Monday, May 31, 2010

Redirect that Hat Thought

As an alternative to the large brim, high crown, well known silhouette in a hat is the "fascinator". Just a little bonbon of a hat, the fascinator seduces, flirts, and gives an option but still lends an air of festivity. Whether it be feather, flower or a cloud of tulle, this sidebar is most well known because of SJP. Her red carpet openings cause a stir,with her headpieces. They may be too much for most of the population, but there's a group of imaginative dames out there that can sport them with bravado and ease.
The headpiece category fill the bill for all age groups, from teenagers to stateswomen......a wisp or a wallop, tiny or gigantor, single feather or entire bloom or the entire bouquet....these little darlings are the hottest things on the red carpet, and at all major social scenes.
Perfect for the Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic, and any weddings you may have this summer, a bonbon is just enough to tempt the palate,and get you ready for the majors.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Win the Race with the Hat

Races in New York, c. 1908

Why not be one's self? That is the whole secret of a successful
appearance. If one is a greyhound,why try to look like a Pekingese?
Edith Sitwell, 1887-1964

When our Mothers were telling us to choose wisely, I'm sure they weren't talking about hats. But a hat will elevate, captivate, charm, entice and fascinate. The right hat sets off your architecture, framing your face and focuses on your eyes. The right hat makes the outfit, and the occasion.
Pretty as a princess, delicate as a flower, or right on trend, your image in a hat speaks volumes.

Help in choosing the right hat should never come from a girlfriend, unless she's a hat wearer. Underlying cattiness can come out at the worst possible moment,and hat shopping should be fun, and stress free.
Hats are like people: they come in all shapes and sizes. Even the most gorgeous on the wrong face just won't work.

Oval faces have it easy, since they can wear most anything. Long faces, rectangular or triangular, shouldn't opt for tall narrow hats. Round faces need to choose something besides a cloche or a bowler. Oh, and don't let your age get in the way, please. Our underlying bones tell the story, and make the hat work. Women of a certain age may tend to select more sophisticated styles, but individuality always remains the name of the hat game.

Best scenario: girl (or guy) goes into a shop where a vast selection of shapes, colors, and proportions are available to try on. Milliners are best, since we like to make so many different and crazy things. Department stores will stock mostly what's on trend. There's nothing wrong with buying trend, but not for every occasion on your social calendar.

Spread your wings,and experiment!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

My Kingdom For a Horse

So saith the Bard of England, in Richard III, not speaking of fashion of the turf, of course, but to save his own skin. Ah, Richard, ever the egomaniac.
For fashionables everywhere, whither a horse goeth, so goes high style. Breeders of thoroughbreds, fans of the track, and groupies of Nacho Figueras know that what you wear is as important as the horse that wins the day.
Valerie Steele, in her "Paris Fashion", says, as she spoke of Longchamp (the racetrack) in Paris:

"People were as interested in the contest of fashions as in the contest of horses on the turf."

Anglophiles in France were very interested in what the ladies were wearing to Ascot,and so the parade of fashion became a style competition. Designers sent their best dressed mannequins to the races, to preen before the well-heeled, and to take notes on what their competitors were creating. Clients of said designers planned their ensembles for months, ensuring their individuality, and spectacular turn-out. Hats, of course, were part and parcel of the tout. No one left the house without the proper chapeau: proper to their station, proper to their wardrobe, and proper to the occasion at hand.
Flaunting feathers that make bird-lovers cringe, bedecked in fanfreluches to die for, the ladies of every era made it their job to be fabulous while placing their bets.

Fashion is fun , and hats make it easier. Take it from one who knows.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Face it

Facebook for Ellen Christine Millinery is a lifeline and an extension of our in-house reality. For those of you who haven't friended us yet, please feel free to go to: ellen christine Millinery for our store page. At Ellen Christine Millinery,(notice that change in spelling) we list most of the days ins and outs, ups and downs, press, moment-by-moment
Chelsea news, so feel free to friend us there, too.
The French kids are back! The It and mid-house team is onboard, and working their little brains on all of our projects. These are the interns who let me torture them every summer for months at a time, just so they can be involved in a real New York experience. Their first new project: Hat du Jour, on the ellen christine Millinery Facebook page.

These are for hats that appear in the mist of our imagination as we are working out ideas. I've always crossed over the collection border, and now we get to document it, albeit for a few months. In the Chelsea store, but not online, or in our lookbooks (yet), these hats arrive, live their lives, and get sold to perfect heads who love them and wear them with glee. Hats that may be part of the development process for our wholesale collections for Japan; hats that work out a theme, like "Voodoo" for Fall 2010. Hats that give us the freedom to design with our vintage materials, antique beading and textiles, and let the mind wander on another hat plane. Hats that our customer base requests, demands, or otherwise pesters me for.
all part of Ellen Christine Millinery, and now, out there for the general public to see.

So, the next best thing to visiting our store in Chelsea, and having a hat made just for you? Why, seeing exclusive one-of-a-kind pieces every day, in the warmth and comfort of your kitchen/office/bedroom/studio, that's what. Have fun seeing them now, and perhaps later, as they are born again, into a collection, or on a runway, or in the pages of a magazine.

Tell us your favorites, and have fun seeing's entirely at the discretion of Mika, from Paris, who is gracefully choosing and photographing these lovelies.