One of the things I love most about my job is creating new hat designs. This is usually something I do on my own, starting with the germ of an idea that gradually evolves as I work with the materials. However, I recently had the pleasure of collaborating with Anna Mewes of image by anna elizabeth, on the design of the 'icon collection'
Anna is a personal stylist and fashion blogger and the icon collection draws on the style personalities and colour categoreis that she works with on a daily basis. Each of the three hats in the colletion is designed to suit women with different colour characteristics and styles of dressing.
The Icon Collection. From left to right: Anna wears 'Stella' fedora, Beth wears 'Vivienne', Olivia wears 'Monique' cloche.
I'll go into more detail on the concept behind each of the hats and the millinery processes involved in making them in this and future blog posts, starting today with the 'Stella' fedora.
The fedora is the hat of the moment, you'll see fedoras everywhere! A particular favourite with celebrities the world over, the fedora is a striking yet easy to wear style. With it's low crown and broad brim, this hat will particularly suit those with oval, longer or narrow face shapes.
You may be wondering why the name 'Stella'? We have named each of the hats after the fashion designer whose style we felt best reflected the design and personality of the hat. In this case we decided on Stella, for Stella McCartney. Her designs are instantly recognisable, fun, bold and bright, whilst at the same time being extremely wearable, just like this hat!.
Anna was keen to create a hat that would suit her 'clear' colour personality, which calls for clear contrasting colours to be worn. The bright blue wool felt we picked is not only a beautiful colour, it's extremely versatile. It works well with black, grey, navy and also looks great with denim. The contrast is introduced through the bold red petersham ribbon and bright red buckle trim. Less is definitely more with the trim on this hat, as it has such a distinctive shape.
The making of 'Stella'
Following the felt stiffening process, the crown of the hat is moulded on to a wooden hat block, using steam to soften the felt and make it more pliable. Once dry, the hat is removed from the block and the brim is ironed flat. I then wire the brim edge to enable the wearer to manipulate the brim into whatever shape they like. This can be seen in the two photos above; in the first photo Anna wears the fedora with the brim curved down at the front, whereas in the second photo, it is straighter.
The Trilby crown block is used to form the crown of the fedora
Once the body of the hat is formed, it's trimmed and the head fitting ribbon is sewn in, to ensure the hat is a perfect fit for the wearer.
Each By Betty hat is made to order so the size, colour and trim can be altered to make sure you get the hat you want, that suits your colour and style personality and makes you look and feel fabulous! So if you think there's room in your wardrobe for a fabulous winter hat (and why wouldn't there be!) why not get in touch.
Thanks to Clare Chojnowski for photography of hats.