A unique exhibition is currently on display at the elegant Philip Mould Gallery on Pall Mall in London, celebrating the collaboration of hat designer Victoria Grant and portrait artist Lorna May Wadsworth. The two artists are inspired by each other: Wadsworth unveils a large-scale portrait of Grant; and Victoria has created a selection of imaginative headwear influenced by Lorna, history and historical costume. An extra special touch are the charming portrait miniatures in the Philip Mould & Co. collection that accent the beret and top hat designs by Victoria. (Top image: Lorna May Wadsworth and Victoria Grant, with the Wadsworth portrait of Victoria. Photo:Barney Cokeliss)
Long before photography existed, portrait miniatures were love tokens – a very personal item – painted by celebrated artists of the era. The miniatures were often worn on the body by both men and women, and used as accessories on coats, dresses and hats. The exhibition seeks to remind viewers that these highly personal and intimate objects, now generally displayed in cabinets or on walls, were often originally intended to be proudly worn. Philip Mould portrait miniature consultant Emma Rutherford, will also be examining the history of the hat jewel, and its portrayal in various historical pictures.
With a royal wedding in the offing for Prince Harry and Megan Markle in May, the great interest after what dress the bride will wear is about hats. Royal etiquette dictates that all women attending an official royal occasion must wear a head covering. Victoria Grant was one of the top milliners for the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. Among Grant’s many clients are models, fashion luminaries, and superstars. Her hat designs range from luxurious chic to radical avant-garde for couture houses.
The Philip Mould Gallery represents Lorna May Wadsworth, and the award-winning portrait painter’s work runs the spectrum from politicians to priests. She painted former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in five private sittings at her home in 2007, plus David Blunkett during his tenure as Home Secretary, and the Archbishop of Canterbury. This unique event celebrates the enduring cross-pollination between portraiture and fashion in anticipation of London Fashion Week. The Milliner at Philip Mould Gallery continues through 18th February. www.philipmould.com JG