The Fashion History Museum 2011 Canadian fashion inductee – David Dunkley

Admitting he has a fondness for feathers, many of his creations feature a panache, including his donation to the FHM - a red straw, net, and feather 'Hatinator' (a little more substantial than your regular pouf of tulle and a rosebud Fascinator, but not quite a hat...)

The Fashion History Museum actively acquires contemporary examples of Canadian fashion that are relevant to the international fashion scene or somehow at the forefront of fashion news. One of the biggest fashion news stories of 2011 was the Fascinator – and at the centre of the fad was the Duchess of Cambridge, Katherine Middleton. So it only seemed appropriate to add a Fascinator to the FHM collection that had been made by Canadian milliner David Dunkley, who put a fascinator or hat on the head of nearly every Canadian journalist covering the royal wedding.

Toronto-based designer David Dunkley launched his millinery business KC’s Hats at 998 Bathurst Street in 2004. Dunkley somewhat accidentally discovered millinery when, for a lark, he took a hat-making class at night school. The course unlocked his passion; Dunkley quit his career in science and turned to millinery. But before opening his shop, he furthered his skills working for Barbara Hobbs, a theatrical milliner, and also studied under Rose Cory, the royal milliner to the late Queen Mother.

Dunkley received the Hatty Award from Hat Life magazine in 2010, making him one of just 30 milliners around the world to receive the prestigious award. His business has blossomed and his hats now regularly adorn a swath of heads from society women to celebrities. You will be hearing more about David in the near future — he has promised a hat for our collection honouring the Queen’s jubilee!

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