Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Spring 2010 Hatwearing Events--Model Millinery

Happy Spring to all of you reading in the Northern Hemisphere! I am not a winter girl AT ALL and have been delighted that the flowers and Spring rains are here to brighten my world.

I've also embraced Spring because it is a marvelous time to create hats for the multitude of hatwearing events. In my city, Wilmington, North Carolina, we've just completed the biggest hatwearing event of the year--the North Carolina Azalea Festival, and the Garden Party that kicks the whole thing off. Hundreds and hundres of ladies don their best hats to eat barbeque, hobnob with the other attendees, drink champagne, and relish our beautiful azaleas! These parties go on from morning 'til night and having a fabulous hat is what it's all about.

I created more hats than I can count for the event this year. Some of them are posted below. I've also been making hats for Kentucky Derby and other Derby-inspired events here in town. Plus, weddings, commencements, and whew!, that makes for a very, very busy Spring. Enjoy!

Sinamay headband created for a customer attending a college commencement. I've included several views of this piece. Not sure how she will wear it on her head. Depending on how it is placed on the head, it can look very different. Which way do you like best?

This customer gave me a few guidelines on what she wanted and then let me run free with the design. I love it when a customer does this! It opens so many more possibilities.

I think this is my favorite angle. I like the sinamay 'leaves' sweeping down the face. But again, it is entirely up to the customer. If she asks my opinion I'll tell her what I think. I believe that is an important part of being a milliner--tactfully giving the customer your opinion on what makes her look best. They trust our ability to look at their face, their hair, their ensemble, and the hat, to give a positive impression.

This customer designed her hat completely! She is one of my models and knows what she looks good in. She even brought a colored sketch in for me to work by! Love this hat!

Another view. Note that the brim is offset so that part of the crown is seen under the brim.

One of my favorite Garden Party hats for this year. The fringed sinamay just really made the look of this hat come together.

The 'skirt' on this hat is actually made from a very, very wide florist's ribbon. There is wire in every strand of this ribbon, which makes the 'skirt' easily manipulated. Check out the glittery butterfly.

Hot pink, or azalea pink, is always popular for the Garden Party. I re-ordered three times!

Easter fascinator for the same customer as above. Another hat where I was given free reign in designing. Only guidelines were: must be a fascinator, must use turquoise and gold. I hear she made quite an impression with this hat.

Derby party hat. This has a huge brim and is very dramatic.

Garden Party hat worn by the President of the garden club. It made the front page of the paper!
Almost every hat I make is custom made for the customer. However, I do have handmade stock hats in the shop in abundance during this time of year. There are always a few people who wait too late to have something custome made for them. Choosing from the stock hats is their only option. But I was very fortunate to have the beautiful hats of 3 former students in the shop this year for them to choose from--Diane Shaggot, Jenny Pfenenstiel, and Andre Baxter. You'll see some of their hats in the last blog post about the fashion show.
While Kentucky Derby is still right around the corner, and I still have lots of hats to push out the door for that event, things have begun to settle down just a bit. I need a breather! However, next weekend I'm moving my shop to a new location. So another adventure begins! Never a dull moment here!
Happy hatmaking!
p.s. Check out my 2010 millinery class schedule on my webpage-- . Maybe I'll see you in class!