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.

Here's the full spread, with corsets by Dark Garden.






Changes

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.
 
 
 

Friday, April 25, 2014

More Photos of Sale Items 4/25-26

For details and directions to the blow-out millinery supplies sale on Friday 4/25 and Saturday 4/26, see this previous post.

Here are some more photos of a few of the items that will be on sale.

A few overview shots of the set-up. I'm going in early tomorrow morning to lay out even more things that are still in boxes!

Some of the blocks and tools.



Trims, veiling, feathers, buttons etc. in the foreground, and a huge pile of felts, really nice wooden hat boxes and a steam generator iron in the background. You may have heard that Elwyn of O'Lover Hats is retiring the brand to go back to school and broaden her career in accessories design. She's selling off tons and tons of hat stuff!


Sewing machines. On the left, two Husqvarna Viking sewing machines. Both are in excellent working condition, have been recently serviced, and come with cases, manuals and tons of extra parts, accessories, etc. for both machines including embroidery frames, bags of extra bobbins, all kinds of manuals and catalogs, super useful walking feet and lots of other feet, etc. etc. etc. They usually go for the prices given below (at minimum) without all the extras, but I'm throwing them in for free.
Rose- a great basic machine with some embroidery functions: $400
Designer 1- Advanced sewing plus deluxe embroidery: $700

And on the right, an antique straw braid set-up machine. These usually go for around $300 or more and are hard to find. This one needs a bit of cleaning but is otherwise complete, so I'm selling it for a song.


Kingsley foil stamping machine. This is sought-after by mens hatters, who use it to stamp things on leather sweatbands. An antique machine, recently refurbished. $175. I'm throwing in a full set of type and a case for the type, and a roll of silver foil, for free.


And now for the blocks.

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". $100.



Block 5. Another great style from Guy Morse Brown. This is a top hat brim shape in a mini size that is compatible with their 'midi' size range. Very good condition.  $100.


Yet another custom beauty from Guy Morse Brown. This is a classic Victorian-style full size top hat crown. Puzzle block construction, used only once or twice so it's still like new. Size 24. $300.


Blocks 12 and 13. These are actually spinners. I love this shape, they are slender so there is not a wide base to get in the way of your hands when blocking. These are my favorite kind to use when blocking mini hats that have small crowns. I've priced these low because the peg at the top, which fits into the hole in the bottom of a crown, is a little bit on the wide side, so it will work with some crowns better than others. $25 each.


Block 15. Can't you just see Rosalind Russel wearing this hat style in "His Girl Friday"? This kooky fedora-esque 1940s ladies block set has a pointed crown, a scalloped shape to the brim at the front, and a roll line to snap the brim up in back. The headsize line is flatteringly curved (convex on the bottom of the crown, concave on the top of the brim). This was very typical of blocks from this period, so both pieces will be compatible with many other blocks from the time that were made with a curved headsize. Use them together or separate to combine with other blocks in your collection! Size 22. $300.


Block 9. Ok, so this one is not a beauty at the moment. But it is a very hard-to-find pupee shape- it's a balsa utility block with a full face on it. I have a big set of these in many sizes, they're super useful for trimming hats, especially, because it's easier to know where to put veiling and other trim when you have a sense of where the facial features are in relation to the hat- eyebrows, nose, chin, etc. In this article, Stephen Jones says that his most essential tool is his pupee, and I agree, I use mine everyday for making hats and for display, they're so versatile. Here's another interesting article about pupees. All this one needs is a light sanding and a couple of coats of new varnish for a new lease on life. Size 21.5. The size is on the small side, but I find that the 21.5 in my collection gets more use than any of the others, it's especially good for working on mini hats and fascinators. $25. 


Block 11. This is another 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. Its 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 8. An authentic Art Deco-era balsa cloche block. This one has seen some use but has lots more life left. I forgot to note the size (it's not tiny, at least a 22 or larger), let me know if you're interested and I'll check. $25.


Block 10. Another balsa cloche block in very good condition. Size 23 1/2. $80.



Blocks 1 and 2. Good basic fedora brim flanges in great condition. I forgot to note down the sizes so let me know if you're interested in one or both and I'll get back to you with their size. $25 each.


And now some sewing and related tools.

A collar mangle. This tool is used to squeeze excess starch from detatchable collars during laundering. Rare and very cool accessory for the dandy dresser. $25.

  
A Greist brand zig zag attachment made to be compatible with Singer Featherweight machines. Comes with the original box and manual. A corner of the plastic insert that holds the attachment inside the box is cracked, but otherwise it appears to be unused. $20


A vintage electric egg iron, working and complete with original cord still in excellent condition. Note the unusual flat hockey puck-like shape.  Built-in vise grip to clamp to a table for hands-free use.  $125.


More electric egg irons. These do not have their original cords, but maybe you can have them replaced by an electrician like Universal Electric in San Francisco (where I have all my vintage lamps etc. rewired). Or you could always use them without heat. Note the unusual football shape of the one on the right. The one on the left is shaped like a teardrop, and has a strange wooden piece on a hinge that can be positioned  at a right angle to the post (as shown), or put down and flush with the post. I'm not sure what this was for, but it's out of the way in the down position anyway. $75 each.


Finally, the hatter's tools.

Hat sizers. The scissor-style one on the left is $75, the one on the right is $50.


 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, $75 each. 


Brand new iron curling shackles made by JW Hats. This is a set of three shackles used to make round brim curls on top hats or bowlers, in sizes 1/8", 3/8" and 5/8". These had a small amount of superficial damage to the handles and heat shields in transit when I received them, but the actual tool part is unaffected and it does not effect their use. They are otherwise brand new, clean and ready to use. $450 for the set, or $150 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 brim iron tools. In the photo below, from left to right:

1) Super rare and very old, small D'Orsay (flat, rather than round) curling shackle. It's got some rust and the wood handle is a bit torched. $200.

2) Iron tolliker with yellowish wood handle. Excellent condition. $150.

3) Iron tolliker, black cast iron. Super excellent condition. $175. 

4) Curling shackle. Rare small size, unmarked but looks like 1/8". $175. 


Antique rounding jacks. Take your pick, $75 each.


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.

Foot and groove tollikers. The following are $75 each. They are all unused / like new. Note the sizes (depth and width of the groove) written on each.








Curling shackles. Note the sizes written on the side of each. These are also unused and like new. $150 each.


Runner downers. These have been used. The two made by DeCou Studio on the left are $25 each, the one on the right is $10.


And there is lots and lots more that doesn't appear in the photos- fabrics, buttons, feathers, you name it. See you there, or if you can't make it but you want to buy something, write to me at [ tricia @ houseofninesdesign. com ] (squished together into one word) to make a mail order purchase.