Hats are more in style than they have been since the 1950s.
But that doesn’t mean that you can find an awesome looking hat at the mall shop.
As any Hollywood costume designer knows, a hat is the ultimate way of expressing character.
A sharp clean hat makes for an uptight impression.
Sculpt the hat with some deeper creases and dent the front of the crown, and suddenly it looks like the hat of a weatherworn detective or dogged investigative journalist.
You can do anything with a hat—-more than anything it is a piece of sculpture that is designed to express at a glance.
Many hats are nothing more than a piece of twisted, stretched, and shaped rabbit fur felt with a bit of ribbon and this or that tacked on to it.
But the impression that one makes is instantaneous and greater than can be achieved with any other piece of clothing.
It is human nature that our eyes immediately scan the faces of each person in any scene, and if one sees a pair of eyes peering out of under a snap-brim fedora, so much the better.
But virtually all hats on the market today are mass produced to the lowest common denominator.
If anything, they express simply that one is a hipster or a yuppie, rather than anything deeper or more individual. Each hat is mass-produced on the same model.
But we individually sculpt each hat to match the character of the client.
Some hats are made for performers of all kinds and are mean to look bold on stage.
Others are for weddings where the groom wants to perfectly express himself and to look like himself in the pictures that he will look at over a life time.
The burgundy hat in the images is a wool felt 1910 style fedora with a brim that rolls slightly upward.
It is decorated with a silk hatband, pheasant feathers, and vintage Czech glass beads in the shape of berries.
The green hat is made from 100% rabbit fur felt with a very hard snap brim that descends almost to eye level in the front and snaps straight up in the back.
This hat is trimmed with iridescent silk, pheasant feathers, and small iridescent wings taken from Asian dung beetles (a traditional Victorian trimming).
Both of these hats were stretched over the same block. One that we individually hand-carved for the project. This gave us the shape of the crown, but the differing brims make for different looks.
Handmade hats like this are very very soft and flexible versus machine pressed hats that are stamped out at high pressure.
The black cowboy hat is a vintage piece that I reblocked and stretched into a new shape, and also retrimmed.
I wanted a very dramatic twist on the sides of the brim (almost like a fighter jet or paper airplane) and to have the front of the brim come down at an angle.
Felt hats eventually get worn and out of shape (but is does take awhile!). The wonderful thing about fine felts is that they can always be redone. Genuine felt hats should never be thrown away (especially if they are made from fur!); they can always be restored or turned into a new hat.
The brown tweed hat is made from camel hair and is a completely handsewn buckram and wire frame hat.
This is a tall crown 1930s style fedora that is trimmed in plaid cotton flannel for a highly sporty look.
The grey tweed hat is another buckram and wire hat that is covered in grey wool twill.
The black pinstripe hat is a mass produced hat that a customer brought in that he was planning on wearing for his wedding. We retrimmed the hat with a paisley hat band in iridescent crimson and made a peak lapel vest to match it.
Finally, we love top hats as well. We can make traditional looking top hats or bold Wellington styes that look straight out of a comic book.
The gold and purple hat is made from silk duppioni and has an evil Victorian ringmaster look to it, while the tall black hat is made from 100 percent silk grosgrain.
So whether you are a performer in need of a hat for a role or looking for a hat to wear when you are out on the town, we can help.
Contact us (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we can talk more and sketch you some ideas.