Monday, November 30, 2009


Inspirational Hat Pics of the Day: "hair hats" by the Japanese art director Nagi Noda. Shot by photographer Kenneth Cappello at milk studios nyc. Nagi created 15 pieces including a poodle owl and elephant. They were featured in a 2008 exhibition in Tokyo, made an appearance in Bjork's UK tour and were even in Colette's window. Here's to hat making outside the box!

Milliner Monday: Gehry joins the ranks

This news story is a few weeks old, but I thought it would be the perfect way to introduce my new post feature "Milliner Monday". Each week I will spread the word about a new/exciting/beloved fellow hatter.

I firmly believe that anyone can make a hat. I often find that the most inspired millinery creations are born of a multi-discinplinary approach to design and technique. I find especially intriquing/relevant the connection between architecture and millinery. The first challenge of millinery is to make something that will stay in place on the head. It truly takes an engineering mind to meld imaginative design with the practical function of headwear. I've often wondered what kind of a hat an architect would design and last week I found out.

Famed architect Frank Gehry joined the millinery ranks with his hat designed for Lady Gaga. Pairing with Prada, Gehry created the hat to be worn at the MOCA 30th anniversary gala.

In his own words Gehry explains his hat challenges:

I find it very interesting that even a designer with such skills as Gehry's still finds the head a difficult canvas. Lady Gaga put her own spin on the hat to help with its wearability. According to one story online she folded the hat in on itself. Experience in wearing a hat is key to the process of making a successful hat. Clearly Lady Gaga has worn enough hats to know what works, and I was delighted to see the collaboration that went in to the creation of a unique piece. On its own the hat isn't a favorite, but I think the ensemble works well and was most likely a stunning part of the Francesco Vezzoli show.

The hat is up for auction (along with other costume pieces) through December 20th and is valued at $30,000.

Love it or hate it, its another instance of a modern millinery success and I can't wait to see more hat collaborations!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

A turkey in a hat- now that says Happy Thanksgiving!

Wishing everyone a warm, cheerful, full-bellied holiday.

I have much to be grateful for this holiday- a caring family, new friends, a new home and the opportunity to do what I love. I am thankful for hat lovers everywhere, thanks for supporting Emilliner!

Friday, November 20, 2009


Inspirational hat picture of the day: my dear British milliner Philip Treacy's creation sported by Jasmines Guniess (yes of the beer fame).

Oh to be in England.....

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Road Trip!

There is nothing better than the spontaneous road trip. The gods were smiling at me yesterday when two friends rang me to suggest an impromptu trip to Louisville to see a show. To my delight AA Bondy was opening for one of my all time favorites Elvis Perkins in Dearland.

The show was at a bar called Zanzabar, and it couldn't have been a better destination. A little off the beaten path, Zanzabar's black and white tiled exterior boldly displays a graphic "Z" and welcomes music lovers into a cozy, slightly retro interior. A mini restraunt offered yummy dinner special of roasted winter veggies and salmon-very tempting. At the back was the up close and personal stage. The place was brimming with a variety of folks enjoying microbrews and whiskeys alike. I know I'm diverging from hat land for this blog but my night wasn't without millinery spotings. Many a fedora and even the occasional porkpie were present.

Down to brass tacks- the shows were great. So full of energy in such a close knit atmosphere. I am always struck by the amazing song writing of Elvis Perkins. The eloquent lyrics were only heightened by the full sounds of the band playing a wide range of instruments. My favorite was the bass drummer who spilled out into the crowd. In fact AA Bondy and the Woes (pre pre band) joined in on the Dearland fun for an awesome singalong.

Ahhhh.... its so good to get that breath of fresh air from a trip outside daily routine. That and live music is always an important reminder to the good stuff in life. Purchased an AA Bondy CD which will be playing alongside Elvis during my next hat making session. It doesn't get better than this!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Feeling the Vintage Vibe

Between the chilly temps and my move to the new house, I've had cause to stop and really evaluate which direction my wardrobe is taking. I must admit, even though I lived for over one year in the fashion capitol of London, my wardrobe is looking a little tired. Comfort has been the priority, and I have a secret addiction to jersey knits and leggings. Black is the predominant color, mostly for ease of styling and hey, shouldn't I look the part of a designer (Edith Head anyone?)

I remember back in the day I used to collect and wear the most beautiful vintage pieces. 50's circle skirts with vivid prints were a particular passion. Well, I think I'm ready to get back into the mix. Maybe not with the same energy of my early 20's or college day thrift store habits. I have been delighted to find access to some great vintage stores through good old Etsy. Now that I've taken the time to look, I see just how many there are and how easy it is to shop. I'm giving a shout to to a couple of my new finds and always on the look out for more.

dear golden is right at the top of my list! I absolutely love her aesthetic and styling. Good price points and she also offers gift certificates. Here are just a few of her stylish offerings:

The next showcase goes to the etsy seller redhedgingerbread. I love her accessories and am especially broken hearted to have missed out on a fabulous "pheasant feather" print clutch. I also like all of the unique pins:

And on that note I'm off to look for more vintage finds..... give me a shout if you have any great vintage finds of your own!

Monday, November 16, 2009

IBJ Style

Many thanks so Gabrielle Poshaldo of the Indianapolis Business Journal for her lovely article featuring Emilliner! Gabrielle is one of the many reasons I'm continuing to love Indy. A lady of style with a Midwestern heart, she has truly welcomed me and proved a valuable fashion resource/inspiration. Check out her blog Haute in the Heartland for a good read, and you can catch her monthly style feature in the IBJ!

"Hats off to those in the millinery trade" highlights the many benefits and challenges of being a modern day milliner. Her approach is so refreshing, and I love the mini history lesson on past Indy milliners.

Thanks also to IBJ photographer Robin Jerstad for the lovely pic!

Here's a sneak peak:

An old kitchen table is littered with the trappings of the hat trade. A shopping bag brimming with every color of horsehair braid is lodged beneath, while the sinamay, Clark’s favorite material (a straw-like woven fabric) makes an unruly heap atop an enormous drum case turned hat transporter.

“The world is full of really great vintage hats because there used to be so many milliners. For every little town there were three or four independent craftsmen. Now the few that are left tend to be the only names people know,” Clark said.

Gabrielle Poshaldo, IBJ, November 14, 2009

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Ahhhhh I'm in love! Jessica of myvintagevogue knows how to make this milliner happy. This site is a wonderful collection of vintage fashion photos from vogue and various sources. Its quite popular with the fashion blogs (rightly so) and I can't help posting a few of my favorite pics. These photos just reinforce how happy hats make me! Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Bundle Up!

Brrrrr I'm feeling the winter chill already in this first week of November! Days are getting shorter, the beautiful autumn leaves are fallin' fast, and I'm digging in my closet for my favorite knit hat and scarf. While I have my good old favorites I'm always on the lookout for my new "won't leave the house without it" winter hat. This designer has been on my radar for awhile, but now with the season change I think I'm gonna save up my pennies for one of her amazing knit creations. Etsy seller Yokoo from Atlanta creates these fabulous knit hats and scarves- sculptures really. They are so full of body and life while being cozy and inviting. Love her styling too. Check out her Etsy store and get excited for winter! Here are just a few of my favorites. Enjoy!