Millinery Alumnus Transforms Hollywood Superstar

Millinery Alumnus Transforms Hollywood Superstar

Former Kensington and Chelsea College Millinery alumnus Justin Smith has been turning heads with his latest project transforming Hollywood starlet Angelina Jolie into one of Disney’s most notorious characters.

The gifted milliner, who studied on Kensington and Chelsea College’s internationally renowned HNC Millinery course, helped create the striking headpiece adorned with black horns, which brought to life the character of Maleficent played by Jolie.

Praising the attention grabbing design Jolie said: “Justin Smith is an amazing artist… he sculpted the head wraps to be strong, unique and iconic.”

The stunning headpiece, worn by Jolie throughout the film, has been grabbing attention all over the world as it appears on advertising to promote the film globally.

Talking about his work for Disney’s Maleficent Smith comments, “I created several head wrap designs. The designs emerged from the story of Maleficent, who of course has horns. I worked on designing and creating looks that would capture the tension between menacing and magical to become a contemporary couture version of the 1950s animation.”

The character of Maleficent first appeared in Disney’s classic animated 1959 film “Sleeping Beauty”.

To approach the basic design of the headpieces, Smith worked closely with the leading lady.

Smith said: “Angelina wanted something that was going to cover the head and completely lose all the hair, but also not be a turban or fabric just wrapped around the head. So it was quite a specific brief, and it took a little bit of time to understand where we can go with this to try and create an identity for her.

“I tried to come up with something hopefully quite new and a little bit edgy, a little bit futuristic but nothing too scary that would take away from anything else. It’s more about complementing the whole look to make everything work in harmony.”

Smith created six different headpieces for the film that corresponded with the seasons and specific scenes.

Speaking about his time at Kensington and Chelsea College, Smith added: “Kensington and Chelsea was an important part of my learning the art and craft of millinery and all its traditions, a stepping stone to help me develop and grow my signature style”

Kensington and Chelsea College’s Millinery Department enjoys an international reputation for excellence and has nurtured the talents of many gifted milliners including Gina Foster, whose designs have been worn by the Royal Family; and Margaret O’Conner, who was recently thrown into the spotlight when Lady Gaga wore one of her hats.

The College will be hosting ‘The Collections’ exhibition at its Chelsea Centre Gallery, Hortenisa Road, from Tuesday June 3rd – 13th. The exhibition showcases the work of London’s cutting-edge fashion and millinery talent studying at the College.

Acting as a platform for emerging trends, the eagerly awaited annual show is widely regarded as THE place to be to find the industry’s next big thing.