CHESTER COUNTY, Pa. (CBS) – The royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle is just days away, and almost as eye-catching as the ceremony itself will be the fashion worn by the royal family and its guests.
One Chester County woman will be watching closely. She’s a milliner with a royal connection.
In her quiet Berwyn studio, Zoya Egan designs whimsical and vibrant hats. Each one is unique and painstakingly hand stitched. Completing one hat can take up to two weeks.
Her formal training is with the best of the best in Britain, but her journey wasn’t always clear.
“I always wanted to create something,” Egan says. “I was always very crafty.”
Egan learned to sow at 7 years old, helping her accomplished seamstress mother in Russia. But it wasn’t until she was an adult and living in Pennsylvania unfulfilled with a computer science degree that she found her way to hats.
“Millinery came as an accident, as a chance,” she says.
Egan needed a hat for the Radnor Hunt hat contest. She had only 48 hours to create it and she won.
“Women loved it,” she remembers. “Everyone was asking me questions. Is that what I do and would you like to make me a hat?”
Discovering her passion, Egan traveled to London to train with a master milliner, Dillon Wallwork.
“Dillon was working for Phillip Sommerville who used to be a milliner who provided hats to the royal house,” Egan says.
That’s right, Egan learned from a milliner who made hats for the late Princess Diana and Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
“It’s almost like there’s only one person between you and the queen, and it’s Dillon,” she says smiling.
The workshop was a crash course in millinery, at 10 hours a day for a week.
Now, Egan is running her own business.
“To see the final product, especially on a client, that’s the best feeling in the world,” she says.
May is crunch time for Egan. She’s busiest in the weeks leading up to the Radnor Hunt and the Devon Horse Show, both coming up this month.
On May 16, you can learn first-hand from Egan. She’s holding a class at The Logan hotel at 5:30 p.m. Registration is required.
For more information, visit @hatsbyzoya on Instagram.