Hat Attack #64: Cha Cha’s House Of Ill Repute
I’ve featured Cha Cha’s hats on Hat Attack in the past, and for November I’m thrilled to showcase her work again. Over time I’ve become friends with this talented milliner, and I wouldn’t think of a trip to NYC without visiting her and her captivating studio. I feel welcome and at home in her creative space filled with headwear, inspiring and contagious energy, and an environment where I can play to my heart’s content.
Today’s millinery confection is a powder blue sixties-style cap a la’ Courrege/Twiggy with matching pom-pom. Get out those go-go boots and spread the word of millinery across the planet. This hat makes me feel like dancing, and we could stand a little more of that right now. Every day seems to bring another tragedy, and sometimes there are no words to describe how sad, heartbreaking, and horrifying the world can be. I do believe that where there’s life there is hope.
Cha Cha’s Biography
Cha Cha began studying the craft of millinery in 1994 under the
tutelage of the highly regarded milliner, Anne Allbrizzio. After completing
the millinery program at FIT she began designing for private clients.
Soon she started collaborating with the East Village designer Mark Montano.
In August of 2001 she opened her millinery design studio,
Cha Cha’s House of Ill Repute. Since then she has steadily built a unique
clientele ranging from NYC to Tokyo to Shanghai. All hats are made in NYC.
They are hand blocked on Cha Cha’s collection of vintage and specially
designed blocks using the finest quality straws and felts. She scours local
& regional flea markets for vintage millinery, antique trimmings and feathers
to inspire her designs. Her signature style includes hand dying blended
with free form blocking techniques which give the hats a unique vintage
look while remaining modern and wearable.
Cha Cha’s hats have attracted the attention of the entertainment industry.
She counts several celebrities as devoted clients including Alicia Keyes and
Justin Timberlake. Her hats have also been purchased by Queen Latifah,
Pink, & Christina Aquilera among others….Cha Cha
Why I love Millinery” – By Cha Cha
I became a Milliner because I absolutely love the process: blocking, finishing, etc. I originally went to school for fashion design but was a terrible pattern maker, sewer, etc.
When I landed in NYC after graduation I took a millinery class at FIT and fell in love with the techniques, much more like sculpting or pottery, very hands on. Also more room for errors which can lead to interesting accidents and new ideas. I felt very at home here and was inspired creatively which had never happened in design school. I love wearing hats frankly because I’m naturally shy and wearing a hat attracts attention these days. Walk into a party in a hat and you may not talk to the coolest or most popular person there, but you likely will end up talking to the most interesting one. They will seek you out.
I like the community around hat wearing and the way they make you feel and the confidence they confer to the wearer, almost by accident.
One of my favorite quotes about wearing hats is by Lily Dache. I like the idea of literally putting on a new hat and adding that to your personality stew. It’s also an easy way to stand out and look great without too much worry about the rest of your outfit.
“A woman’s hat is close to her heart, though she wears it on her head. It is her way of saying to the world: See this is what I am like-or this is what I would like to be.” ~Lily Dache
Photos By Daniel
Anyone can participate in the celebration of headwear! Click on the blue link-up button and there are a number of ways to share your photo from your blog, Instagram or your computer photo files. All forms of headwear are appreciated: hat, headwrap, headscarf, headpiece, fascinator, hair flower, headband or other adornment for your head that you enjoy. Multiple photos are encouraged!
Now it’s your turn to throw a little headwear my way. Give The SC a NOVEMBER HAT ATTACK and kindly link to Style Crone somewhere in your post. The link-up will be open through November 30th.