Wexford People

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Arnotts now showcasing Amanda's hats

Gorey woman Amanda Byrne is fast garnering a reputation as one of Ireland's top emerging milliners.

Amanda of Highbury Designs located in Tara Hill has caught the eye of Arnott's Department Store and is now one of four milliners featured in store and online.

Announcing the addition of Amanda and the three other milliners Arnotts said it 'has always been committed to fostering homegrown Irish craftsmanship and in continuing with the 'Love Irish Design' initiative, we're proud to welcome four extremely talented and creative Irish milliners into the store and online for 2015.

'Their unique, stylish headpieces landed just in time for the hectic, summer racing, wedding and occasion wear season.'

Amanda who is originally from Dublin now lives in Tara Hill with her husband and son. She set up Highbury Designs in 2013. She was originally trained in the art of hand felting and her passion for creating hand felted hats led her to extend her training as a milliner.

Amanda has developed her own unique millinery style, drawing her inspiration from the 1920s era, although she does like to put a modern twist on her hats.

'I love the elegant simplicity of the cloche and the numerous ways it can be finished but still represent a strong woman with an air of sophistication'.

Amanda has recently designed a collection of classic trilbys and cloches using Irish woven tweeds, giving a traditional feel to stylish modern hats. Her new collection will appeal to those looking for a chic classic everyday hat but still wanting something that little bit more special.

'I created my SS15 collection around the original vintage flowers I had acquired a while back,' she says. 'All of these flowers were handmade using silks and velvets during the 40s, 50s and 60s. My passion is creating hats using traditional millinery techniques and these flowers come alive from these techniques.'

One of Amanda's designs recently won first place in an international millinery competition and her 2013 Spring collection featured in the well-known English/Irish magazine Horse and Countryside (July edition).

She designs hats for both men and women focusing mainly on a classic style. Hats are blocked in the traditional way and trimmed with a mix of modern and vintage ribbons and flowers. Amanda loves beautiful Irish tweeds and linens and uses them in the collection bringing warmth, colour and texture to designs.

Wexford People