Monday, December 15, 2014

Back in Action - and - Blink and You Might Miss It

I am very happy to announce that my studio in NYC is now fully set up and operational, my Etsy store is back up and running, and I'm busily filling orders.

 Want to buy a hat for the holidays? There's still time- many of the hats in my Etsy store are now in stock and ready to ship. Just ask about availability for the style you're interested in and I'll let you know if it can make it to you in time.

In other news, I was very happy to discontinue the popular 'Sabrina' mini top hat in black the other day. I ran out of the silk veiling that that style requires, making the *last one ever*.

It felt like an accomplishment, as the bolt of veiling had been a pretty big one to start with. 'Sabrina' is still available in brown tones, for now. But when the brown veiling runs out, that one will be discontinued also.

Many of my styles are limited editions, because I use vintage materials that are only available in limited quantities, and when they're gone, they're gone. So, if you have a hat in mind, don't dally or you might miss it forever!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Changes II

Last week, I got a great new job working for Lynne Mackey's studio, she is an incredible theatrical milliner. This bit of fairy magic greets me each time I enter the front door.

Things are going swimmingly. Everyone there is super nice, I enjoy the work and it's all very wonderful.

Then, today, she receives binders full of notes, images, costume sketches, etc. related to the next big job that the studio is going to do. She opens them up to let the rest of us have a look, and... bam.

Together with the superb theatrical costume shop 'Tricorne', Lynne's studio will be re-creating the costumes from Leon Bakst's designs for Diaghilev's Ballets Russes 1921 production of 'Sleeping Beauty'. One of the most amazing artists of the 20th century, designing for the most influential and innovative ballet company of the 20th century (maybe ever), for one of the most iconic pieces in ballet history. This is just a small sampling of Bakst's designs for the production. I recognized them right away, having drooled over everything Ballets Russes during many happy years working at the Museum of Performance and Design.

I almost passed out from the excitement and was beside myself all afternoon.

So. If I do a good job and can keep my cool through the first couple of weeks (trial period), she might let me stay on. And I might get to work on this stuff.

You better believe that I am going to be *very, very good*.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Tantalum Magazine - 'Student Body' Fashion Shoot

Recently received this tearsheet from House of Nines' appearance in Tantalum Magazine issue 34. The model is wearing our Blake fedora in charcoal with steel gray ribbon. See 'Past Issues' section on their site for the whole spread.

Corsets shown are by Dark Garden.


I have accepted a new job, working for the splendid theatrical milliner Lynne Mackey. So happy to meet a bunch of nice new people, learn some new tricks and be back to working with my hands. It will still be several weeks, at least, before my shop stuff arrives in NYC from San Francisco, and I came here for new experiences, so I thought why not. It will be full time at first, and then the hours will fluctuate depending on how much work there is coming in to the studio, so I'll still have time for my own line as well. The studio makes hats for Broadway shows, Ringling Brothers, ballet, the Ice Capades, the Rockettes, Disney cruise shows, Boardwalk Empire, The Knick, and a million others. I'm thrilled to have this opportunity!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Big Changes in Our Bay Area Retailers

Big changes are afoot for House of Nines Design this summer, especially for our SF Bay Area customers.

 The short version:

This weekend 5/16-5/18 is your last chance to shop for a wide selection of House of Nines Design hats in San Francisco for a while. We're packing all the hats at Dark Garden in SF's Hayes Valley away on Monday 5/19 and taking them with us to New York, so come and buy one in person while you can!

The full story:

We are relocating to New York City shortly (in just a few days), and planning to set up a studio there in the late summer / early autumn, hopefully to be followed by a *real live* retail location of our own sometime in the following year. Yay! Our Etsy store and ability to fill custom orders will be shut down until we are established in our new studio, hopefully in August or September.

Unfortunately, most of our San Francisco-area retailers have also been going through changes, so we will have much less of a day-to-day presence there starting, well, now.

Our last day of regular sales at Dark Garden will be Sunday, May 18. We'll be back for occasional trunk shows and special events, but if you want a full range of hats to choose from- our largest selection anywhere in the world at the moment- get over there now while the getting is good!!!
Dark Garden Corsetry
321 Linden St, San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 431-7684
Friday: 11am-8pm
Saturday: 11am-8pm
Sunday: 11am-5pm

After 20 years of great success, Carolyn Busch of Fino Fino in Menlo Park has just retired and closed her store in April.

Our friend Elwyn Crawford of O'Lover Hats is moving to Paris (lucky girl!) this fall, so we've already pulled inventory from her outlet, Metis Makers in North Beach.

Here are the shops in the Bay Area that still carry a few House of Nines Design hats:
Mystery Mister, Haight Street in San Francisco
Portobello Hats, Santa Rosa
Iron Dog Antiques, Fremont

Thanks, sincerely, to all of you for helping me to establish my hat business here in SF, a city I love and will come back to visit as often as possible. Please be assured that, through the power of the interwebs and the occasional in-person visit, I'll still be available to make hats for you, anytime after my studio is up and running again.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Millinery Tools Back on Sale Later This Year

Thanks to everyone who expressed interested in buying millinery tools. Those items that hadn't sold yet have been packed away now in prep for my move to NYC. I'll post to let you know when I list them for sale on etsy or ebay in a few months.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Tools for Sale - Just a Few Left!

Thanks to everybody who came to my recent millinery supplies and tools sale, everything that was up for grabs has been sold except for a few choice items.

I am in the final stages of packing for my move to NYC, and then things will stay packed up in storage for the next few months. I will be listing these items on ebay and/or etsy in the autumn. So if you would like to purchase any of these things before then, please let me know within the next few days (before they are packed away for the time being).

Block #3, a one-of-a-kind brim custom made by Guy Morse Brown Hat Blocks in the UK. If you've heard of them, you know that their quality is *superb* and their prices are high, but totally worth it. They are the *only* company that I will buy new blocks from. This curvaceous brim is asymmetrical and looks great with a fedora crown. I used it only a few times and it is in like-new condition. If you buy it and you like it and want to order more sizes to make a set, just contact GMB, reference the style number written on the block, and they can reproduce it for you in any other sizes you want. Size 21". This seems on the small side but works well with many mid-century crown blocks that make a hat that perches on the head. $100.

Block #11. This is a kooky one, with a built-in brim, maybe from the 1960s-? The style is so unusual, it's really hard to tell when it was made. It's kind of part way between a fez, a bonnet, a jockey cap, and who knows what else, but it's awesome. Size 22. $150.

Block #2. A good basic fedora brim flange in great condition. Size 6 7/8. $25.

The unusual football-shaped electric egg iron on the right. It does not have its original cord, but you should be able to have it replaced by an electrician like Universal Electric in San Francisco (where I have all my vintage lamps etc. rewired). Or you could always use it without heat. $75.

A rare Victorian-era heart-shaped tolliker. Note the crack in one end, but it is still sound. Not perfect, but still totally useful. $100.

Wooden foot tollikers, bottom row, $75 each.

One of the gems of my collection- a very rare electric curling shackle. Fantastic condition, works great. In 5 years of searching, I have only seen two of these for sale, and this was one of them. $300.

Antique Curling shackle brim iron on the far right. Rare small size, unmarked but looks like 1/8". $175.  
Here are a whole bunch of tools by Mark DeCou of DeCou Studio. He is a talented woodworker and has been faithfully reproducing antique hatter's tools in hardwood.
Groove tollikers. These are used to create a round curl on a brim edge, as for a cowboy hat, homburg, etc. The following are $75 each. They are all unused / like new. Note the sizes (depth and width of the groove) written on each.

 Just let me know if you would like to buy anything, I could ship it to you if you're not in the SF Bay Area.