David Shilling has elevated hats from being merely accessories to being bold statements in their own right...

Think of bespoke and exclusive design and you should be thinking of the name Shilling. When he started to design commercially he created a whole new genre. His eagerly awaited collections, including the world's most expensive hats, have shaped the look and mood of contemporary headwear world-wide.

David's designs first came to the public's attention when he designed a hat for his Mother Gertrude to wear at the Royal Ascot Races when he was twelve years old. Three foot wide, layers of frills of black and white tulle, it caused a sensation and got his parents on the front pages. Mrs Shilling's annual appearances at Royal Ascot continued to delight and amaze for over thirty years until her death at the end of 1999. Always one-of-a-kind, and normally made to commission, his first collections helped change the world's perception of hats as well as becoming one of the first designers from Britain to gain respect and recognition for excellence worlwide.