I make hats with the knowledge that these exceptional objects can not only transform the appearance of the wearer, but the way one perceives and comprehends the world. Wearing a hat can awaken one and make one dream ; can be an invitation to discovering the extraordinary ; can lighten one’s steps and enrich one’s views ; can, simply, enliven the days.
I was already an avid hat collector and wearer by when I decided to move to London to learn hat making. I have long since been aware of the power and eloquence of clothing and felt particularly drawn to headwear. During my Ph.D in Contemporary Art History, I largely reflected over this eloquence of clothing through the history of painting ; about how intertwined the history of textiles and pigments is with social history, art and culture at large. How they reflect on one another. And it was bearing this in mind that I began my hat making apprenticeship under the exceptional guidance of Mrs. Rose Cory, milliner and Royal Warrant Holder to Her Royal Majesty Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother. As a researcher, I have been taught to go to the sources and this is what I did. With her I learnt everything from hat block making to finishing details, from structures to linings, from blocking to draping, always observing and respecting the intrinsic characteristics and behaviour of the different materials. The artisanal making of a hat encompasses a myriad of singular steps, each of which are critical in shaping the outcome. One has to master them in order to play with them. I passionately uphold those classic hatmaking techniques and aim for the highest quality standards, vindicating while revisiting this tradition in each and every hat I make.
Every hat is an eloquent object that speaks of cultural heritage and provenance, of carefully sourced materials and devoted craftsmanship, of time and attention, of beauty and imperfection, of research and play, of lightness and love.
HATS MADE TO ONE’S MEASURE
Hats are exceptional tools which not only can protect their wearer from weather conditions, but express their character and even modify the way they perceive the world.
I make hats « to measure », meaning made both to someone’s head size and shape as to someone’s way of thinking and living. A hat made to one’s measure is an expression of who the wearer is ; an extension of their particular worldview ; is part of them ; it tells their stories.
Each of us is one-of-a-kind, each head is unique (in fact, our head shape and size changes over time ; we are never the same one, as Heraclito underlined) and so is each hat. Therein lies the beauty and complexity of making a hat to one’s measure. It is about how it fits your head (if it is comfortable to wear, if the shape, proportions and colour suit your complexion) and your soul (if the style, finishing and details like hatband, brim binding and lining, match your character and your lifestyle).
These kind of hats are the ones you miss when you are not wearing them. They are the ones that live and age with their owners. The ones that can only gain value and beauty with time.
The handmaking of a hat entails hours of attentive and dedicated work which encompasses numerous meticulous operations, skilled craftsmanship, intimate knowledge of the materials used and an acute sense of proportion and balance. In a handmade hat resides the pleasure of wearing such a piece of devoted work. And all my hats and headpieces are handmade within this framework.
Whether it is a made to measure hat, made from one of the existing models, or a bespoke hat, developed and made exclusively for a customer, each hat is made in response to the customer’s specific features, silhouette, posture and character. The process begins by listening carefully to the customer’s wishes and requirements ; goes on by getting the precise fit for their head, making a personalized wooden form of their unique headshape which will allow us to properly satisfy every new future order ; deciding on the style and fit, proportions, materials, colours and finishing details as hatbands, brim binding or linings. At a second fitting, the unfinished model is tried on and any final adjustments are made before completing the hat. It may take several days to complete a hat made to measure, depending on the specific requirements.
If you are unable to come to the workshop for a consultation and fitting, we can easily work by phone and mail. Once the type of hat has been decided upon, you will have to get your hat size. To do this, place the tape measure where you would normally be wearing the hat. Generally, this would mean guiding it around the middle of the forehead, passing just above your ears and your occipital bone. Make sure you do not pull the tape measure too tight, but just gently grip your head. Do this three times, write down the average measurement. To ensure accuracy, it could be advisable to have assistance from another person.
A selection of pieces is also available through the website. For any enquiries or to get the custom process underway, please contact via email or phone.