Sunday, April 22, 2012

'The Millinery Guild'--Hollywood Milliner, Extraordinaire

Last post was about Hat Camp 2012.  Great event meeting so many fellow milliners from here in the US and Canada.  This post is about an extraordinary milliner who has been my 'phone friend' for a number of years.  I don't remember how we connected, exactly, but I do remember that I thought she was pretty special from our first phonecall.  I'm talking about the milliner behind Chapeau du Jour, a blog I'm sure you will want to visit, Montez Murphy.

Montez, or Monty, and I have a strong connection.  She and I are both breast cancer survivors.  That makes you a very different person, I think, than who you were before diagnosis.  Not in a core sense, but in how you view the world after that diagnosis.  Montez is one of those people.  She is a strong force.  A person to take heed of.  And I mean ALL of this in a very postive way.  You will find a post on her blog about her 'birthday', the day she received a heart transplant as a result of the treatment she received because of her cancer.  She has my vote.

Montez came and picked me up at the end of Hat Camp, and off to Hollywood we went, which is where her incredible millinery shop resides.  'The Millinery Guild', as the shop is known, is across the street from CBS studios and on a street with fabulous shops.  Next time I'm that way I want to find out all about those shops.

We had so much to talk about and for a few hours we talked non-stop.  What a gracious hostess she was, opening wine, offering treats and a time to discuss the millinery world from our different parts of the US.  Did I mention she has the cutest French bulldog? 

What some of you might not know is that Montez is a great friend and mentor of Project Runway's Mondo Guerra, who learned sewing and millinery from Montez.  Just days before Montez and I got together, Mondo had won Project Runway's All Stars.  That puppy you see above was a gift to Montez from Mondo.  What a sweet puppy dog she is!  Almost feline in her playing antics.  I loved her from the first!

The Millinery Guild represents a number of milliners, both nationally and internationally, including Barcelona's Cristina de Prada, from another blog I'm sure you know--Rantings of a Mad Hatter Wannabe.  Saw some fantastically sculptural hats there, including intricate straw work from Morgyn Owens-Celli.

What I also loved about The Millinery Guild was the fresh, clean lines of the shop--all white and very sparsely decorated.  That's very different from my almost Victorian-styled shop of more and more hats, jewelry, and other eye-candy.  Nice to see a different take on displaying hats--purely hats.

Thank you, Montez, for a special afternoon of talking about everything millinery we could pack into a couple of hours.  You are a special lady.  And a special thank you for the quick tutorial on vintage millinery sewing machines!!  I'm still in awe!


  1. Dear Jan, Thank You for your good company and refreshing positive outlook on everything. You're a swell person with a fabulous talent! Looking forward to seeing you again You Rock Lady...

  2. Thanks, Montez! I'm so pleased we finally connected in person.

  3. Thanks for letting me take a peek inside the guild shop via your blog. It looks like a wonderful place to buy hats.

  4. It IS a wonderful place to buy some very incredible hats from amazing milliners from around the world. Go if you can. And thanks for commenting on the blog!