Do you want to venture into any other accessories or clothing?
A. Jess was talking earlier about hats as sculpture. We do talk about expanding at times, but at the moment, it is very much about head wear because of the sculptural side to it. Shoes are similar but they need flex and things. One of the things that inspires me is seeing the incredible Flemish portraits of people; dark paintings where girls and boys have pale skin with dark backgrounds, and they sit with a hand placed on a skull or book depending on what they are. So I like the idea of using the head and shoulders to tell a story on who that person is.

21 NOV 2012. 11:42

Q. Piers do you ever use forms of music for inspiration for your work? If so, what forms of music? Thanks, Nick
A. Last season I really loved 'Kiss Them For Me' by Siouxsie and the Banshees. It's a glamorous song, but with a tragic story. I definitely listen to music. I run pop videos in my head and think what the girls might wear. I love Kate Bush. And Grace Jones of course. As far as aesthetic is concerned, that's a life long inspiration. That very dry chic sound. I listen to lots of Laurie Anderson, and eighties radio!

21 NOV 2012. 11:18

Q. I'm a florist, I also love flowers. Where do you think your love of flowers began and what is your earliest memory of that? Thanks Nick Knight and SHOWstudio, Piers and team for this. It's fascinating and inspiring to watch the creative process.
A. I can answer that easily. I come from a family of gardeners but my grandmother was a real inspiration, she was a book writer and a sculptress and also trained as a dancer. When I was 11 we moved from Sussex to Norfolk and we moved in with my grandma, and at that time, house prices were very different from south to north, and we ended up with a nice garden. We had cherry trees! Grandma was a book collector all her life and had a librabry of about 2000 books. She taught me about all these wonderful cultural refences. But she also wrote a lot of books about grardening and also folklore. She wrote, The Language of Flowers, which is why we called the LiveStudio this. My grandma collected hundreds of books of the same name with floral paintings etc, but really they explain how a particualr flower is associated with a particular sentiment.
So there was always gardening going on in my family, we were out in the garden rather than watching telly. We watched things grow year after year and I find the forms of nature very inspiring which leads back to us doing this art noveau project.

22 NOV 2012. 10:30

Q. Hi Piers, (and SHOWstudio!) it's wonderful to see all your team working live, I have been watching away over here at my studio and wondered if you could tell me what it is about oriental aesthetics that you love so much as it seems to be a theme that reoccurs in your work. With love from Phoebe (English) xxxx
A. I think the oriental aesthetic I enjoy particularly comes more through chinoiserie, and its western interpretation, especially in the 18th and 19th centuries. You often see chinoiserie in inlaid furniture and wall paper. I went down to the Brighton pavilion and there is amazing Chinese decor there, but it has been interpreted through a western aesthetic. So it's the interpretation I find quite fascinating. I'd love to explore the history of art there.
One of the other things I like is the symbolism, like we learned yesterday! I love the symbolism and ritual in it.

Models:
Jade Parfitt, Alla Kostromichova, Gigi Jeon
Styling:
Make-up:
Andrew Gallimore
Hair:
Lok Lau
Nails:
Marie-Isabel
Film Edit:
Technical Supervision:
Technical Assistance and Imagery:
Styling Assistance:
Daisy Newman

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