Piers Atkinson Channels His Inner Child
“I wanted to capture the energy of childhood—when there are no rules,” offered Piers Atkinson of his Spring ’14 collection. This season, the milliner, known for his cheeky feminine toppers, designed a range of embellished girly pink, canary yellow, and lavender wares befitting any little princess. “In my story in my head, the girl is dreaming about being a pop star or a movie star—and it’s her birthday party,” Atkinson said of the range, which he’s aptly dubbed It’s MY Party. This concept is brought to life via sweet little headbands garnished with silicone and Swarovski-crystal cupcakes, a cake headpiece with a crystal strawberry on top, and a paint-splattered coned creation that looks like one of those paper party hats you got when you were a kid. Other cheerful standouts include a pink cotton baseball cap, which, topped with a bow, has an opening in the back for an eighties-style über-high ponytail; a piece that resembles a veritable explosion of cotton-candy-hued tulle; and headbands and berets with Atkinson’s signature diamanté veils, only this season they’re augmented with colorful nail decals, tiny pink bows, and—get this—googly eyes.
Atkinson did have some help conjuring this childlike whimsy. He invited two young ladies—Tui, age 12, and Miel, age 14—to visit his studio and learn about millinery. It’s these girls who star in Atkinson’s Spring ’14 Instagram campaign, which debuts exclusively here, and will be rolling out on @PiersAtkinson and @Styledotcom over the next few days. The snaps are covered with those playful virtual stickers everyone’s so fond of lately, and the designer will be handing out illustrated posters with packages of actual hat-themed stickers to those who visit his London fashion week installation at Somerset House.
“I think people tend to think about hats as a bit old-fashioned, a bit posh, a bit rich old lady. But actually, anyone who comes into my studio can put on a hat and have a good time. What I’m trying to do is express that anyone can wear a hat and enjoy herself,” explained Atkinson. As for what he dreamed about during his early years, the milliner admitted, “I wanted to be a pop star, an astronaut, and a costume designer. So I made one of them come true, in a way.”