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Tuesday, May 5, 2015

"Hat of the Week" Promotion and Blog Entry

I wanted to offer a sale on some of my hats, but I wanted to do something a little bit more fun and interesting than just discounting everything for a day or a week.

Starting now, there will be a different "Hat of the Week" each week. Every Monday, a new hat will be revealed, discounted between 25% and 50% for one week only. (I am not a fan of 5% or 10% off sales. That's not much in my opinion.) And no coupon code is needed.
Summer Seagrass Cloche
Pink Asymmetrical Cloche
For the first round of this special, I decided to take suggestions for what should be the first. I decided to pick two: the Summer Seagrass Cloche and the Pink Asymmetrical Cloche. And the first-round discount is 30% for each hat.

The other thing I'm going to do with the "Hat of the Week" is talk a little about it — the creative inspiration, the materials, the process, whatever. Good motivation for me to blog more.

Summer Seagrass Cloche

I call this the "perfect" cloche for summer, and it really is. Seagrass has an airy, open weave, so it's really lightweight. And I think seagrass is softer and less scratchy than many other types of straw.

This was blocked by hand over a basic cloche shape, but the front of the brim was turned up and shaped by hand.

Here's something you may not know if you don't make hats: The blocking/shaping — i.e. the majority of what makes a hat a hat — is often the quick and easy part! Other steps, such as binding the brim edge with ribbon, where every stitch is done by hand, is the long and tedious work. When I look at this hat, I remember when I was making it just in advance of a runway fashion show. It was almost done, so I thought it would be ready in time. Hardly! Those last steps take the longest. A big lesson for me as a milliner has been to know that things always take longer than expected.

The end result is worth it, I think. And the bow is probably the most perfectly constructed one I've yet made. The flower sequins and bright orange ribbon are my vision of summer.

Pink Asymmetrical Cloche

As an artist — and I know I'm not alone in this — I struggle with figuring out what my style, my vision and my point of view are. And is it even necessary to have a signature style? Well, that's some artistic angst for another post. 

 What I'm trying to say is that this hat is one of the closest to being a Silverhill Creative Millinery signature. It has an asymmetrical style. And it has a cockade. Both are themes you'll see a lot. Plus a bead accent. If I'm not doing full-on bead embroidery, I often like to use at least one bead. (Embroidery, vintage trims and swirls are also frequent components.)

In the description of this hat, I've noted that the ends of the ribbon have been intentionally left raw (unless the buyer prefers them sealed) so that they'll naturally fray over time to develop a vintage-y look.

That vintage aesthetic is the driving force behind my work as a milliner. I can admire the artistry and architectural feats behind crazy couture millinery. But the styles that really inspire me are simply the hats that women wore in their everyday lives 70, 80 or 90 years ago. The cloche is, of course, a classic 1920s shape. And ribbon cockades or rosettes have been used on hats for many years and through many styles.

For historical inspiration, I sometimes look to hat illustrations/ads or vintage hats on Pinterest.

This isn't meant to be a strict period reproduction. It is a "vintage inspired" style. And it's still an everyday style. No fancy outfit required. It can be worn with jeans. (Though it wouldn't say no to being paired with a 1920s-style dress.)

If you have any questions about the process or these "Hat(s) of the Week," just ask, and I'll be happy to answer.

1 comment:

  1. Sharing the process of hat making is a part that makes this blog post more than just pretty pictures of pretty hats. It adds dimension, and a better understanding for potential buyers. I hope you add this link to the listing for each of the hats. Perhaps that buyer just needs a little more background to see why it is worth MORE than every penny of the cost.