I would like to share with you my friends something of my creative thinking as a hat designer and as someone that loves hats. For me hats are a uniquely individual accessory that allow the wearer to express something special about themselves. A flash of colour or light that boldly compliments the wearer’s attire. I also believe in the individuality that making things by hand for a custom fit add to the endless aesthetic and personality that a beautiful hat can bring.
And yet although I believe so much in nature and individuality I also believe in the importance of form and structure. Maybe it is my nature to seek balance, in design and in all things. Maybe beauty can be most easily appreciated when it is in a recognisable form.
And so I think in my mind about the structures and styles that I work with most frequently when making hats in my atelier. I enjoy the creative process so much. But I enjoy also working with the established forms.
The styles of hats that I work with most frequently (excluding cocktail hats) are Fedora, Bucket, and Cloche. I enjoy these styles as a maker and I find that they are perhaps the most appreciated by my clients. But what makes them special, why have these styles been so appreciated over time? Here is what I think about when I think about these hat designs.
I love making bucket hats for my customers because they are so flexible. Buckets can be made from any material such as felt, straw and fabric. In the past I have even enjoyed making bucket hats from raffia. These hats are casual and I find they are ideal for summer. Here in Australia it is so important to wear a hat for protection from the sun and bucket hats are perfect for this especially since I can easily make them with a bigger brim. Because they can be made with fabric there is also a chance to be playful and use floral prints and interesting fabrics as in this example here. Bucket hats are very similar to cloche hats, the difference is that bucket hats have a square shaped crown while cloche hats have a rounded crown shape for example here. Buckets give my customers so much flexibility for travel too because the fabric can be easily rolled up and easily placed in a travel bag.
I also enjoy working with the Homburg shape. These hats are similar in many ways to fedora and yet they offer something different. Fedora hats have a tear-drop shaped crown, the crown narrows at the front. But the Homburg shape has a round crown making it an interesting alternative to fedora. This distinctive homburg shape is something that gives it so much character. and places it between fedora and bowler styles. This niche is something that I would like to explore more with my customers. For me homburg is a style from the past that is waiting to be rediscovered like this one.
And so these are some of the hat styles that I enjoy working with and give my customers so many options. Another time I will talk to you about cocktail hats which is another world with more and different beautiful options. Please let me know what you think about these designs. I am always interested in hearing from my customers and learning and growing as a maker and as a designer.