Let’s face it, a pretty hat can be a real spirit booster; in fact, it used to be common knowledge that the cure for a low mood was the purchase of a new hat. In my mother’s day, a woman never went out in public without a hat, and yes, there were many good reasons to dispose of that social imperative, but keeping a skilled milliner in business had a lot to do with one’s sense of well-being.
After all, who better to help a woman look her best than that designer skilled in the millinery arts who keeps a file on her clients and is able to create a bit of frippery which is not only flattering to her features, but fashionably up-to-date and uniquely suited to her personal social calendar.
So, having said all that, imagine my joy when an unexpected parcel arrived in the mail this week with -you guessed it- the gift of a new hat from my personal milliner, Maria Curcic. I can’t wait to wear it, but this beauty-on-a-band (a black velvet one) will also be going in my newest hat themed exhibit “Black Magic”.
I like to shop in person for my hats so that I can try them on to determine if the fit is right and the style is flattering, but having discovered and gotten to know this creative artist and her work, I am completely confident in her ability to produce pieces that are perfect, sight unseen.. Yes, I buy hats from other milliners including Louise Green of Los Angeles and Lilliput‘s Karen Gingras. I stop in at Beau Chapeau any chance I get (I’ve even found my book on display there), but I have chosen Maria as my personal milliner. If you think I talk about her a little too much, consider this: In my capacity as director of the Mobile Millinery Museum I have collected and archived over 2500 historical hats (created by top name 20th century designers) so I know quality.
What’s the takeaway? Millinery is a re-emerging art form. Look around, stop into some shops, try on some hats and find yourself a personal milliner, see how great you look in one of her confections. Take it home and wear it. You’ll be glad you did.