Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Stephen Jones Competition Favourites (well mine) Vote here

I am very disappointed in myself that I didn't get my shizzle together a couple of years ago, as possibly I might have dared enter this once in a lifetime competition to design for Monsieur Jones, but with my entire portfolio consisting of 4 beginner "hat school" entries at present, it would only lead to severe embarrassment.
Anyway, sorry for another Stephen Jones post, I really need to diversify but he is omnipresent at the moment and if you hadn't been a stranger to the Vogue UK site, you would have been all too aware of "HAT Idol" (it's the new reality blockbuster folks) yes, public voting ends in a couple of days, so vote now for your favourites!
Unfortunately the website is highly frustrating to look through and only seems to show up the same hats all the time with some serious digging required to get to certain beauties, but there are loads of entries and I have literally spent hours looking so you don't have to (seriously you should thank me, there was some stamina required to get through it all, and I don't really agree with some of the highest voted, seems they may just have the highest number of friends... and a good photo.. EDIT - that was me being a moron, if you go to the Vogue site it is frustrating, but if you go HERE to search it is very very easy. I will never retrieve that Tuesday night I just lost, grrr)...
Here are some of my favourites in no particular order, 25 to be precise, hopefully the winner is amongst them (ok, hedging my bets slightly)!

A Delicate Balance by Sau Fen Chee (so pretty)
A Tribute to Amy Winehouse - Joosten Mueller
Arima - Harvy Santos
Bulb - Rachel Drewer (I just want to take a bite!)
Corset - Kristina Dragomir
Diana - Ashley Lloyd (breast effort.... oh god, forgive me!)
Emma Yeo
Exoskeleton - Mather Louth
Hidden Treasure - Shumik LesziewiczGordz
Kaka Makako - Eleaonora Bruno (love this picture of Autumn)
Kiku - Phillippe Urban (Go Phillippe, an I Smell a Hat Favourite)
Laura Soloman
Muscae - Rachel Forbes
Naughty Charlotte - Anya Caliendo
Night Flight - Lydia Wall
Octopus - Megan Bishop (Channeling Lady Gaga???!)
Opium Smoke Rings - Daniel Pileki

Papillion - Joyce Paton (ok, I smell a theme, I like all the ones with boobs in them...)
Perched - Danica Erard (Probably not the most original idea putting taxidermy in a SJ competition given his Stella Tennant creation, but I like it)
The Greatest Show on Earth - Stiff Pristed (I saw this in Melbourne's MX the other day and ripped the picture out before I knew it was in this competition!)
The Navigator - Sarah Butterworth
Man o War - Jessie Abraham
Nightrider - Trudy Feighery
Eye Spy - Michelle Boyd (My favourite Australian Entry)
Suspension Mohawke - Heather Huey

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Millinery Couture at Dior with Stephen Jones

It's no secret that I have a little fondness for Jones's; Grace and Stephen, two of an eccentric, creative, fabulous kind.

Having just taken a peak at the Dior Couture A/W Collection, the first without Galliano as its swashbuckling ringleader, I'm slightly infatuated with the candy disco-cum-fairytale shapes of SJ's headwear.  Bold and feminine, cute and delicious, making my mouth fizz like a pink Refresher. I quite want to take a bite out of those sweet looking candies. Gobstopper anyone?


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

There were 4000 hats hanging on a wall... Akio Hirata's wall!

 The interweb has been alive this week with pictures of the visually breath-taking Akio Hirata exhibition at the Spiral Garden in Tokyo. Hirata is Japan's leading milliner and the exhibition showcases a retrospective of his work over the last 70 years, installed by Japanese designers Nendo.  

The official blurb goes something like;
The mass-produced non-woven fabric hats we created for the space are the antithesis of Hirata’s carefully handmade hats, and bring them into sharp relief through dramatic contrast.
Hirata oversaw the shape of these hats, which float and stream through the exhibition like ghosts or shells of the real hats exhibited. Some are exhibition stands; others become walls, ceilings and diffusers to scatter light through the space. Flooded with roughly 4000 of these ‘ghost hats’ as though shrouded in a cloud, the exhibition space softly invites visitors inside. There, they find not clear-cut paths to follow but an environment in which they can wander and discover Hirata’s creations as they like, as a way of physically experiencing the creative freedom that underlies Hirata’s work.

It is simply stunning and unfortunately finished on Sunday. As usual I find out after the event, not that I could have gone though as I've been in the far more exotic surrounds of forgotten industrial Richmond (which I actually have quite a fondness for; cycling past the beautiful Bryant & May factory every morning is a particular highlight), making the first pieces for my own 70 year retrospective.... not long to wait!!! 

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Sew fine; Grossmann, Anita B

Sew I managed to procure myself a special little sewing machine today! As I was wondering past Chapel St Bazaar, admiring the windows and trying to convince myself that I didn't need to go in, full well knowing the damage any visit has on my hip pocket, I looked harder and noticed the label on the vintage sewing machine looking up at me mentioned the word HATS! Resolve crumbled and I had to enter the treasure trove, after all I did need an old steam kettle so a visit was totally justified and necessary, right?!

So the nice man pulled little Anita B Grossmann out of the cabinet, we gave her a whirl and she went like a dream. Someone had clearly looked after her and kept her well oiled. All parts seemingly in working order, monies changed hands and Anita B became mine!

When I returned to the land of the internet I discovered that she has an interesting history, H Grossmann manufactured sewing machines in Dresden before WWII, and during the war the Nazi's took over factories such as these to use the precision tooling for rather less good causes. The Grossmann factory was flattened by Allied bombing in 1943, which means Anita B must be at least 70 years old!

Further researches tell me that machines such as this have a special zig zag stitch used for attaching the wire to straw hat brims, or sewing straw braid, this could come in very useful! I also found these helpful instructions on line, which will come in handy when I finally put Anita B to work on my straw hats! 

Friday, June 3, 2011

This summer's model

I've been a bit AWOL recently on the old blog, not intentionally but I've actually been making hats rather than just writing about them! Yes, hat school has started in earnest; after 2 months of learning about materials, illustration and design, we've finally been let loose with the felt, steam and blocks!
I'm making a wonky black top hat, with some hot pink trimmings, which unfortunately is a little more wonky and a little less hot then ideally I'd like it to be at the moment, but certainly in the realms of fixable (by an expert at least!!). Should be finished next week fingers crossed.

Anyway, when the weather was a little warmer I caught Luscious Loleatta when she was doing a bit of sun-baking in my favourite red fedora. Doesn't she look hot?! Can never get her to keep her kit on though...