Northampton College student could be designing hats for the Duchess of Cambridge after scooping prize

Melissa Mehrtens from Northampton College has won a prestigious award for her hat design skills.
Melissa Mehrtens from Northampton College has won a prestigious award for her hat design skills.

An aspiring hat maker from Northampton College could be supplying headwear to the Duchess of Cambridge after winning an international competition.

Melissa Mehrtens, a millinery student at the college’s Booth Lane campus in Northampton, was named the overall winner of The Design Award organised by the Worshipful Company of Feltmakers of London.

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

She 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.”

The teenager, who says she will spend her prize money a new dress and a new pair of shoes, said the inspiration for her prize-winning woman’s hat came from Norse mythology and the concept of a serpent.

Northampton College student Melissa, landed herself experience placement with Rachel Trevor Morgan, milliner to the Duchess of Cambridge.

Northampton College student Melissa, landed herself experience placement with Rachel Trevor Morgan, milliner to the Duchess of Cambridge.

She will also now be guest of honour at the Annual Feltmakers’ banquet at Mansion House in London.

Her teacher, Rachel, said: “This is the first time we have taken first place in 12 years. It is a real coup for us and is proof that hard work pays off.

“The standard has been increasing year-on-year and the entries are from some of the very best fashion students across the country so for Melissa to come out on top is a huge achievement.

“She now has an unbelievable opportunity to make a name for herself and create an impression with some of the leading lights in millinery.”

I absolutely love it and to win this competition is amazing

Competition winner, Melissa Mehrtens

To find out more about the fashion courses available at Northampton College, visit www.northamptoncollege.ac.uk or call 01604 734567.