Now that summer’s here, a girl’s thoughts turn to pretty hats.  Gina Foster’s shop near Kensington Church St. will answer your every dream, even if it means making a one off just for you!

At Ascot this year I noticed how many people were wearing the same hat, or several versions of it. It was a saucer-shaped disc, perched on the side of the head, with a large fabric rose nestling underneath. I believe I have even seen the Duchess of Cambridge wearing one. I had spied this very hat in a shop the week before. It was from Philip Treacy. It surprises me how the designs of such a high end couturier can end up on quite so many heads, not all of them desirable, I might add. But, then again, with all these sample sales and high street partnerships, designers like Treacy can fast become fodder for the masses. His big ticket customers may wish to move on to more exclusive pastures.

Having been a regular client of Treacy’s in his early days, I have long been on the hunt for another good British milliner. Last year I stumbled upon Gina Foster, a relatively young girl who’s trained with the great Stephen Jones. Her designs show great creativity and flair. Even better, they don’t cost the earth. Foster sells ready-to-wear hats and offers a bespoke service too. Her use of straw, tulle, felt and silk is exemplary. Colours are always in keeping with fashion for the season and the vintage feel of the creations mean they have a timelessness. Tatler, Vogue, Brides and The Sunday Times Style use her creations in their editorial shoots time and time again. They’re just the ticket for weddings and the races.

Foster has just opened her very first shop in a small and discreet spot in Kensington which is open to all, no appointment necessary. Hats off to the girl, I say….chapeaux!

— Countess du Ruel

Gina Foster Millinery

5 Kensington Church Walk


W8 4NB

020 7937 7611

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