Bettina Thomas - International Milliner
From the concept to the creation, Bettina Thomas’s couture hats transcend fashion; they are collectable, covetable and exquisite works of art.
The French born artist combines traditional millinery skills, honed through years of training in Europe, with a global aesthetic inspired by her world travels. Her clients include international royalty and the stylish elite. In Bettina’s hands the finest fabrics are crafted into elaborate sculptures, designed not only to be worn but displayed and appreciated as individual art forms. Her head pieces demand attention as the focal point of any outfit, the finishing touch that transforms the wearer into the main attraction. A Bettina Thomas Couture hat represents style, luxury and exclusivity for those who recognize the beauty of top class millinery and modern, yet timeless, design.
“My hats are far more than accessories,” Bettina says. “Each one is a sculpture, designed to be displayed like any work of art. They are not to be hidden away in the wardrobe after wearing, they are creations to be touched, examined and enjoyed,” she says.
Originally a couture dressmaker from France, Bettina has many years of experience in cutting, manipulating and sewing fine fabrics into garments of her own invention. Her depth of knowledge in the field includes studying traditional Parisian embroidery at world-renowned Maison Lesage, now owned by Chanel. She has also made numerous journeys to London to master haute-couture millinery techniques first used by the British court, and still handed-down today person-to-person in tiny private ateliers.
Her bespoke creations have been worn at many major events, including royal weddings, throughout Europe and America, with clients spanning Italy, France, Belgium, the UK, Germany, Monaco, the Netherlands, Turkey and the USA. Bettina has lived on three continents and speaks four languages – she is trained translator – and is truly international in her outlook. She now works out of her studio near Cape Town, taking inspiration from the stunning surroundings and the vibrant multicultural environment of South Africa.
“I aspire to bring a new appreciation and understanding of the art of couture millinery to Africa, and to reflect the beauty, energy and excitement of this continent in my designs,” she says.