Travels With Jane

Milliner and Intrepid Traveller, Jane Stoddart, reports on Millinery in the USA and Canada.

I asked her about her journey:

“Delighted to report that I have recently returned from a wonderful month travelling/teaching across the USA and Canada, spending time renewing old millinery friendships, meeting and making many new friends.  I really recommend taking the time to follow up on those FB connections if you’re planning to travel.

 I had had the previous privilege of being invited to teach at IMF Tutor, Jan Wutkowski’s and Diane Shagott’s Millinery Meet Up in Gatlinburg, Tennessee in October 2016 and had received many requests from millinery friends to return to the USA.

I was inspired to make this trip because I wanted to know this fascinating country better and what better way to connect than through like-minded practitioners, friends and colleagues. I was really impressed with how genuinely friendly, open and hospitable US milliners are.  They opened their houses and workrooms to me, took me to dinner and on shopping expeditions and shared lots of stories.

My six classes covered topics such as Lace, Lace & Crinoline, Blocked Leather, Leather Feather Headpiece, Embellished Birdcage Veil and I was delighted to have old friends such as previous IMF Tutor, Jasmin Zorlu book in.

My first stop was New York, where  I mounted my first US millinery exhibition at East Village Hats, courtesy of the lovely Julia Knox. We held a swell party to promote the show and I was so excited to meet NY celebrities such as Jean and Valerie (@idiosyncraticfashionistas) and Martina Dietrich (@mdcoutureny).

I connected up with the NY Milliners Guild  and attended a committee meeting where I traded ideas and experiences with lots of lovely local milliners and lunched with their dynamic President, Ellen Christine at Robert De Niro’s bistro Locanda Verde.

Next stop was Chicago where I caught up with IMF Tutor, Eia Radosavljevic who took me on a tour of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago where Eia teaches millinery. The fashion/millinery resources room was AMAZING! I also caught up with local milliner Laura Whitlock who took me to see the Frank Lloyd Wright house.

Off to Toronto to catch up with my dear friend, also IMF Tutor, Jaycow and her lovely family. We held a fabulous 2 day class in the studio space of milliner extraordinaire, David Dunkley.


Next stop San Diego and a class hosted by milliner and teacher Diana Cavagnaro (her classes now on Hat Academy) and some wonderful Mexican food.

On to Los Angeles and the amazing Mela Hoyt Heydon. Long time millinery teacher and academic, Mela specialises in costume and theatre and does a lot of work for Disney. Three days of packed classes and happy students, then a trip to the Fashion district and my favourite US millinery supplier, California Millinery Supplies, perfect for fossicking for vintage millinery treasures.

My classes done, I took a leisurely train trip up the coast to San Francisco, where I was lucky enough to score a press invite to the exhibition ‘Degas, Impressionism, and the Paris Millinery Trade’ at the Legion of Honor. They have a great online resource for this wonderful exhibition at and I recommend the catalogue.

Highlights for me were the NY Milliners Guild Committee meeting, such dynamic ladies! My NY soiree of course and the wonderful Degas exhibition with such beautiful portraits of women sitting and stitching, a pile of trims in front of them, just the way we still do today.”