Hats off to Northampton College design student

Melissa Mehrtens
Melissa Mehrtens

An aspiring hat maker from Northampton College has won an international competition which will give her the chance to work for a designer who supplies headwear to the Duchess of Cambridge.

Melissa Mehrtens, a millinery student at the college’s Booth Lane campus, won a competition organised by the Worshipful Company of Feltmakers of London.

The 17-year-old, who cites Alexander McQueen as her design hero, won the £1,200 first prize and will now get a work experience placement with Rachel Trevor Morgan, milliner to the Duchess of Cambridge.

Melissa said: “The chance to design and make hats was one of the main reasons I came to Northampton College as I really wanted to learn new skills. I absolutely love it and to win this competition is amazing.

“My inspiration for the hat was Norse mythology.

“Working with big names in the industry is a brilliant opportunity and I’m looking forward to treating myself to a new dress and a new pair of shoes with my prize money.”