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Behind The Design: The Guinea Fowl Feather Band

The 'touch-feely' test and an obsession with feathers...

Designer, Claire Howeson, talks us through the story behind one of Penmayne's most iconic designs



“The Willow Fedora is our signature hat shape; it is a lovely classic wide-brimmed fedora style hat which has a stunning silhouette and forms a soft frame around the face. We’ve done a lot of work to get the proportions of the brim and crown absolutely perfect, and the resulting shape seems to look great on everyone.

The hat is made from 100% fur felt which is really soft, feels great to wear and wears very well over time. We've used a charcoal black felt here, which is black but just a little bit softer against the skin and much more flattering. We hand-brush each hat to get the best finish - they pass the 'touchy-feely' test with flying colours! 



“I love working with feathers, they are so cool and so beautiful. Traditionally they are used on hats as a single feather in a band and I wanted to create something that is much more contemporary.  For me it's the combination of the strong graphic pattern of the feathers, the softness of the feathers and the textural juxtaposition between the felt and feathers – it is striking but soft and it really works, they look made to be together”

We apply each feather on to the band individually by hand; this is the only way we can achieve a consistent pattern across the band and create a soft feminine scalloped edge along the top 

Moodboard: Graphic monochrome

Moodboard: Feathery softness 

The raw material

In the making 


"This hat is completely timeless and ageless - it has that amazing quality about it. It's also really versatile and looks as good on the streets of London as it does on a country weekend. I never grow tired of wearing it!"