Crisis millinery tutor is awarded Hat Maker of the Year
Kate Langrish-Smith, a Crisis assistant - turned- tutor in millinery has just been awarded the title of Hat Maker of the Year at an awards ceremony in Paris.
Kate was introduced to Skylight through a couple of Skylight tutors that she worked with on her own hats, which led to her volunteering as an assistant at the milinery class in July. Having only taught for 3 months, Kate's classes gained popularity as she began to teach her pupils how to make hats without the need of specialist equipment.
"People just enjoying making things, I think. That's the reason it was always quite popular... I always wanted to teach them to use things in hat-making that had access to outside of class - ordinary items, like using jam jars when making mini top hats. "
Despite having assisted the then-tutor Isabel for a summer, Kate found that initially, gaining trust from the class was challenging. "They were weary at the start, but as soon as they start, they get really involved. Because you're concentrating, time passes quite quickly. And it built confidence, both in myself and with the students; It would reinforce to me that I actually knew how to do something correctly and I'd feel good that could pass it on to others. And they help each other, start conversing with one another, the class a great form of unforced interaction."
Kate currently works at a restaurant on weekends, but now that her hats are making the news, she hopes to be able to leave that, rather than stop tutoring. "Crisis is important to me as well as the members. I'd hate to give it up. Teaching other people everything that I found interesting when I was a student is a great feeling, and I reaffirmed something to myself in the process."
Having won the international contest means that she will be given a courtesy stand at the Premiere Classe in Paris in March 2011 to show off her designs to an international market.