Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Now THATS What I'm Talkin About

I wanna design hats for THIS guy. That's what I'm gonna do.

Lightnin Hopkins singing Mojo Hand, 1962

Decisions, Decisions

Whittling down the line-up of hat styles for fall. I came up with a whole bunch of ideas, and it's so hard to choose. I want to make them all! I think it's going to be bowlers, trilbys, little jazzman hats, and maybe homburgs for the guys. Mini top hats, bowlers, boaters, and a full-size squinchy little fedora for the ladies. Possibly a new top hat style as well. Plus some feathery little cocktail hats. And so many colors to choose from...

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

New Camera

Lots of new stuff this month. My husband John has agreed to do my product photography for Fall /Winter 2011, which is great because I'm too busy making the hats and dealing with the business side of things to handle that as well. He did a bunch of research and bought a nice camera and is learning all about lighting, etc. He's a prince among men.

New Kind of Felt

Experimenting with traditional men's felts now. They're thicker and a bit stiffer than the usual ladies felts, and have a seductively, buttery suede-like texture. More difficult to block because they have more 'body' and require more effort to stretch into shape, but the hats are turning out nice!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Men's Hats Progress

A few days ago I received the first shipment of custom hat blocks in men's styles that I ordered for my Fall/Winter 2010 collection from Guy Morse Brown Hat Blocks. I can't say enough about GMB, they are fantastic people to work with and the quality of their products is unbeatable. The process of discussing and working out the designs, having them made and shipped has taken a few months, but the results are well worth it.

Over the last few days, I've been trying out all the blocks on so-so felt, just to see test the shapes. Everything is turning out great so far. To get started, I only ordered blocks in my sample size (23"). I finished the first sample made in *good* felt last night, in time for my husband John to wear it out on the town. It's a stingy brim bowler in flecked charcoal gray hairy felt, with charcoal edging and a slate blue band. It's pretty foxy, if I may say so, and John got a lot of compliments from guys asking where they could get one like it. So I must be on the right track! I'll also be making a trilby, a homburg, and possibly a boater and/or a little jazzman hat.

Some of the blocks need minor adjustments, and I've placed an order for additional sizes in everything. I'm guessing I should have the full set in hand and ready for production in about a month or so, GMB willing. Photos and the catalog should probably be ready in September. I'm trying to 'catch up' with a normal designer schedule, and to have each seasonal collection ready to show several months ahead (Spring/Summer in January, Fall/Winter in May), so as soon as I have the Fall/Winter catalog out I'm going to have to immediately turn around and start on Spring/Summer 2011...