Cefinn x Jess Collett Milliner

A Cefinn first, we’ve collaborated with Jess Collett Milliner on 10 beautiful summer event-ready hats! All designed especially to pair with one of our new Summer 24 dresses and available to purchase directly from the Cefinn website.

Carefully designed between both West London based, female founders, Jess combines technical skill with an instinctive eye to create beautiful hats and headpieces for royalty and celebrities.

Notably the collaboration features Cefinn Founder and Creative Director, Samantha Cameron’s headpiece she wore to the King’s Coronation in May 2023 which is where the idea to collaborate for Summer 2024 first steamed from.

We sat down with Jess to talk about the collaboration, her design process and her Ascot do's and don'ts!

Tell us about the design experience

I always enjoy the challenge of designing for someone, whether that be a bespoke commission or brand collaboration. I love to try to understand the essence of the client or brand, and then bring their vision to life.

When I first saw the spring collection and the fabric swatches, my mind started whirring with ideas, as it always does. We had a meeting to map out the designs, and I then mocked up a few different styles. Together, with Sam and the team, we made our final selections and we got cracking! After lots of planning, tweaking and refining, there’s nothing more exciting than seeing the final campaign come to life!

Why did you choose to collaborate with Cefinn?

Since Sam wore one of my creations to the Coronation last year, maybe unconsciously the idea of collaborating has been swimming around up there, and I know that she was keen to open up the Cefinn range to be worn for occasions, so I was honoured to be asked to be a part of this new project.

And of course I love wearing hats so much, the idea of spreading the word that hats can complete an outfit, providing the perfect finishing touch and making it feel whole, is always a pleasure, almost a religion!

Which is your favourite look?

It’s so hard to pick just one, but I LOVE green, so if I had to choose it would be the Rosie Techni Voile dress paired with the Victoire Hat with green bow. I love the striking contrast - it’s simply so elegant and chic.

How was designing with Sam?

It was a real pleasure. Sam was very trusting and gave me full creative freedom. It was nice to work with an open brief - I feel like the possibilities grow larger and seem to flow in a really creative way when you have two heads working together on one project. It’s so special seeing sticky notes and sketches flourish into the finished selection.

What are your Ascot do's and don'ts?

  • When choosing a hat or headpiece, look at the whole silhouette of your ensemble rather than just focusing on what suits your face shape. When you consider all of the elements of your outfit together, you’ll be surprised at how many more options suddenly open up - the hard (and fun!) part is then deciding which one to choose!
  • Always wear an upturned brim because they’re always flattering - especially if you want to create the illusion of height. I also always recommend that you tip your hat forward slightly, at a jaunty angle, for an extra bit of je ne sais quoi!
  • DON'T
  • Don’t wear a brim that’s wider than your shoulders or hips, unless you’re tall, as it will offset the proportions of your outfit.
  • Don’t let your hat wear you - always make sure you feel comfortable! The right hat will make you feel empowered, put together and confident.