FASHION Hats off to crowning glories

Edel Staunons hat designs

That crowning glory

Beauty and style

Maggie Gibbons

When Edel Staunton married a Foxford man 13 years ago and moved from Dublin, she left behind her a career in graphic design. She is now mother to three small children ranging in ages from two to seven years. As well as this she manages to job share three days a week. As I drove to visit her I wondered where she could possibly find the time to make headpieces?
Well, find it she did. Obviously her previous life in graphic design stood her in good stead as she turned her artistic side to millinery after completing a number of design courses. She has certainly found her true calling.
Her quirky creations have continued to grow in popularity and demand. Since her initial launch, Edel’s stunning pieces have been featured in TV fashion slots and chosen as finalists in various ladies’ days at horse-racing events. And now that the racing season is up and running again, her creations will no doubt be adding a touch of glamour and grace to the racing stands once more.
Her inspiration can come from ordinary everyday objects – it may be a piece of jewellery, a flower, a stunning colour or a piece of lace. She will work with the season’s colours and trends to create a unique piece, or indeed will custom make something to wear with your special outfit. She feels the headpiece is the transforming factor, and I agree totally. I could have spent the whole day with her just trying on the various pieces. We even put a few on Sadhbh, her two-year-old!
According  to Edel, pieces should be comfortable and capable of many outings, in fact some of her existing clients revisit just to update a piece by changing an embellishment or adding something extra. She uses traditional millinery methods with materials like lace, sinamay, felt, ribbons and beading. Everything is hand sewn; she doesn’t use glue – no shortcuts for this lady…
Edel believes there is a headpiece to suit everyone, and her passion is working with individuals to create that unique piece. With prices starting as low as €60 and going up to around €200, there really is something to suit every budget. Whether it’s for the races, for the mother of a bride or groom, or just for a special occasion, you can be sure you are wearing a one-off, and that has to be worth paying the little bit extra for. She has recently introduced a bridal range that offers a unique and striking alternative to the traditional veil.
Edel has been accepted as a member by The Craft Council of Ireland and The Leitrim Design House has displayed her work. Watch this space, because she is fast becoming a huge success story. Aren’t we lucky to have her in Mayo!

Edel Staunton Millinery’s new Summer Collection is now available to pre-order for summer 2011 at Edel can be contacted at or 086 8733431.

Maggie Gibbons is an Image/Style Consultant based in Louisburgh. She can be contacted at

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