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Leicester based Italian milliner Giulia Mio has won 2nd prize at the prestigious Feltmaker Design Awards 2016, for her beautiful felt and feather creation, The Lotus Garden.

Giulia submitted her creation as an up-coming milliner to the Feltmaker designer competition in early March 2016 and received the 2nd prize award in April 2016.

'The Lotus Garden' Photo credit: Giulia Mio
‘The Lotus Garden’ Photo credit: Giulia Mio

The inspiration Giulia’s creative hat came from the pure and graphic lines of lotus flowers. She created the flowers using white felt for the petals, silk and beads for the conic part of the stamens and then hand-dyed ostrich feathers for the hairy filaments that surround the stamen. The final result was a flower crown which also develops in height, keeping the design light and elegant.

The contest is organised every year by the Worshipful Company of Feltmakers of London. The aim of the award is to discover and promote new talented milliners within the UK, with particular focus on the innovative and artistic use of felt, often combined with other materials.

The designer expresses her thoughts when she received the award: “when I received the official news of the award, I thought they’d mistaken me of someone else! She said.

“It’s a great honour to be accepted as a participant of this kind of competition, and to win the 2nd prize was beyond my expectations.

“I am flattered that great milliners such as Mrs Rachel Trevor-Morgan and Mr Noel Stewart judged and appreciated my hat.”

Photo credit: Peach & Jo Photography
Photo credit: Peach & Jo Photography

Giulia has had some pretty remarkable experience. After graduating from her Set and Costume Design degree at the Academy of Fine Arts in Venice and completing an MFA in Costume Design at the Academy of Fine Arts of Brera in Milan, she co-found the haute couture hat brand, Le Volte Cappelli.

She also collaborated with Brancato Costumi, one of the most important Italian costume ateliers for theatre and cinema, as a theatrical milliner for musicals, operas and ballets.

Since she moved to Oxford in 2013, she ended her business partnership in Milan, but continued her collaboration with former customers in Italy and worked on different projects as a milliner and costume maker in London. Giulia then founded her own company, Giulia Mio Haute Couture Millinery in May 2015.

For more information about Giulia’s designs visit:

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