Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Old Hat

The trend in the last few weeks has been to bring in a hat found in the bottom of the closet, to have it refurbished.  For those of you who remember, it's also called "updating".
     When hats were hotter than they are now, and you had more than two in your life, it was important to show off  the latest style.  To do that, and not spend more money on another hat, some people brought it into their milliner to have it re-blocked, re-designed, re-created......in short, done over.  During the WWII years, this was the norm, as it had been during the Great Depression.  You took Granmother's hat out of the dusty attic, and used it to recreate a copy of the latest French styles.
Nowadays, while we're in the throes of a depression, but not quite there yet, a little hat can uplift and change your mood.  Time to look in the back of the closet, raid your Mothers wardrobe, or run to a thrift store, and get a hat.  It should have some basic elements necessary to change it: it must be made from quality materials.  It should be sewn, and not glued together, and it should not be too dirty.  Squashed is okay; run over by a muddy truck isn't.
Cleaning a good felt is usually possible, but a straw that has grit embedded in it's fibers becomes a problem child.  Nothing is impossible, but the realm of possibilities can be limited, depending upon the hat.
We take no offense to being called upon to restore these poor crushed beauties.  After all, we want hats out there in the world, singing, and dancing.  Not hidden in the backs of closets.  Bring them out, hie them hither, and allow us to let them be reborn.

Friday, December 19, 2008

January Whites

     Just in time for the snowfall here in NYC, the issue of W Magazine with Christy Turlington on the cover has arrived  . January is upon us, and Christmas not yet here.

     Our "Diva" couture headpiece is featured in their special feature on bridal whatevers. Called "Chic to Chic", the story covers gowns, jewels, shoes, bags, with  our hat in the lead, on the index pages.  White dazzling white, the Diva has appeared in many versions through the years, but lately the ultimate complement has happened: we've been knocked off by Urban Outfitters. 
     While my brain concocts many a new and exciting cocktail hat, the favorites remain, and the Diva has always held first place. When discos ruled the earth, and sequins were the mainstay of every diva's wardrobe, this little hat was re-born .  Popular in the 1930's as an evening touch of glam, the look became popular on the dancefloors of Manhattan  in the 1970's and picked up a following .  Seen at weddings, bar mitzvahs, proms, and nightclubs, the small, circular perchy hat stayed in the subconscious of hat lovers, waiting for a new venue.
   When I opened Ellen Christine, the shop, we did this little hat as an evening piece, with veiling, and a feather, not just in black, but in colors of the customers' choice.......translated  for brides, it went glam, with swarovski rhinestones added for a glow factor.
     Always on the website, sometimes in the shop, now in W Magazine for your viewing pleasure...Ladies and Gentlemen, I present: The Diva.

 Urban Outfitters, you need me.


Thursday, December 4, 2008

Sample Sale Eternal

     Ellen Christine Millinery goes Etsy for a sample sale.  
As of Dec. 4th, go to :


for a streaming sample sale.  Find current models, past inspiration, and samples from Spring 2009 up for grabs at low prices.  We'll be running new items every week, so check back often for something you want or something you've been dreaming about.
   The Etsy community is the perfect venue for our sample sale, a place where hand made ideas made real come to light.  Our samples are made with the same care as our couture, so for those who don't live in New York City, this is a remarkable opportunity to own an original Ellen Christine hat or headpiece for a fraction of the cost in the shop.
     Our workshop will be putting in some interesting vintage ingredients, and research materials for all of the Etsy folk to peruse and drool over.  We have boxes and boxes of antique trims, feathers, ribbons, blocks, books and reference materials....since we're at an overflow mark, we are opening the floodgates to the crafters of the world.
   Please stop by the Etsy page, and do feel free to pass this along to al of your fellow hat lovers.