Color. Texture. Form. Fabric. Fashion. Costumes. Shoes. Hats. Vintage. All the pretty.
I started sewing when I was little, and haven't stopped. I got better at it because I loved it, and wanted to keep doing it. I made clothes for myself, and my mum, and classmates - although these were strictly amateur efforts. I was eventually offered my first professional job as a stitcher in a costume shop, where my world got bigger and even prettier. I asked lots of questions and got lots of answers, and I fit into a world where I could travel a bit, working with lots of different folks, and learning about - and creating - this weird, wonderful world of make-believe. I eventually specialized in Costume Crafts, creating the accessories that are part of an actor’s costume apart from the garment itself: Shoes. Bags. Hats. Armor. Prosthetics. Alien suits. As a young woman I had dreamt of being an architect, then a fashion designer, then a textile designer. Costume Crafts is a world where you get to do all of these things, where you can stretch your abilities and make your brain really work. I came to specialize even further, as I especially loved making and working on hats.
As I eased out of professional theatrical costuming, I kept making hats - only now they were for “real” people. I opened a shop selling vintage housewares, and moved my millinery studio into a corner of the shop. I sold some hats, answered lots of questions, and kept making hats. I took a small studio space after I closed the shop, dedicated solely to my millinery business, where I sold more hats and began teaching hat-making workshops. I now have a wonderful, larger studio in an old textile mill building, in the Berkshires of western Massachusetts. I continue to create hats for “real” people who love to inhabit other worlds, if only for a bit: Garden parties. Weddings. Cocktail soirées. The races. Jazz festivals. Anyone can be someone else, when they're wearing a hat they love!
My career as a theatrical costumer definitely informs my work now as a milliner. Using time-honored millinery techniques, hand-carved vintage wooden blocks, and beautiful materials sourced from around the globe, I create everything on the hat spectrum: basic and classic to high-drama and avant-garde. My love of costume history and vintage fashion are often channeled into the delectable antique and vintage one-of-a-kind trims found on my hats.
I welcome custom work of all kinds. I also offer private and group millinery instruction, where I try to answer all the questions I used to ask (and still do!), as I was learning this amazing, magical craft. Come find a hat - or make one!