Forest Flame Millinery

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Hats at Another Royal Wedding

The royal wedding over the weekend showcased some amazing hats worn by the royalties and celebrities. One thing noticeable is that Saucer hats in different shapes and sizes are everywhere. It is also a style that I absolutely love. Here's a selection:

The Duchess' large teardrop saucer hat. It is in the classic style where the flowers are sewn on the 'inside'. 

The Countess of Wessex in a matching hat and I love the colour. I usually like the hats she wore. This is no exception.

That's a hat that suited Princess B. I am working on a similar one with feather butterflies.


Brown looks good with white.
Celebrities and their hats






After all these hats, let's not forget that it's Zara Phillips & Mike Tindall Wedding.


Which is your favorite hat?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Hat Making Challenge by Milliners of Etsy

The Milliners of Etsy has organised another hat challenge and I'm mighty excited about it. More so than the last challenge where I made a saucer hat.

For the second round, the theme is Avant Garde + Sea.  The reason for my over brimming excitement is that one of the gal has gotten Richard Nylon to be the Judge. I have always find Nylon's work refreshing and cutting edge. His style is also what I like, more Brits than Aussie, at least, that's what I find it to be. Besides Stephen Jones, I like his work best.  So how can I not be excited over this challenge?

My original idea is a turban hat. The folds and pleats symbolise the waves and I will add lots of bushy stuff to represent sea grass.


But draping the turban was not as easy as it seems and I regretted not asking my African friend to teach me fold a lady turban hat before I left London. Anyway, this idea was abandoned as I google, I saw a turban hat similar to what I had envisaged earlier.

She was a 1920-30s Hollywood silent movie star - Anna May Wong. This turban is too close to what I planned and no way will I make this hat as it may seems that I have copied. One down.

My next big idea was to use wire & ribbons to make faux coral reefs and  attach them to a base.  I am running out of time and did not want to spend unnecessary time experimenting. Two down.



Then I decided to make a GIANT coral flower using silk. It was too much like a flower and not a coral. Two night sitting beside a hotplate curling silk petals .... electricity bill probably will be very high the next billing month.


With not much time left, I am still undecided what I want to do. I know most of the gals have ordered materials, drew their sketches and some have started. I have not done anything of those.

With Avant Garde theme, I do not want to make something that is silly in the end. I want the sea theme to be subtle, not explicit like sew a giant octopus and add seashells, seaweed....etc. That may be lovely to look at but will be more appropriate for costume. I want to design a wearable hat that you and I will not be afraid to wear out.

Yes, I think PT's lobster hat for Isabella Blow and Lady GaGa is visually stunning but it's not for us mere mortals.
Lady Gaga in PT's Lobster hat
PT's muse, Isabella Blow, wearing the 'famous' original Lobster Hat 

And I am not Philip Treacy. If I make a sotong (squid) hat or up one level, a geoduck {pronounced as gooey duck} hat, will I win the challenge and be famous?
Geoduck, some kind of shellfish. I can't eat it simply because I have looked at it. Eating this is vile.

So what will I do? All will be unveil in 3 weeks time. Good night.

Monday, July 11, 2011

A Terrible Bazaar To be In

I joined a bazaar at United Square on 9 & 10 July 2011. It was by far the worst organized and horrible bazaar I have taken part in.


Prior to the bazaar, incredibly named Fashionista @ United Square (I shall tell you later why it's 'incredible') the organiser spammed my email account with the Dos and Don't, the rules and regulations. Spammed? Yes, for every information that the organiser conveyed, they do it TWICE.  Why, urban events?

These were part of the rules and regulation:
1. Vendors are NOT allowed to sell any COSMETICS, CHILDREN'S ITEMS an IMITATION GOODS.
2. If you want to have racks, it can only be SINGLE tier rack, not more than 1.6m in height.
3. if you want to leave you items overnight, do NOT use canvas sheet to cover your items, use a CLOTH. (if you feel insecure, you can use canvas to cover, and wrap a cloth over it). this is because the landlord management doesn't not permit the use of canvas.


At least 3 stalls sold imitation Cath Kidston bags. Yeeeee.....yak....that really cheapened the standard of the bazaar. Children toys were also sold. Vendors cannot sell children items because the shopping centre is essentially one that specialises on children goods and service. One stall sells 'Angry Bird' products, of course, IMITATION too! His stall was so disorganised and at one stage, have all his goods on the floor. People looking for cheap goods were squatting on the floor rummaging and that blocked the passageway.





Then of course, vendors selling goods ignored instructions and brought along double rack that took up much of their neighbour space. 


Canvas was used to cover up the table.


Yes, majority of the vendors disregard the rules and regulation. 


Do you know why? It's NATO by the organizer. No action, talk only.  The organizer did nothing to ensure there is enough walking space for the vendors who were positioned inside. Imagine those vendors on the outer circumference positioned their tables, rack, boxes.... such that NOBODY can enter the inner circle. Unless the customers can fly, they will not bother to come in and check out our stalls.


The organizer were too timid but they were fierce in their emails, threatening vendors that if they don't comply, they will not be allowed to set up stall. HAHAHAHAHA...what a joke. 
In the end, these 'paper soldiers' just sat at their table quietly.


That's why I find it incredible that this is called a fashionista bazaar. Cheap $10 clothes, bags, tacky imitation goods? Yes, Urban eventz is holding another 'fashionistas' bazaar at the Cathay end of the month. If you deal with cheap clothings from China and Thailand, imitation children goodies like angry birds and fake bags .... contact the organizer for the Cathay bazaar. If customers ask if your goodies are imitation, just say you have special license to sell,. That's what I heard from the sellers.  If fine and jail term does not faze you, go ahead. Yes, special license. Just don't let the customers see the poor stitching, lopsided label and designs that wasn't in the genuine collection.


As for me, I do not want to be associated with an event company with dubious reputation. 





Monday, July 4, 2011

Duchess of Cambridge's cocktail hats

I hardly see Kate Middleton wear full hats, you know what I mean. Those with a crown and a full brim, like what the Queen usually wears.

The Duchess seems to favour cocktail hats. When I was in London, I had been buying Hello Magazine every week just so to oggle the hats. Kate wears many saucer hats and it has become a trend in England. My hat block suppliers have been updating me on new saucer hat block. I already have one saucer hat block (same as the pic of Kate in the grey waffle sinamay) and have made 2 for the bazaar at Novena Square next weekend.



The Duchess wears saucer-hat style quite frequently. No wonder every hat block makers  is scrambling to make them. This saucer hat is made with black window sinamay. 
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This cocktail hat in taupe parasisal. I am still thinking if I should place an order for this block. With shipping, it will cost me nearly S$300.

A simple and sweet fascinator style. It looks like sinamay again.

This is the latest hat she wore to Canada. It's parasisal with matching flower s. The leaves should be in leather. This is an interesting block with fold-back.

The black beret-style hat is simple and chic. I have the block and will add beret-style to my shop.


Another saucer-hat and this is made with waffle sinamay. Since this picture, waffle sinamay has gone out of stock. I have placed my order but they will only available in September. Fancy one made with this sinamay? Don't worry, it will not cost you 899 pounds. I had this block for several months and now this style is tremendously popular.

The Brits love to wear saucer-hat perched in front. I love the style. 


An old picture (before her marriage), and Kate middleton wore a fur felt beret. So british, Love it!
As long as the Duchess continues to wear more hats, milliners like myself is more than happy.