Friday, 20 August 2010

i made these

Top to bottom: sailor hat with swallows i hand-embroidered; top hat with red satin bow; Jane Austin bonnet; Carmen Miranda draped on buckram base; felt 1920s hat with silver birds; red pillbox on buckram base; inside of pillbox; upclose of embroidery; back of Carmen Miranda; better idea of shape of 1920s hat; tophat on block; straw cloche on block; only photo I have of straw cloche with feather trim; overview of Millinery 1 class, with Andrew the tutor, who I found out on Millinery 2 had passed away :(


To date, I've completed two millinery courses, both at London College of Fashion (yeah, I never imagined I'd actually attend a class there, either. Especially after the shocking "tartan/plaid" clash incident of 2001)

I've done both Millinery 1 and Millinery 2, the first as a series of nine 3-hour evening sessions, and the second an intensive 5 days. I can see the appeal of both: the long course, you can take your time developing your hat and ideas, but the week is great cos you go in everyday, 10am-4pm, and just work on hats. That's what made me apply for the HNC in Millinery. To be able to have that as your work would be incredible. No more part-time making, but everyday being able to create and sew and get paid for it. I don't care if it's crap wages, I don't care if I live with my parentals the rest of my life (though they may have something to say about it), if I can wake up and create everyday, I'd be happy.

Alas, that is a pipe dream. But for the next 9 months, I get 3 days a week of millinery....get in!!

So....they are all just me practising with different fabrics and blocks, and playing around with the techniques. But I tried to make it as varied as possible, and get a couple of wearable ones out of the exercise.

Bon appetit! Or something x

so the point of this blog is......

Blogs are everywhere today. I remember watching “Julie and Julia” (bloody excellent piece of cinema) and Amy Adams whines something along the likes of “everyone has a blog today.” 

I leapt up from my broken futon to applaud the statement.

What’s the point in having a blog that shares identical themes and whimsical mutterings with thousands of other wannabe Carrie Bradshaws? And the only followers are your mum and her neighbour?

However, since my campaign to actually research what the devil millinery is has taken me almost solely to the blogosphere (what a twat of a label) I have discovered that actually this modern phenomenon is not only useful but inspirational.

Millinery is, I was told by my millinery tutor, “a dying art.” Well, what an excellent time for me to decide on it for a new career path! Judging by the books I’ve read on it, I can only agree. No offence, but I don’t really want to see another picture of a summer hat that only the royals would deem fashionable. I’m fed up of faux-roses being the only trimming available. I don’t care for strange looking creations not even the circus society at uni would approve of. And therefore, thank the higher power above for blogs.

I have discovered handmade hat blocks, fascinators and hats that not only inspire but shock, and a hundred different ways to approach the craft. No longer does it seem a slightly staid area of fashion, but a leading craft that people really do rewrite the rules as they see fit. And I guess that’s the genius of joining a “dying art.” if it’s dying, you can do whatever the hell you want to rejuvenate it.

A few blogs I’ve discovered that take millinery to the next level (away from just the wedding and ascot hit-list):

thanks for reading, mum xx