AN ABERGAVENNY-BASED hat designer, renowned in the fashion world for her signature plumes, is preparing to expand her brand with the launch of a dress boutique in the heart of the historic market town.

Alison Tod is an award-winning milliner whose career spans more than 40 years and is one of the country’s leading hat makers and designers, receiving international recognition, regularly seen adorning the rich and famous at prestigious events around the world.

Her designs have attracted a host of famous names from the award-winning actresses Dame Kristen Scott-Thomas and Emerald Fennell of Call The Midwife, to BBC Strictly Come Dancing contestant Emma Thynn; the Marchioness of Bath; Golda Rosheuvel, who plays Queen Charlotte in the hit Netflix series Bridgerton; Amara Okereke, the current Eliza Doolittle in the West End production of My Fair Lady; to Maisie Williams, star of the television series Game of Thrones.

South Wales Argus: Alison Tod at her newly-opened occasion wear boutique in Abergaveny (Pic  Sudol Media)

Ms Tod, whose accolades include Fashion Designer of Year at Westminster Palace, exhibiting at the world-famous London Fashion week, designed collections for almost every name on the high street, including the world-famous department store Harrods, said she has always wanted to expand her business to offer exquisite occasion wear by leading European brands.

“I’ve always wanted to be able to offer beautiful dresses for my customers,” said Ms Tod, who established her business in Abergavenny in 1990.

South Wales Argus: Alison Tod at her newly-opened occasion wear boutique in Abergaveny (Pic  Sudol Media)

“My first school holiday job was working for international fashion designers Charles and Patricia Lester at their studio here in Abergavenny, working with the most magical fabrics and giving me my first taste of couture fashion,” she said.

The Covid-19 pandemic allowed the former Newport College of Art and Design student to go back to her roots and create spectacular pieces that were recognised and, subsequently, featured in top fashion magazines which is where her career began.

Ms Tod’s creations have been selected by Vogue House and regularly published in Condé Nast’s Tatler, where her designs accessorise dresses from globally-famous fashion houses Chanel Haute Couture to Hermès, Gucci, Dior, Dolce & Gabbana and Oscar de la Renta.

“I was inspired to open the Alison Tod boutique alongside my hat shop where I knew I could offer a stunning range of occasion wear, which we can match to our hats and accessories.”

“We offer several beautiful, unique and affordable collections of exquisite dresses, catering for mother-of-the bride or groom, wedding guests in both day and evening wear. Most notably, we are a size-inclusive fashion brand offering size six to 24,” she said.

South Wales Argus: Alison Tod Boutique,Cross Street Abergavenny

You can find the Alison Tod boutique at 52 Cross Street (opposite The Angel Hotel) and her millinery shop at 13 and 14 Cross Street in Abergavenny.

The boutique runs an appointment service by contacting 01873 855923 or email