Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Don't Wear the Turkey

The post-Thanksgiving stupor, plus the vast expanse of a long weekend, may make you feel like shopping. The mall rats will be trolling this weekend, off to the big box stores for bargains, to buy things so important they'll be forgotten or broken by next year. Ah, the joys of the holidays in the States.
Think, instead, of the long-term, the investment piece....that gift that brings joy now, and for years to come. An investment piece doesn't have to be come in a little blue box (forgive me, Tiffany's). An investment piece is something that adds value to your life in some way, whether it be a visual documentation of a friendship, or a new hat for that coat you still love. An investment piece should be a timeless thing, based on the long term good feeling it will bring year after year. Stocks and bonds, real estate, jewelry, all familiar faces on the landscape of investment. Translate the word into real meaning, and bring something new to the table. Gift someone a trip to a good tailor, to have a special something made to order. Give a cancer patient a trip to a local milliner, to get a new hat designed just for them. Do a field trip with your best friend's kids, and record it as a gift for the parents.
Use your imagination, and the stars are the limit. The thanks and the joy resulting will be without definition, and definitely an investment.

Image courtesy of: www.7gadgets.com

Sunday, November 19, 2017

St. Catherine's Day

...or week, as we do things here in the States.
In Paris, on Nov. 26th, all of the single unmarried "hands" working in the fashion houses of Paris don a green and yellow hat in honor of St. Catherine, and to win for themselves, their employers, and their future. What they win is unsure, but this has been a tradition amongst the seamstresses, milliners, tailors and needleworkers of France for decades. The idea is to make a superlative, hysterical, over- the- top- hat, and go for it. There were parades in the past, through the streets of Paris. Now, perhaps, just the fashion show, the hats, and a bow will suffice.
If you're in Paris for the Fete, email me and let me know what's happening.
In New York City, The Milliners Guild, a scant two years old, is holding their annual St. Catherine's Day tomorrow. By meeting at the Millinery District Synagogue, in the Garment District, and parading up Fifth Avenue to the party at Haven, they hope to stimulate hat wearing in general, and camaraderie in the industry, in particular.
The idea of donning a specialty piece and parading through the streets is often met with interest, even in New York. Last year, the New York Times covered the event with splashy photography as the milliners et al proceeded through Bryant Park, up to Rockefeller Center, and around St. Pat's.
This is the opportunity of the year to wear whatever outrageous gear you have, hat-wise, and have fun. Send in the hats!
This year, there will be a contest for the best hat, non-milliners only, thank you. Once at Haven, a complimentary Champagne Hour will be from 6-7, with Veuve Cliquot (thank you, Moet Hennessey USA!) and hors d'oeuvres. The latest collections from the milliner members will be on display, for pert posing and purchasing.
Haven itself is a warm and inviting space, reminiscent of a gentlemen's club from the victorian era, with a mezzanine and a choice seating area for light repast.

Puerto Rico Gets to Work

Puerto Rico Gets to Work

Most of you know about the island, and the hurricane, and the aftermath.  Perhaps you don't realize that this is a static situation, with very slow growth and progress thanks to a few generalities.  Not necessary to get into the politics of the situation on the island and in the hallways of the US Senate, but only with an ongoing effort from all of us "off-island" will there be progress and change.

Jump back a few decades, to the 19th Century actually, to discover the origins of the US relationship with Puerto Rico. Follow the thread to the post-WWI era, through the 1950's and up to today.  Bear in mind that the Jones Act impedes imports, and the US finds ways and means of latching onto contracts that produce income for anyone and everyone except the people of Puerto Rico.

Millions of us  from famous names to high school students feel the hardship and not just because we all have relatives in Puerto Rico who are living through this nightmare. The Puerto Rican people are as they say, resilient, but the island needs all the help we can give it.

Think of Puerto Rican's as your next door neighbors and find a way to help.

My Puerto Rican side lives in daily frustration knowing that the island needs help and it isn't arriving fast enough.  And it just isn't enough. Some, not all, politicians in the US are making life even more difficult for this little jewel of an island.  Reading online will help educate, as to the status quo, so it's not up to me to do that.

Our job at hand is to help keep Puerto Rico within eye sight. Ellen Christine Couture is designing a capsule collection of hats , headgear and caps to help introduce products that might work for a gift, or just to help keep the topic alive in your circle.

For the first two items in the collection we've hand-painted a stylized Puerto Rican flag onto cotton canvas, and used it as an applique...sold as a patch that you can sew on yourself, or  pre-sewn on our kepi. Not a baseball cap, a kepi is a throwback to the French Legionnaires, and the American Civil War military issue headgear.  A bit more stylish that the normal baseball cap. The kepi is made in NYC, in cotton, with fabric donated by James Thompson & Co. an American fabric company established in 1860, and very appropriate for this style cap.
Our production was a limited edition, executed by our guy, Felix, in Long Island City. No more can be produced, as limited runs interrupt the flow in the factory.

Watch for our next style, and please help Puerto Rico.
Our funds from the sale of these work hats go to: ConPRmetidos and Centros Sor Isolina Ferre, both non-profit organizations that are easily researched on the internet.

It's just one of the ways we're helping.  Build a network within your community or join one of the agencies already reaching out.  It feels good, and good is what we're all about, right?

Just an aside about our picture: our lovely intern, Holly sits with two of our neighbors rescued from  Puerto Rico.


Thursday, November 16, 2017

Millinery Bibliography

These are just a few of the books relating to hats on our shelves. We hope that they help inspire and delight your burning need to learn all 
about millinery.

Adele, Campione, Il Cappello Da Uomo, Itinerari D’Immagini, 1988

Albrizio, Ann, Classic Millinery Techniques, Lark Books, 1998

Anlezark, Mildred, Hats on Heads: The Art of Creative Millinery, Kangaroo Press, 1990

Bawden, Juliet, The Hat Book: Creating Hats for Every Occasion, Lark Books, 1993

Ben-Yusuf, MME. Anna, Edwardian Hats: The Art of Milliners, R.L. Shep, 1992

Besson, Jean Louis, Le Livre Des Uniformes: Histoire Des Costumes, Gallimard, 1987

Blum, Dilys E., Ahead of Fashion: Hats of the 20th Century, Philadelphia Museum of Art, 1993

Bolomier, Elaine, Le Chapeau: Grand Art et Savoir-faire, Musee du Chapeau, 1996

Bou, Louis, and Stephen Jones. Couture Hats. New York: Harper Design, 2012

Burke, Emma Maxwell, A Perfect Course in Millinery, The Illustrated Milliner Company, 1925

Burkel, Archie, The Joy of Hats, Nelson Printing, 2012

Clark, Fiona, The Costume Accessories Series: Hats, B.T. Batsford Ltd, 1982

Couldridge, Alan, The Hat Book, Ventura Publishing Ltd, 1980

Dache, Lilly, Lilly Dache’s Glamour Book, So Stated, 1956

Demornex, Jacqueline, Le Siecle en Chapeaux, Du May, 1991

Dreher, Denise, From the Neck Up: An Illustrated Guide to Hatmaking, Madhatter Press, 1981

Du Mortier, Bianca M., Chapeau, Chapeaux!, Rijksmuseum, 1997

Feen, Diane, Hat Life, A Mint Publishing Company, 2009

Genin, J.N., An Illustrated History of the Hat: From the Earliest Ages to the Present, N.P., 1848

Gorsline, Douglas, What People Wore, Bonanza Books, 1987

Hopkins, Susie, The Century of Hats, Chartwell Books Inc, 1999

Jones, Stephen, Hats: An Anthology, V&A Publishing, 2009

Kamitsis, Lydia, Les Chapeaux: Une Histoire de Tete, Dans Le Droit Fil, 1998

Kim, Eugenia, Saturday Night Hat, Potter Craft, 2006

Maroukian, Francine and Sarah Woodruff, The Handbook of Style: Expert Fashion and Beauty Advice, Quirk Books, 2006

Mercie, Marie, Voyages Autour D’un Chapeau, Ramsay/De Cortanze, 1990

Probert, Christina, Hats in Vogue, Abbeville, 1981

Pufpaff, Suzanne, Nineteenth Century Hat Maker’s and Felter’s Manuals, Stony Lonesome Press, 1995

Reilly, Maureen and Mary Beth Detrich, Women’s Hats of the 20th Century, Schiffer Publishing, 1997

Remiasz, Stella V., Hats: Design and Construction, Hat Tree Studio, 1986

Robinson, Fred Miller, The Man in the Bowler Hat, The University of North Carolina Press, 1993

Schilling, Gigi, Ageless Bride, First Printing, 2007

Shields, Jody, Hats: A Stylish History and Collector’s Guide, Clarkson Potter/Publishers, 1991

Shover, Edna Mann, Art in Costume Design, Milton Bradley Company, 1926

Smith, Desire, HATS: with Values, Schiffer Publishing Ltd, 1996

Smith, Rodney and Leslie Smolan, The Hat Book, Doubleday, 1993

Steinberg, Neil, Hatless Jack, The Penguin Group, 2004

Waring, Lyn, Hats Made Easy, Sally Milner Publishing, 1995

Wilcox, R. Turner, The Mode in Costume, Scribner, 1948

Women’s Institute of Domestic Arts & Sciences, Millinery: A Complete Course, Vivs Ribbons & Laces, 1993

Womens Institute of Domestic Arts & Sciences, Ribbon Trimmings: A Course in Six Parts, Vivs Ribbons and Laces, 1992