Shamefully to say, it all started with Midnight in Paris. As cheesy as it is to be inspired by an Owen Wilson film, dare I say, I was. Perhaps it sparked a memory of a past life…hard to tell. For Christmas, I received a few of Gertrude Stein’s books (fueling my new obsession). One was called Paris France: A stream of consciousness account of her many many years spent living in France. After finishing up The Paris Wife and also Infinity Net (the autobio of Ms. Kusama) my mind has been in the 20’s in Paris and NYC in the 60’s. So I guess a velvet asymmetrical pillbox hat with peacock feathers was bound to happen!
As a side note, it seems like so many unique and inspiring artistic eras happened before I was born. All the artists are now are schlepping to BK to live and create. Maybe that is the movement and I just don’t know it because I am one such artist who cut bangs and moved to Brooklyn. Or perhaps I am spending too much time reading and making hats to realize what is going on around me…:)
My next literary endeavor: The Paris Wife: A story of Hemingway’s First Wife. Looks like my kooky inspiration isn’t going anywhere:)
Until next time…
PS- I must tell you…the pin above the cameo may be one of the most unique treasures I have come across. It was a pin used for advertising in Amsterdam in the 40’s and 50’s. They would be handed out on the street for passersby to wear on their clothing to promote various products. Interesting, eh?!
The best part about weddings is the look of sheer bliss on the faces of the newly betrothed! When I received these images from the happy couple (also my new sister-in-law) I couldn’t help but smile. Unfortunately, on account of the Bourbon (more on that later), I missed the happy couple’s departure. But, the pictures are gorgeous!
Having been truly inspired to make this headpiece (additional images in past post) I have decided to pursue the bridal market further. Several conditions apply however:
1. No bridezillas:)
2. Bride must have imagination and trust in her milliner.
3. Did I mention no bridezillas?
Now that this piece is completed and will be safely stored in the closet with the dress and other “best day of my life” accoutrements, onto my next bride. The next piece will be a fascinator with lace, pearls and feathers. I will post pictures as I go.
Something blue. As far as something borrowed, I guess I could rent the headpieces to brides.
Hmmm. Will investigate that further and get back to you.
As for now, we are working on pieces that fulfill three of the four. With the vintage bride look trending in nuptial planning, we are making sure every headpiece has something old (or shall we call it “loved”), new, and blue. I have wanted to create a bridal version of the Teardrop Pillbox Hat for quite some time, so I was excited when the opportunity presented itself!
Enjoy and stay tuned for additional bridal pieces.
Last week, I saw the Yayoi Kusama exhibit at the Whitney (http://whitney.org/Exhibitions/YayoiKusama). The exhibit moved and shook me in a way that I have not experienced in a while. Although I cannot relate to her use of painting, collage, and drawing, I can say that millinery design is a definite form of sculpture. Sculpture being a defining artistic medium of Ms. Kusama.
While the meticulous details of the artists work have been floating through my dreams, I have been simultaneously reading “The Happiness Project” by Gretchen Rubin before going to sleep. Her take charge creative prowess combined with the millions and millions and millions of dots and circles painted by Yayoi have given me a renewed sense of excitement and inspiration.
The newest line for stellaHeron involves pure sculpture. We have been creating shapes from the most basic form of nothingness and turning them into head adornments. Drafting the desired shape from pattern paper and rulers, we have been measuring, cutting, wiring, and sewing together various buckram pieces. Although rough in image at this point, the end result will hopefully be a collection of unique and exquisite pieces for Holiday 2012!
It seems as though the croquet wearers of old adorned themselves in boaters of all sorts. Both men and women rocked this style hat while clicking the mallets and wearing all white. The above head piece is a nod to the late 18th century British croquet inventors with a wearable modern twist. The 3 inch brim provides shade from the sunny croquet field (is it a field?) while still being a miniature, which we love here at stellaHeron! Also threw in a vintage clock hand just for good measure.
A few girlfriends and I threw a baby shower in Central Park this weekend for a lover of all things Alice in Wonderland. One of the highlights of the day, other than my cucumber sammies, was a little game called croquet!
If you are like me, the last time I played croquet I was 8 years old and in my Grandmother’s backyard. My recent discovery of the New York Croquet Club has sparked my interest in what a New Yorker would wear to play/ watch a competitive game of croquet. Most importantly, what would he or she wear on their head, as this is a hat themed blog:) From what I can tell, spectators are similar to those of a Polo match or a horse race. Having never been to an actual Polo match, I will have to rely on what Ralph Lauren tells me. Horse racing, I can do!
According to the NYCC website, croquet “novices” may not wear white. Although it seems straw hats can be worn even if they are not white. Since we are all novices, none of us got the white only memo, but I am pretty sure croquet champions worldwide would approve of polka dotted bloomers! Ok, this is a good starting point.
While changing handbags the other day, I found a random lip gloss that wasn’t mine. My first reaction was “Eww! Who’s is this?!” Then I remembered it belonged to a friend who had borrowed the bag a few weeks ago. Since she lives in Baton Rouge, it made me smile to see this little treasure she had inadvertently left behind.
One of the reasons I love vintage trinkets, is because they bring a piece of someone or something to the hat. A little treasure to make you smile when you see it. Whether the original story is known, or I use my ever evolving imagination to make up a tale, these additions give the hat a history.
The above hat is a piece I just finished for a dear friend of mine. When I first moved to New York when I was 20 years old, he took me under his wing and showed me the city in a way I had never imagined. While walking through Little Italy, he explained the history of the street names and how they came to be. Although he and I are both from Chicago, he knows New York in a way most New Yorkers would never take the time to understand. As a man who appreciates artisanship and history, I knew he would treasure the stories behind the decor on his one-of-a-kind straw.
So Saturday was a big day! Even though I’ll Have Another scratched on Friday, we were still expecting a fun and rowdy crowd in Elmont, New York (yes, Belmont Park is in Elmont). After running a 10K race in Central Park, I hurried home, showered, dressed and we were off as soon as the sitter arrived to take over Harper duties!
Thirty minutes on the LIRR and we were strolling into Belmont Park amongst the East Coast preppy crew with their soft sided coolers full to the brim for a day at the races. The people watching at Belmont (and most race tracks in my experience) is one of the main reasons to go to these events. The upper crust of horse-racing society mingling with barely legal twenty-somethings who are arguing over whether the #3 or the #8 is a better horse with the locals. For all intents and purposes, we will refer to the “locals” as those individuals who consider Belmont Park to be their home/job/significant other.
After multiple Belmont Breezes and some nibbles of absolutely terrible food, race #11 was off. Although I was still devastated over I’ll Have Another, Union Rags was a welcome winner. As Triple Crown Season comes to a close, I can only have high hopes for next year as we impatiently wait to see what horses, and hats, can make it to the Belmont Stakes!
Last week, we were at dinner at Traif in Williamsburg. The seating chart went something like this:
San Diego, Chicago, Houston, San Diego
Utah, Amsterdam, and Los Angeles (I think)
San Diego and Utah just returned from a month long trip to India. Amsterdam and LA regaled us with stories of their recent trip to Columbia. Chicago and Houston spoke of plans to go to Morocco.
My favorite part of New York City is that everyone is from somewhere else. Most people that live in NY have one thing in common, a sense of adventure. That is why the style here is so eclectic. Every person brings a piece of style from where they are from or where they plan to go.
Being married to a Texan and having many friends from southern cities (Baton Rouge, Atlanta, the Okies) a part of me has developed a southern soft spot. In a true New York effort to embrace other cultures and style, I created the Brooklyn cowboy hat. The classic cowboy shape is a not-so-subtle nod to our friends below the Mason Dixon line, but the mauve straw and bronze metallic foil band are influenced by where I plan to go… The testament of a true New Yorker.
Not sure if you have been able to tell yet, but I am huge fan of small hats! I love how precise and well placed they look. Sitting in position just so…
As I am waxing on about miniatures, Mark is nagging me to put our most favorite piece on Etsy.
Mark: Just post it. You can always make another.
Me: I know. I know. I just don’t know if I will be able to part with it. And you know I prefer not to make the same hat twice.
As most of our “discussions” go, Mark wins. The most adorable miniature hat ever created (not like I am biased) is up on Etsy (http://etsy.me/JZiaXu). If you are a regular blog follower, this is the true “I’ll Have Another” hat! The way the ostrich feather flows and waves with the breeze, the perfect positioning of the charms, the height it adds as it sits so royally atop the head…Oh how I love this hat.
Now that I have expressed my love, please don’t feel like you will be breaking my heart if you decide to purchase. Please just promise me that you will offer this piece a good home, a comfortable place to rest at night, and most importantly, a fashionable and eclectic closet with which to befriend.