Your grey skies and brick buildings welcomed us to city living. We landed here in 2011 and only meant to be your guest for a couple of years, to enrich our lives with your worldliness and history. Little did we know your beguiling ways would enchant us for a surprising ten years and we would become part of your family.
Thank you for sharing your people. Friends who have welcomed us into their hearts and homes. Diverse communities that have expanded my children’s minds and attitudes towards others. Hardy companions for my husband to stand out in all types of weather for a round of beer.
I appreciate, all the people who taught me to make hats within the context of a city and country were hats, history and craftsmanship are so intertwined that it is impossible to tease apart the individual fibres that create the most enchanting headwear.
London, you have changed our lives immeasurably for the better. I hope that in some small way that I have given back to you, my adopted city and country. I will strive to be an ambassador of craftsmanship and tolerance, by embracing uniqueness in people which makes their art and their communities special.
For all that you have given me, I am thankful.
It is with a heavy heart and a fair amount of tears that I say good bye, at least good bye for now.
As of October 2021, I will be settling into a new reality of making, teaching and writing about hats from Santa Cruz, California. Please, sign up for the newsletter to hear about new workshops and events.
Bonus photos — A lovely find at a charity shop in Balham, London yesterday.
A Top Hat and Box that I over heard a charity shop manager discussing with a member of her staff and she allowed some photos.
I have had two big ticket items on my millinery wish list for a while now.One is a hot block hat stretcher and the other is a Willcox & Gibbs straw sewing machine.I can now check off one of those items after winning an eBay auction a few weeks ago.
I was first introduced to the idea of a straw plait (braid) sewing machine while working at Edwina Ibbotson’s.There was one that sat in the corner with a clear upturned box covering it to protect the 17 Guinea, as she calls it, from being knocked about and keep the dust off.
I am not sure where the term 17 Guinea comes from as the Guinea was replaced by the Pound coin in 1816 and these machines are later 1800s and early 1900s. According to Wikipedia a Guinea is worth 1 Pound & 1 Shilling. The National Archives estimated the value in 1880 as equivalent £69.49 as of 2017. At the time it was worth 1 stone (6.35 kg/14 lbs) of wool or 3 days wages for skilled tradesman, which doesn’t seem like very much for a sewing machine.
I have looked on and off over the years for a “17 Guinea” with no success. Not long ago the Hatlines magazine published by the Netherlands Hat Association, had an article about these old sewing machines. The article did a great job of showing how to clean and maintain the machines. It gave the names of several brands that I believe would fall under the name 17 Guinea and also gave me a sense of confidence in finding one.
I made several straw plait hats after taking a class from Jane Smith at Morley College, London and loved the process and the results. Jane’s class taught how to make the straw hats on a standard home machine.It is a bit tricky getting around the crown, but it can be done. Ever since I’ve desired to work with a proper straw plait machine.
I don’t buy on eBay very often and even more rarely do I win, but I had been watching this machine and another on Gumtree. It was a Friday night and the auction ended at 8:15 pm.As the lastfew minutes of the auction approached, I entered my highest price, into the bidding system on eBay. It automatically bids in increments only until you are one increment above the last highest bidder, then stops. To my excitement, shock, amazement and delight.I won.
Although we have stayed very close tohome in London since March, due to Covid, my husband and I adventured to Eastbourne to pick up the machine from Alex Askaroff. Followed by a stay at the Hydro Hotel. It was a good weekend.
It doesn’t look like much, but the new tensioner was patented around 1875, so my understanding is that this machine was made around 1880.
The video of my machine being demonstrated by Alex Askaroff.
Alex Askaroff’s YouTube Channel has some great videos if you are interested in vintage sewing machines. I love this kind of stuff.
Another nugget was in the little wooden treasure box was a print out of the following blog post by Mad Hatter, Cristina de Prada from 18 April 2009.The link to Jane Smith’s straw hat e-book is not longer active, but she has many of the patent illustrations which I think are fascinating.
These early machine made a chain stitch, rather than a lock stitch of the current sewing machines. A chain stitch doesn’t require a separate bobbin. The underside can be used as a lovely decorative stitch but the chain stitch is know to easily unravel if you break a stitch or don’t lock the end.
Great video on how to lock a chain stitch.
It is a different model machine but the concept is the same. Go to video at 7min 20sec for how to easily lock the chain.
Me and my “new” machine are still getting to know each other. I love the way it sews and sounds, but so far I’ve only used up a lot of thread and made a little navy blue straw plait bowl, perhaps it will become a cocktail hat. I am excited to get a bit more time with my new W&G S200.
London Hat Week 2018 – Thurs, 22 March – Wed, 28 March 2018
I am still basking in the London Hat Week 2018 afterglow. I loved teaching the workshops, but they take loads of time to plan and prepare to a standard that I expect of myself and London venues are expensive, so in the final week before it all started I began to ask myself why I do this. However as I look back over the pictures and write this blog my mind is stirring with ideas and my heart is full with feelings of camaraderie and community. That is why I participate in LHW. I have written a brief summary of all the events and activities that I participated in. I hope you enjoy my recap of Hattin’ Around at LHW2018.
Thursday, 22 March
I loved going to the Clotheworkers’ Centre to see hats from the V&A collection. This was my 1st LHW activity and one of the many highlights. I have been wanting to do this for years! Huge thank you to Liz Waldy for coordinating this event.
Launch Party – once I got past the ridiculous process of figuring out what I was going to wear… I even made myself a wardrobe planner this year, but didn’t get very far filling it in. It was good fun saying hello to friends from the past. I also worked up the gumption to introduce myself to some new people. The Fashion and Textile Museum had an interesting t-shirt exhibition on, which provided a good back drop to the event. I loved Stephen Jones short talk to Kick Off LHW18. He always manages to offer new insight into the past & present fashion world. Highlights of the night was getting my make-up done by a make up artist sponsored by Judith M. and talking with Jaycow in the queue to get in.
Friday, 23 March
The Suffragettes: Millennial Rebels– A small exhibition by milliner Claire Strickland and photographer Nicolas Laborie. I love when people create small, unique experiences. It is one of the advantages of living in London. The exhibit was a curious mix of period and modern. To see the hats in life and then in wet plate photos helps to clarify how life of the past was not just black, white & shades of grey but in fact, even in London, full of color. However the real highlight for me was to discover that the models for the exhibition were girls that my own daughters home schooled with for a year when we first arrived in London. It is a small city after all.
The Great Hat Exhibition had so many hats! It was too much to take in at the time. I took loads of photos and will go back to look at them after I finish this blog post. There was an immense range of pieces covering a span of designs, materials, and craftsmanship skills. I have yet to fully digest all the pieces and select a few favorites. The highlight for me was running into Awon and to put together names, hats and faces of some of the milliners.
I dropped off my ha ,“Celebration” at Edwina Ibbotson’s, A Muse For All Seasons Exhibition. I think my greatest regret of LHW18 was that I wasn’t able to get back to see everyone’s hats on display together and say hello to old classmates and work experience people. I was finishing my workshop prep & packing for teaching.
Saturday, 24 March
The Market Place on Saturday turn out to be expensive. I bought a book and a bunch of felts. I enjoyed meeting author of Hats, Clair Hughes and had a nice chat with her while I got my book signed. I completely overspent at the Pjooil table, but the prices were great and the fur felt colors were lovely. I dropped a few coins at Parkins then ran out of time and money. Highlight was finding some more vintage hatpins at Buzz’s table, just before my Hatpin workshop on Monday.
Sunday, 25 March
The Hat Walk from Tate Modern along the Thames to City Hall by Tower Bridge was fun and thankfully the weather was good. My good friend and photographer, Anna Watson came along to take photographs, so although we saw each other, we didn’t speak much as I fluttered about talking with hat people. There was a significant group of Red Hat ladies walking. I enjoy seeing women smiling and having fun together. The highlight was the feeling of camaraderie of walking together with everyone and meeting people from all over the world.
Market Place visit Part 2 – I literally sold the small hat case off my back! I had been doing a bit of Hattin’ Around Hat Case promotion by wearing the small hat case on the Hat Walk before going to the Market. I also picked up some pretty lace from The Trimming Company.
The Millinery Lesson film premier – In a very small theater, Marie O’Regan surrounded by family, friends and students watched a movie about herself. Filmed and produced by Mike Southon. The film had an original music score, was about an hour in length and a beautiful tribute to her. Highlight was feeling like a hero because I remembered the flowers that had been put in water in the back room, for Becky Weaver and Georgina Abbott (LHW Founders) to present to Marie after the Q&A with Marie & Mike.
Monday, 26 March
I hosted two workshops on Monday, a Hatpins workshop in the morning and Petersham ribbon trims workshop in the afternoon. The venue was between Vauxhall & Oval stations, the room was large, clean with a view of the London Eye. Highlight for me was meeting new students with a range of abilities and them leaving with pretty pins or ribbon nautilus & cockades and new skills. A huge thank you to my assistants, Clare Spicer and Sonia Freeman Birch.
An Evening of Royal Millinery a panel discussion at the Archer Street Bar was festive and educational. The awkwardness of the launch party was over. It was a cool venue with the wait staff singing a song about every 15 minutes. Highlight for me was of course listening to Dillon Wallwork , Jess Collett and Ian Bennet be interviewed by Becky Weaver of Hatalk. I must apologize to Dillon as it must have seemed like I was stalking him during LHW18. I had met him a few years ago at an event and approached him to talk several times, but didn’t remember to re-introduce myself until the panel discussion evening.
Tuesday, 27 March
I hosted an all day 1950’s style cocktail hat making workshop which introduced loads of techniques to the students. With a growth mindset and the learning that happens every time I teach a course, next time I will provide a kit of materials for purchase as well as a kit list. It was a lot to ask for the students to bring all the various bits needed. My highlight was to see the diversity of pieces they created with the same set of instructions and basically the same materials.
Wednesday, 28 March
Milliners Roundtable Discussion was the final event for me. I have hosted/facilitated this free event at London Hat Week every year. The first year it was one hour squeezed within the lunch hour of another workshop, the second year it was 1.5 hrs. This year I expanded it to 2 hours and it still didn’t feel long enough and I had to cut off the conversation because we were out of time. There were six countries represented with ladies who have recently begun hat making to other who have been in millinery for 25 years. The conversation ranged all over from suppliers & issues to pests & mold and how to get started in business.
To all of you who participated in London Hat Week 2018, Thank you for making it a wonderful experience. Until next time….
We did something new for this summer holiday. Cycling with family and friends along the Danube in Germany. In my case it was Hattin’ Around the Danube.
How do you like the cycling caps I made for everyone? I used a free pattern by Dill Pickle. The pattern, instructions and caps were great, however I found the pattern ran a little small. Most of us needed the “large” and the 23.5″ (59.6 cm) head needed the “xl”. We used fabric pens to sign and decorate the caps.
Regensburg, Germany was a great place to start our trip. Architecture, history, river, good food and the start of what could be called the ice cream trail. It also had the best hats & hat shops of the trip.
HutKönig is a long establish hat shop with an excellent reputation and helpful staff. The couture felt hats were gorgeous. I loved the shapes, the colors and layered trims.
Take a look at their old glass tank steamer and hidden behind, a burgundy embosser with gold tape. Mental note, add embosser to the hatting/millinery equipment wish list.
I took loads of photos of hats, but this little miniature millinery shop was too cute to leave out of the post. They are made from real straw, felt and lace. I love digital zoom.
HutKönig actually had 5 hat blocks for sale. All of which were for small head sizes, but I can put a sock on it. I decided on this one after much deliberation. I was hesitant to buy too many hat blocks on the first day of our trip, although the tour company moved our bags from place to place.
Lilo is a marvelous small hat shop. Lilo, herself, was absolutely lovely and kind enough to take a few minutes to talk with me. Her hats are charming and her look is distinctive. I saw a few of her hats in boutiques elsewhere in Regensburg and recognized them as Lilo’s.
Straubbing, Germany was met with a hot and exhausted group of cyclists. I brightened up when I saw this adorable little fellow in a straw hat with his parents in the town square.
I spotted one hat shop called Luise Danner der Hutladen, but sadly we were pedaling again the next morning before they opened.
Deggendorf, Germany was the smallest of the towns we stayed in. It was also the shortest day of cycling which is good as it had been very warm for this London based family. We arrived early enough to have a look about and the hat shop was still open.
Olga’s Hut und Mode was several rooms, upstairs with a friendly poster of Olga, pointing the way. Olga was in the shop and kindly allowed photos, but we had language issues. I told her about my blog and gave her a card, she nodded and then showed me a selection of blue hats. To be fair, blog starts with “B” and my card has a blue hat on it. If only I’d followed through with my Duolingo German lessons.
Passau, Germany is where the confluence of three rivers join, the Inn, the Ilz and the Danube. They are often represented by three colors, Green, Black and Blue respectively.
I located one hat shop, Edelweiss & Rosenrotbut they didn’t want any photos inside the shop which is unfortunate as their displays were upholstered in bright green moiré.
It was a wonderful trip with loads of ice cream for the kids, a fair bit of käse spätzle (German style Mac n’ Cheese) which just might be my favorite german food and the guys enjoyed a little beer. Fun, friends, family, cycling and hats. It was a good holiday.
It was suppose to be about camping, but for me it was about hats. A girls weekend away included a visit to Rye, Hastings and a camp out in the woods.
Saturday on the way to the Wood, we stopped in Rye, an old town in South East England for a few hours. Rye is one of the Cinque Ports and has a lovely old town center.
With lots of historic character, vintage shops and best of all the hat shop, Hearld & Heart. You may recall the name Hearld & Heart from my interview with Jane Smith, they did the amazing hat that Andie McDowell wore in Four Weddings and a Funeral (94).
A few hats and thimbles in a small local museum, not the museum in the tower as they were hanging the closed sign as we approached the gate. 🙁 The Harlequin, a secondhand book shop, had two darling pink vintage hats.
I have not yet been able to embrace the loads of floppy petals, but I am trying.
I love that there is something different happening on each side of this dusty rose hat with velvet trim. It looks like Pinokpok to me, but I think it is actually parabuntal. If anyone knows for sure, please let me know.
I adore living in London, but a night out of the city is a welcome change. I love sleeping under the stars with a canopy of leaves overhead. Even being awoken with a cacophony of bird song at morning light is needed every once in a while.
Day two, we packed up and were off to Hastings. The town known from the Battle of Hastings in 1066. It is a fishing & port town, popular for holiday getaways.
Wardrobe Clothes Agency had loads of vintage hats, every piece distinctly different. A white with black lace pillbox, a red and pink feather cocktail hat, and a sheer brim on a wire frame with pearl details.
I am completely enamored with the wire framed cocktail half hat. I will be teaching a workshop on this style of hat. Please sign up for the Hattin’ Around Newsletter for the announcement of workshop dates.
The white silk with black stitching was my favorite. OMG look at all that stitching! The design is also very clever.
Wardrobe Clothes Agency (teal turban with bow) and Voodoo Sirens (black trilby with large ribbon bow), both are Edward Mann hats. I really must do some research on him, as his nautilus hat was a huge inspiration for me.
It was my good fortune to be in Hasting when there was a Steam Punk event. Steam Punk folks do amazing costume. A velvet top hat with goggles and feathers, a voodoo hat with a skeleton and crow, a red vinyl captains hat and a pith helmet with goggles are just a few of the hats on show. However, I saved the best for last. His nickname is Moose and he trimmed his own hat. I believe he said there are 82 brass rivets. The craftsmanship was superb.
Thank you to Hatz and Thingz, for the tickets to the Steam Punk event. It was late in the day, he had three tickets available, and there were three of us with a little bit of time remaining before we needed to head back to London. Hatz and Thingz is a new shop, offering both men’s and women’s hats and various vintage items and steam punk accessories.
The longest hatpin I’ve ever seen, ±33cm (13″) and a few hatpin holders. Hatpins are another of my hat related fascinations. Please sign up for the Hattin’ Around Newsletter, a hatpins workshop will be coming soon as well.
I hope you have enjoyed my few hatting highlights from Hastings and Rye.
London Hat Week 2016 (LHW2016) was a success! My workshops were well attended with good reviews. I packed in as many event as possible and loved the variety. Everything from the Hat Walk with Laird Hatters, Champagne High Tea at the Villandry, The Hilary Alexander and Stephen Jones interview at the Dirty Martini, Hat Exhibition at Coventry University in London and movie night at The Cinema Museum to watch the documentary, Mad about Hats. Here is my summary of the week. Note: the following video sometimes loads slowly.
Hat Walk with year was a little different than the last couple and I’d say very successful. Laird Hatters sponsored the event and we were treated to a spot of tea and cake at The Espresso Room to start our journey at their New Row shop and a reward for finishing at their shop on The Strand with a lovely chocolate and a little tipple. The walk route was good fun featuring a leisurely stroll to Trafalgar square, where we stopped to take photos, chat and regroup, then continued on to the end point. I met several fabulous women from the Red Hat Bees of Bardwell, a woman from Scotland, as well as the Netherlands and Spain.
The Stephen Jones interview by Hilary Alexander was absolutely charming. The two had a lovely chemistry that comes from years of working in the fashion industry where they were familiar with the same people over many decades. The venue, Dirty Martini was fun and interesting but ill suited for this event. Many of he attendees I have met over the years. It felt like a fun reunion.
The Market Place venue had amazing murals and architecture, but I stayed focused and true to my mission to explore the millinery supplies. 😉 I alway love a chat with Catherine and Owen of Guy Morse Brown.
I bought a few bits from Masario and some felts and Petersham from Parkins.
I am looking forward to heading over the East London to visit the ladies at Walter Reginald, leather specialist. They were fantastically helpful and educational. Who knew there is Ostrich leg leather. I am also wanting to try out fish leather. I touched it for the first time, and was surprised at how “leathery” it felt.
Hattin’ Around Classes and Milliner’s Roundtable at London Hat Week 2016
@Mrs_Gaskett picture on instagram of nautilus she made in class.
A Study of Peaks workshop covered a lot of tips and techniques on materials and shapes.
Milliners Ribbon – Petersham workshop, learning about basic things, how to make a head fitting and shrinkage to advanced trimmings such as Cockades and the Nautilus. I also demonstrated how to do some vintage trimming from hats in the V&A Museum of Childhood collection.
The students were a delight. I had people from all over the world with varying levels of interest from ladies who have been in the millinery business for 20 years, to others who enjoy it as a hobby. I received great reviews and everyone said they learned something new.
A big huge thank you to Baxter Hart and Abraham for their generosity of ribbon and information about Petersham. Go see them for supplies, they are in Luton and have always been wonderful to me. The best part is they are patient with new milliners.
There were lots of good tips from the Milliner’s Roundtable. A mix of milliners from Australia, France and a strong showing from the UK crowd. Several ladies from the South London as well as two who are near the same village in southern England, who knew of each other but had never met. Here are some ideas to help build awareness and a following that I really appreciated:
Giving talks at a local venue about hats or hat making?
Doing a charity fundraiser that features your hats, like a ladies tea with hats being modeled?
Approaching an empty shop owner who might appreciate an attractive window display while waiting for a new tenant.
Champagne High Tea at the Villandry was fun, but perhaps a poor choice of events to attend, as I had cut out refined sugar and alcohol from my diet. I have been to better venues for High Tea in London, but I always like trying some place new. The best part was getting to chat with charming people from the UK and Europe. We even swapped photos of hats we liked at the exhibition.
Movie Night at The Cinema Museum, the Museum is in the Victorian magnificence of the old Lambeth Workhouse, where Charlie Chaplin spent time as a child, in Kennington. It isn’t the easiest of places to find but it is a treasure. I joined other milliners to see an informative and interesting movie about the making of fur felt, the plight of the beaver and the impact of mercury used in hat making. Mad about Hats was a labour of love for director Olivier Vandersleyen and his family. Here is the Mad about Hats trailer.
I am seated in the grey fedora, next to the sign. The director and his wife are standing behind the sign, hatless.
Hat Exhibition at Coventry University, London was a sight to behold. Hats from around the world in many ways. I posted several pictures on my Facebook page.
So much of millinery and hatting is done in isolation, at least for me. Late evenings or while my children are at school. London Hat Week is an opportunity to connect with people of similar interest from all over the world. Thank you Becky Weaver of HATalk and Georgina Abbott of Atelier Millinery for creating this wonderful event. I look forward to more at the next London Hat Week is planned for Spring 2018, dates TBD.
I would like to introduce, Migration, a hat I made of teal pleated sinamay with hand beaded butterflies and a seed beaded crown. This piece was inspired by a mix of several pieces from the Victoria & Albert (V&A) Museum of Childhood (MoC).
Over the last several months I have designed and made three different hats for three hat contests. Not all the hats made it to the second round of judging, but to my delight I got an email that my hat, Migration, was accepted by the V&A Inspired by… contest and that it would be exhibited at the Morley Gallery in London.
If you would like to read more about my “Inspired by…” entry, Migration. I am in the Exhibition Catalogue on page 3.
If you want to learn more about the UK based “Inspired by…” contest or details on the exhibition Inspired by…2016 is on exhibit from 17 May 2016 – 17 June 2016. Please check the website for the details regarding opening hours.
I recently attended the Gallery Preview and Awards night at Morley College. It was a thrill to see a hat I made on display in a gallery. I just discovered a video of the event on the Inspired by…website. My hat shows up around :13 as well as my family and I on the left side at 1:21 for 1 second! It was a lovely evening with good weather, fabulous music, and creative people.
Inspired by… is an event for adult learners throughout the UK to submit photos of a piece of art/craft they have created with inspiration from something in the V&A collection. The V&A is the world’s leading museum of art and design, housing a permanent collection of over 4.5 million objects. The V&A Museum of Childhood (MoC) is located in Bethnal Green and where I drew my inspiration for this piece. MoC have effectively created a place that is interesting and fun for both adults and children.
I have been attending classes at Morley College for several years and it is a wonderful place to learn new things and meet people. Many of my friendships have grown from classes at Morley.
This is a collage of images highlighting the pieces I was inspired by as well as the hat making process.
Inspired by… at Morley Gallery is a small and diverse exhibit, I encourage you to go take a look. It is around the corner from the Imperial War Museum, just a short (5 -15 min) walk from Lambeth North or Elephant & Castle tube stations and Waterloo station.
I had the joy of seeing many of my hat class friends put their hats out for sale at both Temple Church and Morley College Winter Fairs last week. The cold brought out the winter hats “On the Street” at Somerset House, and my daughter made me a tree ornament. Take a look.
Holiday Markets are always fun. I love seeing the amazing creativity and craftsmanship of people, especially my friends.
The first was a fantastically hidden market, the Temple Christmas Fair on Thursday, 3 December at the Middle Temple Hall. It was an intense and beautifully dark carved wood venue with gorgeous products for sale. A couple of hatting friends from Morley College and Edwina Ibbotson‘s were selling their own custom made hats. Petula and Maggie must not have slept for a month prior to the show. My picture above only shows and few of their charming hats.
Not to go too far a field, but the Temple Church was selling a book at one of the stalls that was about the truth and fiction of the Knights Templar and the Temple Church in London. I had no idea that going to a Winter fair was going to link up with the Knights Templar from the book Da Vinci Code. I love London.
Morley College hosted its Winter Fair on Sunday, 6 December. Many of my Jane Smith, Hat Class friends, Stefania, Dusia, and Clare, were there with their hats, even Jane herself. There were so many hats that they ran out of display space. Morley is also a lovely venue and the main hall has large murals along both walls, that deserve more than a passing glance.
The Somerset House is hosting outdoor skating this Winter and Fortum & Mason have taken over part of the building for a swanky Pop-Up Shop.
One of the best parts of this time of year is that it is cold and people on the streets are wearing warm hats. These lovely ladies allowed me to capture them while doing a bit of shopping at the Somerset House.
Hopefully I will be organized enough next year to post the dates of these fairs before they occur.
Also on the winter hat theme, my daughter surprised me with an adorable ornament for our tree. She made it while I was out at the Morley Winter Fair, from a shape found online and a piece of Harris Tweed from my fabric stash. It even has the date in the loop. The second best part…she cleaned up the project mess before I got home. I love her and my new ornament.
I take to the streets of London to see what hats people are wearing a cool day in March.
I usually ride my bike to hat class but not today, I had a meeting after class. I love riding my bike. I ride for sanity, fitness and transportation, and on hat class day it is for all three. However on the days that I cannot ride, the best part of not riding my bike is I can wear one of my adored hats, or test drive a new hat. This day I choose my grey fur felt fedora. I will do a podcast about this specific hat at a later date.
On my walk to Morley College from the Elephant and Castle tube station, I noticed a sign for a new exhibit at the Imperial War Museum (IWM). I have not been yet, but I will go see Fashion on the Ration – 1940’s Street Style, apparently they are also offering a 40’s style lunch for group bookings. I’ll have to go check it out.
Just after snapping a photo of me in front of the sign so I don’t forget. This is my current note taking and reminder system…take pictures of it.
As I set off down the street a striking older woman approached. She was so lovely and I was only a little late for class. I asked if I could take her pictured. She agreed and then promptly told me she was 87 years old. She was absolutely charming with her magenta coat, dusty rose wool felt beret and large single pearl hat pin. We had a lovely chat and I learned that she is a turn local Londoner. Born just a few block to the West side of the IWM, moved a few blocks to the East side of the IWM at age 6, then to the North side when she married at 22, where she’s lived ever since. We parted ways and I went off to work on my 1840’s style straw bonnet.
After hat class I set off for Oxford Street by way of the Lambeth North tube station. Still feeling brave (Brave is my word for the year) and energized from my successful encounter with the little lady in pink, I mustered the courage to ask these two people if I could photograph them in their hats. They were surprised, but delightfully agreed. The lady in the green wool hat was from East Africa and the man in the black cap was from Germany. I love the diversity of London!
I headed across town just after class to take a look at the venue for theLondon Hat Week, Milliners’ Questions Time event, that I am moderating. Tickets are now available for £16, so if you are interested, follow the links. It is in a listed building and I’ve attached just one of the beautiful stained glass windows.
A walk down Oxford Street is always a wonderful time in people watching. There were many people wearing your basic knit hat in all its various forms, there were a few deer stalkers and the occasional fur cossack.
This lady was happy to allow me to capture her cowboy style hat.
My biggest challenge of the day was the flat cap. There was something about the gentlemen wearing the flat caps, and there were a lot of them, but I just didn’t feel comfortable approaching them. However, this kind man agreed to pause a moment on his hurried run to the tube station. I just adore the flat cap and his smile.
Spring colors in the Oxford Street windows – It is all about yellow and blue. From children to adults to handbags, yellow is everywhere with compliments of blue.
Austro-Hungarian Empress Elisabeth’s riding hat fetches 134,000 euros (110,500 GBP, 186,500 USD) at an auction in Vienna on 5 March 2015. If that isn’t if hats can appreciate in value and not just in the eye of people, it I think we can look forward to seeing more hats around town.
Empress Elisabeth, called “Sisi” by family and friends was a beauty and free spirit who continues to intrigue biographers, novelists and film makers, was assassinated by an Italian anarchist in 1898. for more information see the article in Reuters.
Thank you little lady in the pink beret, you made my day.