Piers Atkinson’s hats / Choosing an art degree

Posted on by Paul Regan

I’m used to writing about painting exhibitions but I’ve never written about fashion before. It’s most probably because I haven’t a clue about it. However, despite my fashion ignorance I’d like to share with you the success of a friend of mine, milliner Piers Atkinson, who is making the most wonderful artistic hats.

Piers currently has a Pop-Up Shop at 45 St Martin’s Lane in Covent Garden to showcase his hats for Ascot. It’s running until June 31st and I highly recommend you get along to see it, especially if you are popping into the National Gallery down the road. Piers will be at the shop most days so please say hello to him; he’s very approachable and fascinating to talk to.

Piers worked with Zanrda Rhodes for many years and his hats are now being worn by the likes of Princess Beatrice (at the Diamond Jubilee), Lady Gaga and Cate Blanchet. I strongly believe Piers will be a household name in a couple of years so this is your chance to meet the man and possibly buy a hat before fame and prices sky rocket.


A-Level students often ask me about which art degree to apply for and future career options is often their most important consideration. Personally I believe that if you’re a creative person, you should do the degree that interests you the most at the time, whether or not you can see yourself having career in that area for life. For me, an art degree is about being surrounded by ideas, creativity and problem solving; skills which make for a successful future.

I studied Graphics and Illustration at Bristol, as did Piers and some other old friends I met up with at a 40th birthday party a couple of weeks ago. Out of the eight Graphics students present, only two are working in Graphics. Piers moved to fashion, I’m committed to teaching and painting, three others are garden designers and one person now has an ice cream business after working in computer animation. All of us are still being creative and all of us enjoy what we do. There must be a lesson there somewhere.

So if you are thinking of an art degree, my advice is to choose a course that really interests you and a subject you want to learn more about. If you work hard, and have a bit of luck, I’m sure you will have a really enjoyable career.

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