I attended the Stephen Jones AW20 It’s About Time collection launch at his showroom on Great Queen Street in Holborn London with Greg Commons of The Hat Magazine on 15 February 2020.
The collection celebrates Mr. Jones’ forty years of hats. The digital invite was simply and cleverly animated. The party flashed, Annette Bening winked, the feathers waved and the Underground hat changed colours. Which was obvious enough for me to look closer at the other images. It was like a little treasure hunt. The invite features four magazine covers a 1982 Tatler, 1992 Vogue Paris, 2003 Time Style and Design, and 2013 TimeOut London. Mr. Jones’ collection reinterpreted the glamorous 80’s, the sharp shapes of the 90’s, the frivolous and embellished 00’s and the magical 10’s.
We were greeted at the door, then made our way through the public showroom, past the reception desk and into the private showroom. I’ve been to the public showroom a few times, but never past the reception desk. I was excited. Most people were stylishly dressed, but not everyone. Many were young, but not everyone. Some wore hats, not everyone.
Relieved of our, Storm Dennis, winter outer wear at the cloak room, then primed with some Moët & Chandon champagne, the focus turned to Mr. Jones and the hats. The mood was light festive and fun a delightful contrast to the windy blustery and rainy Saturday night. Cameras were out and snapping. Staff would help people try on hats and pose for photos. It is great fun to watch Mr. Jones select a hat for a specific guest who wants to be photographed then cock his head, then give it a tilt or remove the hat off and choose another one. I wish I could hear his thoughts.
A fun combination of people; stylists, photographers, models and media mixed and mingles with a several of Stephen Jones Millinery staff. Mr. Jones is a brilliant host and speaks to his guests with humour and kindness.
Not every milliner can have a famous personality or model appear at their events but Stephen Jones can. The excitement and buzz that these people brought with them could be felt as a physical wave of energy through the room. I do not have an eye for the famous or trending people so I had to rely on asking those near me, whose who. A few of the evening’s guests who caused a stir were Erin O’Connor (runway model), Miss Fame (RuPauls Runway), and Suzy Menkes (Fashion Editor).
Although there was excitement about the people, the hats were the stars of the show. Here are a few hats from the collection.
I love the details, from embellishments, to stitching and trims. The way hats make an outfit, the details make the hat.
I hadn’t really thought I’d be one of the last to leave, but was enjoying a lovely chat with workroom manager and her partner. Only to look around and notice everyone was heading out the door. I went to say my good byes and Mr. Jones said,”We haven’t had a chance to talk.” With so many people, it was lovely he noticed.
There was a simple gift bag offered when we left with marketing materials pertaining to the collection.
Thank you Mr. Jones, Stephen Jones Millinery team and Greg Commons for a nice evening.
A slight diversion, my husband said the leather hat looked like a motorcycle hat. Search “bikers hat” for lots of variations. He mentioned Marlon Brando’s hat in particular. the View B crown of the Vogue pattern is closer in shape. Perhaps a mash up of the view B crown & view E band. I find commercial patterns more of a suggestion or starting point. If you give it a try, I’d love to see what you come up with. Happy Fishing.
Quintessential spring time in Vienna includes sightseeing, cakes, coffee, music and of course hats & their makers. With so many different delights in Vienna, it was hard to decide where to start, but Szaszi Hatters was a real gem.
Szaszi Hatters since 1858 specialize in high end Gentlemen’s custom made hats.
We showed up without an appointment and were loitering outside the door after pressing the door buzzer when Mr. Shapira walked up behind us. He was stern but welcomed us in through the door, down the hall, into a courtyard of sorts. We waited a moment for him to drop off some keys.
My friends, Andy & Rebecca (who thankfully speak German) and I gawked at hat blocks through the window, and when Mr. Shapira returned, he led us into his workshop.
There is something magical about being in a craftsman’s space, an energy, a vibe. I can feel it. Old wood, used tools, pots, and tins of various concoctions. He showed me a pot of actual shellac which is rarely used in hat making any more, at least within the group of milliners that I know. It appears that Mr. Shapira does everything the old fashioned method and there was even a conformature on the side of the blocking table. His hats are made from very fine straw or rabbit, beaver, or mink fur. I desperately wanted to ask where he gets mink felts, but didn’t want to overstep my welcome. I do feel that I was of some help, as he showed me an unfinished top hat for Royal Ascot. I mentioned that Royal Ascot was in just a few weeks. He seemed pleased with the reminder that the deadline was coming up soon.
When traveling with friends, I have to be mindful that I cannot expect them to be as keen on hat shops and workshops as I am. Some basic sightseeing is required before the hat seeing can begin.
First there was rum, wine and water on the roof top of the Ritz at sunset, then Sacher Torte at the Sacher Hotel, Mozart’s Requiem at Karls Kirsch, Nache Markt for a Viennese lunch, coffee and cake at Demel’s, and finally some Art Nouveau style art & architecture to admire. I was elated to be in the presence of Klimt’s art as well as learning about Egon Schiele and Oskar Kokoschka. As you can see my interests are mostly food, art and craft, however I appreciate that it takes the history of a place to glue it all together.
Conflicted, is how I felt when stumbling across this hat shop as I dashed to meet up with friends. Despite not being able to have a proper look about, I did snap a few photos through the window. I wonder how the crushable red hat looks and feels while wearing it. I was concerned about their signage for a natural straw hat. I know that Panama hats are made in Equador, but just because it is made in Ecuador does not make it a Panama hat.
Ah, Vienna, nibbling an apple strudel, while admiring hats on the run to meet friends. It was all good.
Mühlbauer have been hat makers in Vienna since 1903. The shop was airy and modern. The lovely woman running the shop at Seilergasse was generous in letting us try on hats and take pictures. There were many inspiring styles. I loved a navy beaver fur hat in a simple shape. The straw cap with a peak has been on my “to make” wish list for years. I liked that their hats have a tags signed by one of their milliners. Another nice touch, is how they indicate the front mark with a stitched arrow, which is simple and effective. They have another retail shop and actual workroom in Vienna. If I make it back to Vienna I will definitely go visit them.
Next door to Szaszi Hatters was Pelzhaus Fuss. Discovering something wonderful along the way is one of the best parts of travel. Pelzhaus Fuss specialize in fur and leather, however Spring hats are generally straw and cloth, and it is Spring, so only a few fur pieces were on display. The real highlight for me was the mural, freizes and the ceiling decorations. I was told they have been there 100 years.
I am such a hatter/milliner fan girl, it is a bit ridiculous and thankfully my friends were kind and generous to embrace my excitement and delight in meeting Mr. Shapira and visiting his workshop as well as the other lovely hats and shops in Vienna.
Gustav Klimt is one of my favorite artists and it was a thrill to see The Kiss and Judith up close. I also enjoy capturing the hats from hats painted through the centuries. Napoleon’s bicorne is magnificent.
A train ride to the lovely village of Melk on Monday afternoon allowed for dinner in the square. The next day was a visit to the Melk Abbey which has the library of my dreams and two gorgeous globes. One globe shows California as an island off the west coast of North America. I wish I had a picture. They also had a couple special exhibitions on color and texture. Both were enjoyable and interesting.
After visiting the Melk Abbey we hired bikes and rode through the Wachau wine region and along the Danube to the village of Krems.
We had intended to ride along the south side of the Danube, but the path was closed. We had to go along the north side and I am so glad that we did. The villages and the vineyards were lovely but most importantly we rode into the village of Willendorf where the Venus of Willendorf was discovered nearly 110 years ago on 7th of August 1908. They estimate her date at 24,900- 23,900 years BCE. In real life she is 11.1 cm (±4 inches), but they’ve placed a much larger statue of her at the discovery sight, and she looks over the Wachau valley and Danube River. I would do that cycle ride again, but with a little more time to allow a few stops for some tasting along the way.
I hope you enjoyed Hattin’ Around through Vienna with me. If you’ve been to Vienna, what were some of your favorite things?
Come visit myself (Leanne Fredrick Millinery) and some dear friends, Freeman-Birch Millinery, Hats by Clare Spicer and Climbing Rose Clothing at our tables on 24 & 25 November in South West London, UK and 1 December in Ewell, Epsom, UK. More market info
Winter Holiday Drawing on 15 December 2017
Loads of ways to enter to win a place
in my London Hat Week 2018 Hatpin workshop. More drawing info
My last visit to Ireland was February 1998, so when California friend, Laura, suggested we meet up there this Autumn, I was all in. Arriving at the Dublin airport, I was delighted to see a larger than life, image of milliner Martha Lynn, representing the craft of Millinery. I love when millinery gets visibility, especially on a large scale.
Thanks for advice from my London friend, Lis, we went to Bray. It was the perfect balance of things to do without being a busy city. We enjoyed a couple days of coastal hiking, exploring, shopping and a few pints.
I brought home a little treasure from Greystones Antiques. This simple little buckle I am sure will end up on a hat.
Laura and I headed north to enjoy the streets and treats of Dublin for a couple days before returning to our respective families. We grabbed the first Sightseeing bus we came to, for a quick tour of the highlights of Dublin, then it was time to go hat shop hunting.
I feel like I found the pot of gold on the first shop, which was Anthony Peto‘s hat shop. Thank you Anthony and Petra for taking time to talk to me without any notice.
Anthony’s main showroom and workshop are in Paris where employs a full team of skilled crafts people. His Paris business has been around for 25 years, while his Dublin shop has been open since 2015. Anthony Peto hats are stylish and well crafted. He offers a variety of styles for men and women. While grabbing the like to his site, I re-discovered this video showing one of Anthony’s team, making a strip straw hat in about 7 minutes. Anthony Peto’s website news page. I would love to have one of those sewing machines and a straw spinner like he is using.
While trying to find another milliner in Powerscourt Centre, Dublin, I stumbled across a costume design exhibit called Frame 7 by Marion Cuddy. There were some hats, which is always delight. I believe the milliner was Michael Mullins.
Nearby was milliner and fashion blogger Jennifer Wrynne’s boutique. She been a milliner since 2011 and opened the boutique in 2016. Her hats were primarily special event hats.
I love window displays that include headwear, especially when it is clever and creative. Thank You, Irelands Eye . On a side note: I wish the fashion magazines did a better job of including headwear in their features.
Inspiring, brave and bold, Claire Garvey Couture makes crazy fun hats and clothes. Claire had recently bought her shop after 18 years in business. I think this is what she said, I was so agog looking at stuff I didn’t write it down. Congratulations Claire!
I feel very lucky to have met two amazing hat designers and visit their shops, made a couple of new friends (Kelly & Lynette) and most importantly, connected with my long time friend, Laura. Until next time, Ireland, Thank you.
Bridport is a small villiage in Dorset, in the south of England, just 1.5 miles from the English Channel. I had heard of the Bridport Hat Festival for several years and this year I finally entered images of a hat in the contest. I was delighted to have been shortlisted and sent in my hat for judging. I took the train/bus down from London on Friday afternoon in early September. If you can get a seat with a table, long train rides are perfect for finishing a hat and meeting nice people.
There were hats in nearly every Bridport shop window and the charity shops had loads of hats for sale at great prices. Above are my favorite charity shop finds of the weekend, although I didn’t buy any of them. An eccentric grey hat by Pop Goes the Weasel, a lovely but far too small, white felt by Graham Smith for Fortnum & Mason. A Frederick Fox in a fawn with black ribbon & flower trim and another no-label hat with loads of stitching.
From Bridport I enjoyed a walk that lead me by the river then through three fields, down to West Bay for the evening. (Images L-R, water mill by brewery-Bridport, Harbour West Bay, Dorset Coast – West Bay, Station Kitchen – West Bay). It was a gorgeous day and I savored a delicious dinner at the Station Kitchen. I appreciated a cozy night’s stay at a vegetarian B&B, The Old Mill House in Bridport.
The Old Mill House was not much to look at from the street, but had gracious hosts and a small bridge over the river in their serene garden.
The highlight is seeing the variety of hats. A lovely couple wore Twin Peaks, hemp hats from Kathmandu by Elephant Road, a couple in matching outfits, and my strip straw hat with wavy border and vintage flowers. I think this hat below, a hand felted scene of Poseidon/Neptune was stunning. Can you see the horses coming out of the sea foam on the left and sea creatures following behind on the right?
The Bridport Hat Festival is a fundraiser for various charities. One of which is Brain Tumour Research. They seem to be at a lot of the events I attend. I like collecting their annual hat designer badges.
At one of the charity fundraising stands a gentleman was enjoying selling 2nd hand hats by coming up with some outrageous claims. I bantered with him a few moments, then just as I was ready to decline and depart, I saw another unlabeled stitched beret, in gold and it fit me. If you’ve been following my blog posts, I have come across several of them in my adventures in Southern England. Who made these hats? The price was right and it came home with me.
More crazy hats from jesters to lampshades. A couple who went with a breakfast theme of a skillet with bacon & eggs and a large fried egg. Hats with loads of stuff on them to a US political themed hat.
Then in the vendors hall I spotted this little wire framed gem. I will be teaching a wire frame half hat class during London Hat Week in 2018, Cocktail Half Hat with Daisies. It also came home with me, as another sample of how versatile the wire frame technique is to make charming hats.
Finally, the catalyst for my journey the Milliners and Hatters Open Competition. The hats were on display all day in the Town Hall. At the end of the day the hall was cleared, then set with chairs with a center aisle. Each hat was modeled and awards were given. I didn’t bring home any prizes but it was fun to have my hat on display and then modeled at the end. The hat on the far right was the overall winner. I think they will eventually get photos of the hats on the Bridport Hat Festival website.
My learning opportunity came when the hats were modeled. Despite having a center back mark and comb for placement, my hat ended up backwards and on the wrong side of the model’s head. Luckily it looked beautiful from all sides, but it really would have shown better if it had been worn properly. Live and learn, next time I’ll make it super obvious.
Bridport was a lovely town and we had great weather. I think it would be a good place to take my family for a little holiday in the future. Thank you Bridport for a fun day out.
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.
Kensington & Chelsea College (KCC)
Higher National Certificate (HNC) Year End Collections 2017
Hosted on 1 June 2017 at Kensington & Chelsea College, London UK.
This year was another delightful exhibition of some talents new millinery designers. The nervous excitement could be felt throughout the room as the milliners stood beside their collections to meet, greet and answer questions about their work. There were fabulous shapes and creative use of materials, everything you would hope to see at a millinery exhibit. The milliners are listed in order of how I walked around the room. Thank you for an inspirational evening.
Hannah Lewis – Hatterly – Fluidity, Movement & Motion
Carole Denford of The Hat Magazine, was spotted at the event. That woman must have Hermione’s time turner from Harry Potter, because she is everywhere.
Farewell KCC, until next year. I couldn’t resist this lovely image of the Imperial Wharf Station looking toward the Design Center as dusk.
My pictures really do not do the hats and head pieces justice. I would highly recommend that you come to the exhibit next year, it is open to the public. Congratulations milliners you are off to a great start. I hope to see you Hattin’ Around. LF
p.s. I have included links to website that were available on their cards at the event. If I have made any errors, please let me know.
My life does not have nearly enough “occasion” hat wearing opportunities, so when I was approaching a milestone birthday I decided it was going to be a hat event. A mini top hat (topper) would be perfect, festive and small enough for easy travel.
I have wanted to make a mini topper for ages. What is it about things in miniature that are so appealing? Beautiful dolls houses, tiny baby clothes, exquisite Fabergé eggs, even well made Barbie clothes I find intriguing. My hats isn’t super tiny, maybe I should call it a midi topper?
Without a firm plan in mind about trimming and nor a 5 piece top hat block, I set to learning how to make a mini topper in sinamay on a buckram and wire framed block, with the mentoring of Edwina Ibbotson during her evening Hat Class. The mystery was how to get it off the block once it is has dried and been stiffened. If you practicing millinery, you will notice the under cut of a waisted topper as a red flag. Unless you use a 5 piece block that you can take the block apart to extract it from the hat rather than pry the hat off the block, an under cut means you either carefully cut the hat, or destroy the block, neither seemed a good choice for a sinamay hat.
What I Learned…
To get the hat off the block without damaging the block or creating a cut edge on the straw, wrap the straw to meet in the back then fold the raw edges to the outside on the first layer. It is tricky to get it to butt together and stay put. I used lots of pins. The second and third layers are butted with the ends folded to the inside. Also use a wide petersham ribbon to hold the waist in while dries. Once off the block you have to sew each layer closed. Starting with the inside layer.
It is made in three pieces, the brim, the crown and the tip (top of the crown), make sure you mark the matching up points, especially for the “round” crown & “round” tip.
Making a band for an asymmetrical hat with extreme and changing angles is really difficult. I finally fashioned a pattern out of some bias muslin. It was not perfect but that is okay. I used the flaws to guide some of the flower placement.
Working within the hat to make invisible stitches between the layers was challenging. I feel good about the quality of finish I achieved.
There are lots of steam punk mini toppers which are fun, but I was looking for something lighter. I have a thing for grey and I had some amazing silver little wired stamens from Masario, which I was hankering to use. I had some leftover grey silk georgette that I loved working with on a previous project and experimented to create little bias cut flowers with a dusty pink bead for the center to add just a hint of warmth.
I was sewing the last bits on just an hour before my birthday party. I am delighted with the result.
I have since carved a mini topper block myself and made a variation in felt. It is a different technique with felt. Hopefully I can do a “What I Learned…” for that hat soon.
I would love hear if you have ideas on how to work with an undercut hat block.