One To Watch – Bianca Horne From BU Fascinators
This week’s One to Watch is the gorgeous Bianca Horne who created BU Fascinators – a stunning range of perfectly handmade fascinators inspired by the ideas that flow into her mind as she pumps the sweat on a crosstrainer.
Hi Bianca. Firstly, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Well I am an Irish woman who gave up her good pensionable job in Ireland to move to Poland to be with the love of her life. I’ve lived in Wroclaw for the last two years and still have the polish language skills of a gnat! Doing the grocery shopping for the first time was an interesting experience, not to mention buying paracetamol in the pharmacy, if you have ever seen the YouTube video where there are Two Scottish men in a voice activated elevator, trying to get to the 11th floor… well let’s just say it was something like that.
When did you first start making fascinators?
Once upon a time…. only joking….to be honest i have always had a bit of a creative streak. I love jazzing up my outfits with heavy jewellery, especially statement earrings. As a dancer I created my own costumes but the flair for fascinators started when I decided to create a headpiece for my sister’s hen party. I made a massive white ostrich feather headpiece, with old pieces of jewellery. I wanted her to have something awesome to remember her night with her girls. The headpiece was more of an attraction than the bride to be, and I think it will be remembered more than the night itself! (Sorry Tash)
Was it always something you knew you wanted to do?
No, absolutely not. I am 35 and still have no idea what I would like to do. Creating headpieces has turned into a kind of therapy. I am happiest when I am choosing colours, manipulating the crinoline or sinamay into specific shapes, choosing the beads or other haberdashery to adorn the piece and finally seeing the whole thing come to life.
Where do you get your inspiration for your designs from?
Would you believe it, some of my best ideas happen when I am in the gym. When I am on that cross-trainer wondering why the training never gets any easier, my mind starts to wander and rather than counting down the minutes to when I can leave I come up with ideas for my next design. Some of the ideas work, and sometimes they are complete disasters. Old movies, the legendary game of thrones and period dramas like Downton Abbey, paintings, fashion magazines, music videos, and people who I notice on the streets get the creative juices flowing. In fact anything colourful or different does – I have a very active imagination.
What has been your biggest achievement to date?
Aside from the fact that I haven’t eaten the massive Cadburys bar of chocolate that is winking at me in the fridge, I would have to say the birth of my little Beastie. She is a year and 2 months old and keeps momma very much on her toes.
Can you outline what actually goes into making a fascinator from the start to finish?
Coming up with the idea is the easy part. The biggest problem I face is choosing the colour of the material. There is such a choice nowadays that I simply want them ALL. Once decided, it is a case of cutting and dampening the sinamay to soften it and enable me to manipulate it into the specific shape that I’m looking for. I sew the piece to the headband or onto the headpiece base (This is the difficult part) and et voila, the structure is complete and on top of this I can add the decoration…. beads, old Turkmen jewellery that I have collected on my travels, and of course the statement feathers not necessarily all at the same time of course. Usually my pieces have netting – just around the eyes – I love this feature, I think it adds a touch of class.
If you could make a hat for any celebrity, who would it be and why?
It would have to be Lady gaga for sure. She is certainly a unique individual, and I don’t think there would be any holds barred! The more bizarre the headpiece the better for her I’d imagine. At the other end of the spectrum I would like to create a piece for the princess of Wales. Lady Catherine always looks classy, elegant and clearly has a good sense of style. Lastly and more importantly I would like to create something for Donald Trump… just to tame (or hide) that ghastly mop on his head.
Can you describe your most favourite design that you have made so far?
I think it would have to be an African inspired headpiece I made. I love the earthy colours of browns and creams, together with the leopard print crinoline and shaved ostrich feathers – it gives the piece a really lithe like appearance. The netting around the face gives a lady an air of mystery.
Do you find that it’s a very rewarding job when you see your designs come to life?
Absolutely! To such an extent that when people are trying them on, I feel like a protective mother. Be gentle with my baby.
What’s your favourite thing about what you do?
In truth it’s the whole process – the excitement of coming up with an idea, looking for the materials to create what I imagine (and hope will work out), going to the factory and rummaging through rolls and rolls of different colour materials (there is a material shop here in Wroclaw and it is a Mecca for sewing enthusiasts) and then finally sitting down and putting the piece together. More rewarding still is seeing people’s expressions on their faces when they try the pieces – suddenly women become more confident and taller.
Check out Bianca’s amazing designs on her Facebook page HERE!