Hello and welcome to Kay's Art of Millinery.
For those new to the site, please take a few minutes to check out all the links, and know your visit has enabled you to tap into a part of me. I say this because I truly love fashion and the Art of Millinery. As an African American woman who loves fashion, it's easy to be creative when designing hats. I like the idea of creating wearable fashions that others also like. Many of my designs are created with fabric, which can be used with feathers and fur or flowers and bows; I also use other mediums such as felt, straw, sinamay, ricenet, and leather.
Being a woman conscience of fashion, I believe it's important to look not only presentable, but also good when stepping out, be it to the corner store, church on Sunday, or any other event. I also believe most women of any color are fashion conscience and I keep this in mind when designing art pieces, which have ranged from simple to flamboyant depending on the season.
Many call millinery a craft, but it's a lot more than that. For me each hat I create is piece of art, a part of me and is designed and created methodically. All my hats are made from scratch and every piece of trim (decoration) on each is thought out before being stitched on. Most people having an opportunity to observe hats being made call it hard work because they never realized how much went into the design of one little hat. I call it creating extensions of myself, and for those who are looking for hats I hope you find some you feel are extensions of who you are as well.
Those of us who are milliners know the "Art of Millinery" is an art many consider lost. The fact is the Art of Millinery is not lost and many milliners are still making and selling hats. Others wishing to become milliners are taking and seeking classes to perfect this art.... and keep it alive. Women are wearing more hats than ever before with the advent of the "Red Hat Society" a national organization, and the past wedding of Prince William and his now wife Kate who is a hat wearer. As many of you know, I initially started making hats decades ago while following what I considered the Cinderella story of Dianna, who was Prince William's mother.
I've heard some refer to the art of millinery as a craft. Webster's dictionary defines a craft as a trade needing special skills. That definition is without doubt true; especially for artisans with the visions, skills, and tools to skillfully craft blocks of wood into the beautiful wooden shapes we call hat blocks.
We, the millinery artist take those skillfully crafted shapes, which themselves are works of art steps further and duplicate them using various mediums, making them soft blocks. Those soft blocks would be nothing more than softer forms of the originals without the artfully applied feathers, flowers, horsehair, ribbons, jewels, and such, and thus the "Art of Millinery" would not be achieved.
The term art is what I choose to use when referring to my millinery designs because like any artist painting a beautiful image, he or she always starts with a blank canvas. In this case, the canvas happens to be a wooden block that sheds its frame and later becomes a piece of wearable art. Like any artist painting on a new canvas, no two images are exactly alike. Nor can they be because each stroke is always different, as is each designed hat no matter how closely the artist attempts to duplicate it. In saying that I invite you check out my newly added buckram hat frame pages, there you may purchase hat frames to create your own designs. Have a great day, and please come again soon.