Sunday, 17 January 2016

Who Wants To Be A Milliner?


PLEDGE here! with JustGiving and keep us afloat!

"Hat Therapy" over the past few years is gaining a strong reputation to nurture young talent from local universities and colleges, so students have the chance to see what being an artisan, a craftsman in the 21st Century means. For marketing's sake, there's a place for Instagram and the Twitterati but when it comes to the crunch, it's just the designer and her materials. And like the gardener dutifully following each season, you reap just what you sew.

manufacture = manus hand, factio "I make" lit. making with hands

Hats have literally saved my life - they cover up bad hair days. If it wasn't for hats, I may have relinquished my mortal sheath years ago. So when I saw an advert for a milliner's apprentice in my local town, I jumped at the chance. 

In Celebrity Big Brother, in response to a question about what separates Mankind from the other Kingdoms, Dead or Alive frontman Pete Burns replied: "Accessories". Hilarious, idiotic...but still partly true. Anyway, I went to do my bit for Mankind at Hat Therapy, a wonderful "blink-and-you'd-miss-it" boutique with gentle nods to gay Paris and Art Deco.

Swell One of HT's most popular styles
I've always appreciated great craftsmanship. My granddad was a jeweler, my mum was a hairdresser and I studied dressmaking and fashion at college, following the likes of Hermes and Fendi. Then being a greedy guts, learnt how to cook. What began as home baking soon wangled its way into kitchens and before I knew it, I was making all manner of lovely encrusted puds. So before I had to be airlifted to work or lost all my teeth, I decided on a change of occupation. Far from the gut-gurgles of having stuffed one eclair too many down the hatch, millinery is a  glittering beacon of all that is elegant and fine, an exemplary marriage of art and craft.

While I was at university, I continued to celebrate my love of fashion and this time with sustainability in mind. I love fashion's joy but I hate waste. Could we be frivolous without being reckless? Yes - by upcycling and customisation, which I began to do with a charity shop's goods in Manchester. I was delighted that my collection lead to a runway show for the BBC where I also took the chance to educate the audience on genetically-modified well as delight their senses with boisterous clothes and banging tunes. I fancied myself as Manchester enfant terrible.

"Breakfast At Therapy's"? Simplicity, glamour and elegance worthy of Audrey


When people ask me what I do for a living, I mostly reply, "I'm an artist". What that means to me, and what I shared with the wonderful owner of Hat Therapy, Chrissie King, is a celebration of style, of beauty and a willingness to share that with another in an authentic, unique way. All the hats that we made, and Chrissie continues to make, are full of old-school charm that lend them a classic style that never fades. Hat Therapy stands for a fashion that reflects each customer's style, not identikit trends from magazines. It's a tiny, but mighty, niche.

Nice cream A theatre commision for "Digging Deep"

More importantly, it's Chrissie's signature statement - one that has enabled Hat Therapy to tick over season to season. She works closely with British clothmakers and proud to support the local economy. On any day in vibrant little village Hebden Bridge, Chrissie can be found quietly and tirelessly ploughing away either machining or, most often than not, hand-finishing a piece. Designers like Gucci, Chanel and Fendi, have gained stratospheric reputations in the fashion world because of their uncompromising commitment to excellence, and have teams and team of hand-sewers and finishers. Chrissie achieves this single-handedly, with a peppering of support from the North of England's finest fashion students..

Recent unprecedented flooding in Hebden Bridge wreaked havoc, 
threatening the homes and livelihoods of 1000's, 
including one woman business Hat Therapy. 
Help to keep precious craftsmanship alive - click here!

A Royal Welcome Chrissie is the perfect hostess and consultant 

Shop Hat Therapy right now - click here!

1 comment:

  1. Really sorry to read this Chrissy! Sending best wishes and I really hope all is sorted very soon!