Sunday 19 November 2017

Focus on Irish fashion: Edel Staunton

Edel Staunton models some of her creations
Edel Staunton models some of her creations

Sinead Van Kampen

Irish milliner Edel Staunton made the brave decision to turn her artistic flair into a business which she launched last year.

She fast gained a reputation for designing exquisitely detailed and wholly individual headpieces from her workshop in Mayo.

With the launch of her Spring and Summer collection, Independent Woman caught up with Edel to get the lowdown on the hats she creates and the inspiration behind her designs.

When did you realise that you wanted to be a designer?

I was never happy with headpieces that I bought. I always changed them, either adding to them or removing certain aspects. This lead to me designing and making my own hats and taking a course in millinery to perfect my technique and further my work.

What was the first thing you designed?

A small headpiece with a bold red flower on a white base with black lace detailing.

What's inspiring you now?

I find lots of my inspiration from arts and crafts. An ornate piece like a pretty brooch, a well worked piece of lace or even the colours of a season.

How would you describe your Spring 2011 collection?

A mixture of strong colour, individual statements and styles which incorporate lots of different textures and detailing.

What has been your biggest challenge to date?

Getting my name out there!

If you could choose a celebrity endorsement, who would it be and why?

Coco Chanel. I truly admire how she always went against the grain and kept to her beliefs and ideals. For me, her saying that 'fashion fades and only style remains the same' is perfectly true.

Whose collection have you really been impressed by this season?

Louise Kennedy, I wish I could afford to buy the whole collection.

What's one item every person should have in their closet?

A good white shirt or blouse. So simple yet so effective.

What was your most tragic fashion moment?

My rocker phase. There was the black leather jacket, the tight black jeans and the Doctor Martins. Bruxelles, here I come!

Where do you like to shop?

I head to Zara, LK Bennett, French Connection, local boutiques and have the odd splurge in Brown Thomas.

Where can we find you on a Sunday afternoon?

Walking in the local forest or on the beach with my husband and three children.

Share one insider secret?

Year round UV protection and drinking lots of water - brilliant for your skin.

Who do you most admire, and why?

Anyone in these recessionary times making a go at their own business.

How would you like your hats to be remembered?

That they added a wow factor to their owners' outfits and that women felt comfortable and confident wearing them.

Any advice for ladies looking to win 'best dressed' this summer?

Impeccable grooming is essential and poorly applied false tan looks so bad.

If you're wearing a headpiece, it's far better to wear hair worn up.

When it comes to your outfit, make sure to wear something you feel comfortable in and which suits your body shape.

Lastly, smile. It exudes confidence!

For more of Edel's work see

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