As quirky as the name suggests, London milliner Bundle MacLaren’s range of hats presents an eclectic mix of bold concept pieces and whimsical, romantic designs.
It all began when, in her 20s, Bundle was struck by the distinct lack of stylish, yet affordable, hats on offer. She had spotted a gap in the market and immediately set about filling it.
My dream when I started was to make beautiful hats at reasonable prices and I’ve worked really hard to stay true to that goal.
Her traditional millinery training at London’s Kensington & Chelsea College proved the perfect foundation on which to build this dream and, in 2009, she launched Bundle MacLaren Millinery from her colourfully chaotic kitchen in Battersea.
Initially trading on London’s Portobello Road, Bundle quickly drew an affluent crowd and, as word of her uniquely spirited approach spread like wildfire, it became apparent that she was going to have to upgrade her ‘office’ to somewhere that could handle the demand.
By the time the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton was announced, just 18 months later, she had officially emerged as one of the most sought-after milliners in the country, and her bespoke designs were worn by more than a dozen special guests at Westminster Abbey.
Fast-forward four years and Bundle MacLaren Millinery now operates out of an airy showroom in Fulham, where clients practically flock to try on her vivid wares. Especially in the run up to Ascot when, as you might imagine, things get particularly busy.
Fashionistas the world over descend on the studio, clutching their carefully chosen outfits to ensure they commission a matching showpiece. ‘Unlike most milliners, we can make almost every design, in any colour combination, so clients always end up with their dream hat,’ says Bundle.
An extension to their formal headpieces is their celebrated bridal collection, but they also offer a range of everyday hats, so clients no longer need the excuse of a special occasion to treat themselves. This casual offering includes an array of colourful, winter trilbies, elegant fedoras and chic sun hats, all made to measure in the finest materials. A world apart from their high street competitors, clients can choose every aspect of their hat, from colour and style to material and trim.
Hot off the press is the Florence collection for 2016, which includes a heady mix of bold, contemporary and frivolously feminine offerings and plays to Bundle’s love of sculptural pieces. There’s a floral ice cream, a gilded birdcage and a butterfly boater, to name but a few. Always underpinned by a sense of fun, these charming conversation starters are intended to make the heart beat a little faster; ideal for those of us who want to make a memorable entrance and leave a lasting impression.
There’s something quite liberating about wearing a beautiful hat, particularly one you’ve designed yourself. This year sees the launch of ‘Dare to Dream’ – an opportunity for clients to design their own show-stopping creations, during a six to eight-week collaboration with the millinery team; the possibilities are endless.
Don’t imagine for a nanosecond that the volume of hats Bundle MacLaren Millinery manages to deliver to its appreciative following in any way compromises quality. The team works hard to ensure that every piece receives the exacting attention it deserves; you only have to scroll through the gushing reviews online.
All in all, Bundle MacLaren Millinery is amongst the most exciting of the Great British brands to watch, but what’s truly touching is that, as the business soars higher and higher, the founding values remain firmly on solid ground. They’re clearly not in it for the fame; they’re in it to make their clients happy and deliver creative flair. Bundle really is a true artist and, to our mind, a genuine bundle of joy.
BUNDLE MACLAREN STUDIO 5D, 88 PETERBOROUGH RD, LONDON SW6 3HH +44 (0)7432 071606