What A Load Of BS...
...we are of course referring to Bee Smith, this month's featured Rokit Designer's Guild designer, and not bovine excrement. Shame on you, sir/madam, for thinking anything else. Read on for our interview with the milliner extraordinaire, whose charming collection of 40s and 50s inspired headwear is guaranteed to solve all those occasional hat dilemmas!
Interests: Ballet, theatre, cocktails, travelling, gigs, dancing like a drunken mum, galleries, spending hours in antiques shops, making things, gnomes and hats (obviously!)
Interesting: I once played the flute in the Royal Albert Hall (no band geek jokes please)
How did you get started?
I studied fashion at uni and worked for lots of different designers and stylists for a few years after graduation. I always wanted my own business and when I was made redundant saw it as an opportunity to set up my own label, so I went back to college to study millinery and moved into my own studio. Now I couldn't imagine doing anything else really.
What inspires your work?
Anything and everything: old movies, vintage hats I find in charity shops, English eccentricity, 50s kitsch, surrealism...
Bee loves a spot of English eccentricity so we assume she approves of our Royal Wedding themed photo shoot using her camel pillbox hat, £95!
How do you wear yours?
I wore my green bow pillbox hat to the Blitz Party last month. I may have had a little gin when the photo was taken, shhhh...
What's your favourite piece in your collection?
My favourite piece is probably the blue star headband. I based the shape on a 1950s headdress I found and developed it into my own pattern. I now use the shape throughout my collections so it's become par of my design signature.
Blue Star Headband, £65
What's your favourite style era?
The 1940s. I love the make do and mend era, and I just found some vintage hat patterns from the 40s on ebay so will be busy making them for autumn/winter...
What's your life's ambition?
When I was little I wanted to be a train driver. But now I feel like I am doing what I should be doing. I love being able to create whatever's in my head, and although I don't get to drive a train I could still wear the hat!
Expect to see Bee wearing this train driver's cap, £15, any day now...
Tell us a secret...
I'm a closet Disney fan (like most kids of the 80s), I watch Cinderella when feeling down and it always helps!
And finally, the all-important question: what's your pornstar name (first pet's name + mum's maiden name)?
Flopsy Thomas! Ha ha never let a 4 year old name a rabbit!
Thanks Bee. Check back next month for our next Featured Designer interview!