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I made this rose-colored straw hat in the 90’s when taking a millinery class taught by a talented milliner who had graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC and was living in Denver. The hat was first blocked and then I molded it into a free-form sculpture.

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This is not the first chapeau that I had created.  I experimented with blocking during my hat shop days in the 80’s.  There’s not a lot that I remember from that time of learning and expansion.  I would have to practice and repeat to improve, just as with any practice, art or skill.

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Over the years I’ve thought about becoming a milliner or hatmaker.  I’ve never moved forward with pursuing the magical art that has been the object of my passion and interest since the 70’s.  Currently I love to seek out the work of others, admire and collect favorites and wear them with abandon and joy.

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I don’t know what the future will bring or where life with take me as it organically and mysteriously unfolds.  At the present moment I’m content and happy with where I am in relationship with the world of my favorite accessory that brings me immeasurable pleasure and adds to the quality of my life every day, in every way.

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Photos By Daniel at City Park Denver

Rose-colored straw hat – by Moi, Vivienne Westwood multicolored patterned two-piece dress – consignment store sale years ago, jewelry – estate sales and gifted, vintage burgundy heeled sandals and vintage burgundy patent leather bag – estate sales.

Linking up with Catherine’s #iwillwearwhatilike HERE at Not Dressed As Lamb and Patti’s Visible Monday HERE at Not Dead Yet Style.

25 Comments

  1. Judith, I would love to see photos of the closets where you store all your vintage fashions and accessories. Any chance you might give us a peek someday?
    Thank you.

  2. Judith, my fondest memories of you were the times spent in your closets! Visiting them is like playing dress up as a child, only ever so much better because of your choices and style. Hope to visit again one day!
    Patti

  3. Beautiful photos. You reminded me of the hat class I took with you many years ago. It is fun to see how you have continued your passion.

  4. I was reading the other day, about the origin of the word ‘milliner’: Now I am guessing as you had a hat shop you know the answer…

    Its from ‘Milan’ in Italy where all the best hat makers were in the 1700s. They were ‘Millaners’ which got shortened into milliner.

  5. The Vivienne Westwood dress is stunning on you.I am impressed with your ability to create this pretty hat. I too have considered taking a millinery course, though none are close by so this is on the backburner for now.Your collections are so impressive , they must bring you so much joy.

  6. Hat great, my iPad is acting up. I found a collapsed Chinese lantern out of bamboo and red thread, going to fiddle with it and put elastic in back. Thinking about taking a hat class myself. Your shots are marvelous!!

  7. That’s one fabulous creation. How wonderful to have made it, it certainly fits like a dream.
    I met a milliner at the weekend, he’d been offered a 150 year old ribbon making machine from a Victorian factory – just the thing to trim his hats to perfection. xxx

  8. My lovely friend, seeking and admiring the talents of others and then wearing them like you do (with pure joy) is not only a great tribute but a gift as well.

  9. I have a VERY similar HAT…………
    VERY IMPRESSED YOU MADE IT!
    I understand you NOT wanting to DIVE into what makes YOU HAPPY.
    Makes perfect Sense to me!
    XX

  10. The shot of you with one hand on the sculpture, leaning backward is beautifully editorial. The outfit shows off your gorgeous figure and the hat is just the right addition. I really like the accordian-like pleats you worked into it.

    I think you would make an excellent milliner, but as you said, sometimes it is enough to admire and wear beautiful things that others have made. You certainly have one of the most impressive hat collections I’ve ever seen, and you do wonders promoting the wearing of hats on your blog.

  11. Well, I can’t add anything to what’s already been said! It IS a great hat – in a lovely color – so congratulations to you for making a great piece that you still wear decades later! And yes, that is also a fabulous dress, with a very interesting and flattering cut, and a very feminine print. Almost anything I bought “years ago” will not fit me anymore, so kudos to you for that as well!

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