I’m very excited to be posting my very first interview with designer Sheena Holland. Sheena designed and made my stunning wedding headband shown below.
Sheena was kind enough to tell me a little bit about the headband she made for me…
The pieces in your wedding headband are: Crown Trifari gold costume 1950’s pieces with white enamel and pearl details and cameos and diamante on a hand dyed leather and sequin leaf. All handmade and all vintage in makeup.
Even better than that, Sheena allowed me to interview her for Peonies & Pearls, woo hoo. So without further ado, here it is!!
♥ Could you tell Peonies & Pearls a little bit about yourself and how you came to this particular area of design?
I studied fashion under the fashion designer Katharine Hamnett in the late 1980’s at her design studios in north London as design room assistant working on fabrics for the catwalks when her fashions were a statement both politically and creatively. I then went on to design large floral, wire and concrete sculptures in London, and worked for the likes of Elton John’s 54th birthday and Michael Jacksons ‘World’ tour. Films such as ‘The Mummy’ and ‘Sense and Sensibility’, and HRH The Queen Mother’s 100th birthday celebrations.
I then started to make one off vintage feather and leather headbands in 2003 and was the first designer to create the feather headband on a headband in a pad format. I now create out of my Derby based studio headdresses and jewellery made from vintage materials using re-worked leather, antique, vintage jewellery and feathers combining fashion, shapes and colours from floristry. My designs have sold to many people, including the singers Pink and Lily Allen.
♥ How would you describe your particular style and what materials do you enjoy working in the most?
I would say my style is antique inspired rather than vintage inspired. I prefer older material to modern. But I do like a twist of modern in there. So I may create a modern style but solely out of antique pieces. I also like my work to look like you can wear it as a non genre piece. So it doesn’t dictate the age of fashion but more of a classic piece that can be worn as a vintage statement in fifty years time. I’d like to think I’m creating the next vintage.
I work mainly with feathers, vintage if possible ~ 99% of my work is with antique or vintage pieces of jewellery, so I remain stuck in that era, which is lovely. So I use Jet, Celluloid, Lucite, Aurora Borealis, Diamante, White Iron Pyrite and pearls amongst other things.
♥ How do you go about creating the designs in your range and developing new ideas for your collection?
I have to feel inspired by someone or something, often nature or colours blending with each other. It might be someone in the street that I see, who has put together an ensemble of colours or shapes in a garment that I like together and I get inspired to use another colour with them or work on that theme. The seasons changing help to shift me into thinking about using different colours. And of course animals and their coats or birds and feathers inspire me all the time.
♥ What advice would you give to someone who is looking to choose and wear a flamboyant fascinator for the very first time?
I would first say try one on. Not to have a pre conceived idea as to what it looks like on or if you’re too old to wear something like that or even if it would suit you. The most unlikely women and men for that matter have tried on my headwear and then bought it by being so taken aback as to how much it suits them. I would also say try on the opposite colour of the colour spectrum, to your hair. So for instance if you have red hair go for an electric blue or a French blue and see if you’re not shocked by how much it suits you.
If you’d like to get your hands on one of Sheena’s beautiful handcrafted pieces then you can find more information on Sheena’s website. You can also view lots of her gorgeous headpieces that are for sale on her Flickr page. Sheena also offers a bespoke service.