Tell us about the early design brief
I was approached by LOCOG via the Royal College of Art to design the hats for the Presenter Escorts for the London 2012 victory ceremonies.
What inspired your design concept?
I took inspiration from the architecture of the Olympic and Paralympic venues as well as aspects of British tailoring and sportswear. I was particularly interested in translating the façades and roofs of buildings such as the Velodrome and Aquatic Centre into my final design.
What challenges did you face along the way?
The main challenge was designing hats that were easy to take on and off, durable, lightweight and comfortable for the volunteers to wear. They also needed to complement the uniforms and flatter the wearers. Working closely with LOCOG, the design was refined over a development period of eight months starting with sketches, card toiles then material samples. Each piece was formed using laser cut segments made from bonded fabric, which were carefully engineered to sit together perfectly. Each hat was carefully constructed by hand and the sections held together using small studs to ensure that the flow of the design was smooth and uninterrupted. The silhouette is smooth and slightly elongated, which when worn at an angle, flatters the face and the wearer. Each hat was supplied in suitable packaging with care instructions to ensure it was stored and handled correctly.
How did it feel to be involved in such an important British project?
It was a great opportunity for the Royal College of Art and very exciting for me to be part of a once-in-a-lifetime event. My hat, shown in context with the uniforms, has been seen by billions of people across the world and it was a real honour to be involved.