Vanessa Brett

Vanessa has always enjoyed creative hobbies but millinery became an all consuming passion during the Covid lockdown. With the challenges of no work and her children having grown up and just left home, she focussed on learning and developing her skills. Initially via on line tutorials then, as lockdown eased, she attended tutoring sessions in London. Vanessa is a member of the British Millinery Association and has gained much of her knowledge from their training sessions where ambassadors generously share their skills and expertise.

In January 2022 Vanessa started renting a studio in the beautiful Hylands Estate near her home in Writtle, Essex which enabled her to pursue her dream to have a millinery business. It was a very successful first year with a particular highlight being awarded the Essex Wedding Award for New Business of the Year. 

The Phoenix exhibit represents a hopeful and vibrant emergence from the Covid pandemic and a very exciting new adventure. 

Acknowledgement for the techniques in the piece – Ian Bennett, Katie Vale, Anèl Heyman and the British Millinery Association. 


Materials: Sinamay, wire, compressed paper ball. Metal headband.

Techniques: Blocking, wiring, sewing.