We all know that to truly celebrate the wedding properly, it's all about the hats, right? Throughout the weddings of the past, every hat that has been on display has been scrutinized, ranked, and copied by people all over the world. And this Royal Wedding is no different! While I'm getting my hat game on point, I thought it would a great opportunity to feature a Q & A session with a milliner and award-winning hat designer, Tanya from The Hat Block.
I’ve been looking at the world in technicolor ever since I was a little redhead growing up in England and also Venezuela. From a young age, I was creative and crafty, always finding scissors to make exciting adjustments on clothes and shoes. I really wanted to be a clothing designer, but I tried out design on a smaller scale first with a single Millinery class at the Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC. From then on I was hooked.
From people watching; from colors that are all around me. I'll see a gorgeous shade of red somewhere and immediately envision a hat design that embodies the color and texture of that red. Mostly though, I get inspired while working with different materials, in the midst of forming and shaping them, seeing what they can become.
Firstly, it's helpful to think that hats aren't only reserved for special occasions. The British royal family wears hats for absolutely every occasion! I often tell my customers to think of a hat as any other accessory, like a sparkly brooch, dazzling earrings, or a statement handbag. The key is to find a hat style that you feel both comfortable and utterly confident in, always taking into account your personal style.
I do! It's a hand-made navy fedora in the softest felt, with a brown vintage leather band that I made two winters ago. It was originally meant as a hand-sculpting exercise, but I liked it so much that I kept it for myself.
Creating a felt or straw hat/headpiece from beginning to end is very labor intensive. It takes many hand hours and involves several steps which include: Blocking (shaping and forming) the raw material over a wooden hat block by pulling and stretching the material with steam; pinning and tying the edges, drying the blocked material, sewing a wire into the edge; hand-sewing a headsize ribbon into the crown, more hand shaping to achieve your preferred hat style, and sewing your carefully selected trims onto the finished hat. A headpiece requires fewer steps but makes up for it in the hours it takes to carefully hand-form the headpiece base into the shape you want.
My website is the best place to start - www.thehatblock.com. We are constantly adding new styles to the site, as well as updating our Block Party page with more favorite images and inspirations. I also have an Instagram account @thehatblock where you can see some of my style inspirations and latest projects, as well as a Facebook page - The Hat Block. I can be reached anytime via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ah, my favorite royal wedding dress has to be Princess Diana's, because I absolutely loved all those creamy layers of ivory silk taffeta.
Such great information from someone who truly loves and enjoys the beauty of hats! Do you have a favorite hat that you've seen before or do you have one that you plan on wearing while watching the Royal Wedding?