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Hats off to Portlethen mum conquering the world of weddings one fascinator at a time 

Fabulous fascinators: Debbie Greig models one of her striking designs. Photos by Chris Sumner
Fabulous fascinators: Debbie Greig models one of her striking designs. Photos by Chris Sumner

Turning heads comes with the territory for Debbie Greig, a magnificent milliner whose striking headpieces are fast becoming the centre of attention at ladies days and weddings across the north-east.

Bold, bright and exquisitely beautiful, the 53-year-old’s feathery fascinators and haute hats of all colours are catching the eye of fashionistas far and wide.

Debbie Greig modeling a hat from Fascinators hats
Bold and beautiful: Debbie Greig is in demand after setting up her own millinery business Totally Fascinating Millinery.

“I despair of people who go to weddings without something on their head,” laughs Debbie.

“Thankfully fascinators and hats still seem to be quite popular.

“I especially love working with feathers even though I’m terrified of birds.

“And I love making colourful pieces – fuscia pink and orange together looks amazing.

“A lot of mother of the brides choose grey but I do wish they would be a bit more colourful.”

Fascinators hats
Feathery finesse: This stunning head piece is sure to turn heads.


It was while living in Australia when Debbie first became mesmerized with millinery after catching a glimpse of effortlessly elegant race goers and their dazzling headwear.

“At the races in Australia there’s a competition called Fashion on the Field and some of their outfits and their millinery are out of this world – you can look at them online,” says Debbie.

“Funnily enough we never managed to go to the races while we lived in Australia as we had two young children so when we moved back to Portlethen we ended up going to the races in Perth in Scotland instead.”

Fascinators hats
In the pink: Debbie’s traffic stopping designs are popular with women going to weddings and ladies days.

“Lightbulb moment”

Struggling to find a head piece to match the dress she had bought specially for the races, Debbie decided to make her own fascinator.

“I bought my outfit but I could not find a head piece to go with it so I bought a few bits and pieces and I put a fascinator together and off I went,” says Debbie.

“It was a fuchsia pink, small fascinator with a couple of loops on it and a couple of arrow head feathers.

“I was delighted with it and I actually got voted in to the top 10 best dressed that year.

“That was my lightbulb moment.”

Fascinators hats
Effortlessly elegant: This beautiful navy design is perfect for a wedding.

Working from home

As fate would have it, Debbie was made redundant which is when her millinery really took off as her living room at home was soon transformed into a hat making studio.

“My husband Iain was growing tired of the fascinators taking over the living room so he bought me a cabin and we put it out the back as my studio which was great,” says Debbie.

Fascinators hats
Purple pizzazz: Debbie can make hats and fascinators to suit all outfits and colours.

Totally Fascinating Millinery

Keen to hone her skills, Debbie signed up for a millinery course and has not looked back since.

“Hazel Buxton, who is based up in the north-east was running a millinery course on how to do blocking and make hat shapes so I signed up for that and it really got me interested,” says Debbie.

Fascinators hats
Intricate process: Debbie makes everything from scratch.
Fascinators hats
Dazzling designs: This electric blue head piece is a show stopper.

Millinery skills

But just as Debbie was about to launch her business – Totally Fascinating Millinery – the Covid pandemic happened.

“I actually emptied the little cabin and put all my head pieces up in the loft because it was upsetting to look at things that might not ever be worn,” says Debbie.

Hats from Fascinators hats
Making headway: Debbie can make hats and fascinators to suit everyone’s tastes.

Instead of being downhearted, Debbie re-focused her attention on further developing her millinery skills.

“During Covid I got the chance to learn more millinery skills at the Katherine Elizabeth Millinery and Business Academy which was great because I learned about millinery and business,” she says.

Fascinators hats
Stunning saucers: Debbie says the saucer designs are very popular.

Hand sewn

With weddings back in full flow, Debbie has been busy meticulously making fascinators and hats from scratch.

“Every piece that I make is hand sewn together even the larger mother of the bride saucer pieces,” says Debbie, who has two grown-up children Aidan and Casie.

Fascinators hats
Bright future: Debbie loves making colourful fascinators.

Debbie is also very resourceful when it comes to the materials she uses.

“I have made designs out of woven place mats – it’s amazing what you can be used in millinery,” says Debbie.

Fascinators hats
Tickled pink: Heads are sure to turn with this striking piece.
Fascinators hats
Wedding ready: Debbie enjoys creating hats for mother of the brides’.

Nicola Sturgeon

Debbie also finds that the styles worn by members of the royal family are also on trend.

“Halo styles are popular with younger people, I think these trickle down from what the young royals wear,” says Debbie.

Asked if there’s anyone who she would love to design a hat for in the future, Debbie has her sights set on Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

Fascinators hats
Dream client: Debbie designed her auntie May’s fascinator, pictured left, but would love to create one for the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon (right).

“I would love to make one for Nicola Sturgeon,” says Debbie.

“My auntie May attended a garden party wearing one of my designs and she got a picture taken with Nicola.

“Nicola was wearing a small pillar box fascinator but she was wearing it at the wrong side of her head and it was too flat for her.

“It did nothing for her so I thought I wish I could’ve done something for her and I would’ve sat it on the other side of her head.”

Bright future

Juggling her millinery business with working part-time, Debbie is in a happy head space but would love to focus on her venture full-time one day.

“I still work part-time as I don’t make enough money doing this to make it a full-time career but that’s the hope,” she says.

Fascinators hats
Heading in the right direction: Debbie loves seeing clients wearing her designs.

For more information about Totally Fascinating Millinery check out Debbie’s website, Instagram @totallyfascinating and Facebook page @totally.fascinating.dg.