Born in Perth Scotland, Karen graduated from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art in1985 and continued her studies at the London College of Fashion and The Royal College of Art.

Her growing interest in millinery led her to work for Royal milliner Frederick Fox and later Stephen Jones where she gained valuable knowledge and experience making couture hats.

After returning to Scotland in the early 1990`s she worked extensively for four years for Scottish Opera and Scottish Ballet making hats and headwear for countless new productions.

With a return to London she continued working freelance from her Clerkenwell studio for over 17 years. Credits include Star Wars “The Phantom Menace”, “The Fall”,  “Master and Commander”,  “The Golden Age”,  “In the Heart of The Sea” and “Outlander”.

Clients include, The National Theatre, Shakespeare’s Globe, The English National Opera The Royal Opera House, RSC, The BBC, ITV, Rambert Dance Company, Dutch National Ballet and San Francisco Ballet.


Redesigning Fashion, Goup Show, Hatworks Museum, Stockport.

The Art of Millinery: Headwear by Karen Shannon, The Gallery , Craft Central , London.

Karen teaches millinery at Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance, Central School Of Speech and Drama, London College of Fashion and most recently Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

Since moving to Margate she also teaches small groups in the local area.


Time Out, 24 September 2014