with Jane Smith

Tuesday 23rd to Thursday 25th June 2020 (3 days), 10am-5pm each day


Plus £7 per day for lunch (optional) – most dietary requirements catered for


The magnificent Bicorn was first transformed from the tricorn hat by pushing up the front of the brim until almost vertical and securing it to the crown at either side, probably around 1746.

The Bicorn was worn originally by the British navy and made in beaver felt, but high demand led to the beaver’s extinction in the UK, and rabbit fur felt was used instead, as it still is.

Still worn today, the Bicorn has been frequently featured by fashion designers like Galliano and Dior, and is one of the most recognisable shapes in many historical films. Napoleon and the Duke of Wellington are the most familiar examples, showing the two different ways the Bicorn is worn: from side to side (like Nelson or Napoleon), or front to back (like Wellington).

Bicorns can be made using a buckram base to be covered in fabrics or a felt hood, blocked and folded, as originally made, with ribbon cockade, button and loop.

Blocks will be available and patterns supplied for both shapes.

About the tutor

Jane Smith started making hats for theatre and film in 1968. She makes uniform caps and hats, naval bicorns, top hats and many more styles, in felt, straw, buckram, plastic and fabric. Currently she works almost exclusively with principal actors in theatrical or film production, and she is always interested in the historical aspect of the shows and films she works on. Alongside this work, she also teaches theatrical millinery at many of the most prestigious London Colleges.

  • To see her pieces in action on stage and screen, take a look at her website.

Jane Smith Bicorns 1

Jane Smith Bicorns 2

Jane Smith Bicorns 3