Friday, May 18, 2012

Customer Photos / Custom Work: Megana and George

I just received these photos from Megana, a great regular customer who has bought several of my hats for herself and her daughter George.
George is pictured below wearing a Kit Kit mini bowler in long-nap fur felt with a cockade and feather spikes. She has enjoyed wearing it around the house and during a recent vaudeville-themed dance performance at school. I'm always so excited to outfit performers, especially such adorable ones.

And I recently completed the following custom hat for George's mom, Megana. Please excuse the fast-and-dirty quality of the photo- I needed to get this one out the door for a fast delivery so I didn't have time to take a proper studio photo. 

We designed this Vermeer cocktail hat to match an outfit Megana had custom made at Dark Garden, the trim was made using the same iridescent black/wine taffeta fabric as that she chose for her corset.

The rosette is made of layers and layers of pleated taffeta, alternating with black silk gazar, and frayed at the edges because Megana let me know that she likes texture. It also has black vintage crocheted veiling and a matching silk taffeta lining. I included several sets of feathers to wear with it, all matching the hat but totally different from each other so she can try out different looks- curled pheasant (seen here), fluffy wine-colored ostrich floss plumes, and others. I can't wait to see photos of how Megana looks in the whole outfit.

Lots of Jill Tracy News

My favorite songstress, Jill Tracy, has certainly been busy this year.

In January, as always, she was the Belle of the Ball at the 2012 Edwardian Ball in San Francisco. I've lost track of how many years I've been hat-ing Jill for shows, and this year she wore a black Maxima. Here's a video of her performing "The Color of the Flame" with aerial artist Sasha from the Vau de Vire Society

She wore the same hat a few weeks later during her appearance as special guest performer at the Mutter Ball 2012 at the Mutter Museum / College of Physicians of Philadelphia. She later let me know how easy it was to travel with her Maxima, it's glamorous but also soft and relatively packable.

Check out this incredible photo from the program from the ball. Titled "Tea & Taxidermy", photo by Michael Garlington. Definitely check out his website, his work is incredible.

Here's an interview Jill did with Director of the Mütter Museum, Robert Hicks. They talk about many topics, including the Mutter, haunted castles, her "Spontaneous Musical Combustion" method, and the song "The Color of the Flame", from the first video in this post, which was inspired by the work of Swedish 19th century writer/occultist Stanislaw Przybyszewski. 

Jill's involvement with the Mutter continues with her latest project- I'm happy to congratulate her as the first musician ever to  be awarded a grant from the Wood Institute, College of Physicians of Philadelphia, to compose music inside the museum. Be sure to keep up with Jill’s new blog An Excavation of Musical Spirits,” as she discusses the project. And don't miss this fantastic interview about it with Cristina Zuazua of Chain D.L.K. Magazine.

She's also been hard at work preparing to open Cabinet 45, an online store selling the work of artists she admires. I am so excited to be included in this group, and Jill and I have been collaborating on special hat designs just for the shop. Cabinet 45 should be open for business later this year.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Full Size Top Hats / Kickstarter

I've been wanting to make full size top hats for years, but the tools are super expensive. More and longer posts on the tools needed, and this whole R&D process, are on the way. This will be my big summer project!

Thinking about doing a Kickstarter campaign to take pre-orders. This would help me raise money for tools, gauge customer interest, and if I exceed the original goal, I could offer fancier and fancier options.

Who's interested in a full size top hat?