A selection of Franck’s best work which includes a few of her beautiful masterpieces.
Top Headpiece by Mary Franck Millinery, dress by Sarmite Ostanevica, make-up by Natasha Williams, hair by Jacquie Eichbaum, modelled by Ufuoma Itoje.
Second row, left Headpiece by Mary Franck Millinery, make up by Aaliyah Islam, hair by Jacquie Eichbaum, modelled by Anna Popovich. Second row, right Headpiece by Mary Franck Millinery, hair, make-up and modelled by Emma Gorbey.
Third row, left Headpiece by Mary Franck Millinery, swimsuit by Sarmite Ostanevica, hair and MUA by Emma Gorbey, modelled by Roanna Dunsford. Third row, right Headpiece by Mary Franck Millinery, swimsuit by Sarmite Ostanevica, make-up by Natasha Williams, hair by Jacquie Eichbaum, modelled by Ufuoma Itoje.
Above Headpiece by Mary Franck Millinery, jumpsuit by Sarmite Ostanevica, make-up by Aaliyah Islam, hair by Jacquie Eichbaum, modelled by Anna Popovich.
As a fashion photographer, I am always looking for new names in the industry, especially
amongst designers. I always feel like an explorer in search of inspiration and get excited
whenever I discover someone fresh and unusual. Browsing through the endless lists
online I came across a hat designer, Mary Franck Millinery, which alone is intriguing
nowadays. Her headpieces were very different to what I have seen before: some had
the romantic feel of a midsummer day while others were more like an architectural
Says Mary, ‘I started the label in July 2011 when I finished studying a year-long Higher
National Certificate in Millinery at Kensington & Chelsea College. Since then I have
been building the foundations of the business—making collections, developing my style
and defining my brand, as well as meeting photographers and stylists and building my
Although Mary Franck Millinery is a very young brand, it already has four full
collections for every taste and style—from bridal to surreal.
‘My favourite so far is spring–summer 2012, a collection inspired by cocktails,’ she says, ‘It came about from
plastic cocktail stirrers I discovered in a restaurant a year ago which I thought would
make a great new millinery material. I am about to start work on spring–summer 2013, and I am looking
forward to deciding a concept, researching it and designing a small collection of about eight
All of us have probably seen incredible designs on catwalks around the world and most
of the times end up getting puzzled—how will I wear that? While Mary, as any other
ambitious creative, does make stunning and innovative pieces that would surely make
their owner feel stylish and confident, she also pays a lot of attention to comfort and
‘I like to make headwear using both traditional and unusual materials, the
more extraordinary the material the better, but without compromising on wearability or
appeal. My style is heavily inspired by early 20th-century art and design, in particular art nouveau and art déco; it is also very feminine, fluid and classic with a modern twist.
Many of the names I give to my hats are a play on words decided by either the inspiration
behind the hat, or the material used; sometimes it is obvious but other times it isn't and
would need explaining. I like the names to be quite playful which I think reflects my style.’
Mary Franck Millinery recently entered Hat Designer of the Year 2012 in association
with The Hat Magazine and Premiere Classe. She ended up being short-listed for the final
six, entries having been from over 60 different countries. The theme of the designs was
‘I went to Paris [in] July and was awarded second prize and I will have a stall at
Premiere Classe in January 2013, showing my autumn–winter 2013–14 collection of 16–18 pieces,’ says Mary.
An astonishing achievement, for sure. •
Elina Lukas is a correspondent and photographer for Lucire.