Monday, July 23, 2012

Couture Sculptural/Free-Form Millinery: Part 1--Gallery of Designs

It's been a few weeks since posting, so I thought I'd better bring you something worth reading or seeing.  I've noticed a millinery trend happening around the globe, sculptural/free-form millinery.  As the old saying goes, "What goes around, comes around."  If you are a vintage hat lover of say, the early 1900s through the 1940s you are very much acquainted with the tucks and folds in the millinery of those eras.  If you were making hats in the early 1990s changes are, again, you are familiar with "free-form" millinery.  For me this current trend in sculptural/free-form millinery is so exciting, and it can be extremely creative.

I've prepared a video for you showing some of the designs I created while at play.  All of the hats in the video started and ended with a single pink straw hat body.  Each hat was shaped in the hand--no hat blocks were used.  After each design was  completed, it was reshaped into another shape, then another shape until I became exhausted reshaping and photographing each design.  The color variations of the designs are due to the lighting (day or night light), camera settings,  and in some cases,  the color was manipulated using image processing software. 

Part 2 of this series will show some of the steps I used (stitching, wiring, etc.) to create the support structure for these designs.  As always, I've used an unconventional method.  Did you notice that I said that I would show some of the steps?  That's because I've been trying to figure out some way to reward my site members for taking the time to follow me.  "Page Views" are very important to a Web site; so,  I prefer to concentrate on my current followers first, and continue to work hard to create the type of content that will attract new followers.  I've been experimenting with a password protected page where members can go to pick up extra tips that will not be available to nonmembers.  I don't have everything worked out yet, so please be patient.

Password Protected Page for Site Followers

Please Note!  This is not a membership drive.  Currently I have 309 followers on this site.  Only the current members will be given a password, if requested.  You will have to request a password because not all of my followers make hats.  Some are just here to support me and others just love hats.  My plan is, and this may change, to post the extra tips and information on the password protected page for two to four weeks.  Then it will be taken down.  New followers will have access to new tips and information, but no one will have access to old information because at some point the old information will be taken down.  So please, if you would like to follow me understand that for this post, only current members will have access to additional tips.  You will only be eligible for future tips and information as they come up.

Current Members.   Most of you receive email notices when new posts are published.  If your user name is a part of your email address, just leave a comment asking me to send you a password.  Your user name must be unique for me to identify it.  If you do not get automatic updates, please sign up for them.  See sidebar for "Subscribe Via Email."  I will compile a mass mailing, with each of you receiving a "bcc (blind carbon copy)" so that others will not see your email address.  I figure that it will take me a little over a week to get the passwords to you.  After that time I will have to stop accepting requests because it would just take too much time to be constantly processing passwords.  So, this is new for me and for you also.  If it works I will continue this practice, if not I will discontinue it.  Please leave questions and comments so I can assist you.

I hope you enjoy the movie I have prepared for you.  You will have to view it in full screen to take advantage of the full color effects.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Essie Edwards' May 2012 Annual Fashion Show

I introduced Mrs. Edwards to you last year in my post, "Essie Edwards: A Phenomenal Milliner, Seamstress, Instructor, and Fashionista."  Nothing has changed much.  Mrs. Edwards is still the same phenomenal lady she was last year.  Her beautiful seniors, including the facility director, Toni, and facility caretaker, Dorothy, are still in place and are still wonderful.  Mrs. Edwards is always speaking well of them.  One thing that will be changing is that Mrs. Edwards will be retiring this year.  I'll miss seeing my senior friends at the Rose Garden.  I have been blessed to have friends in my millinery classes (Mrs. Edwards and Mrs. King) that have been so supportive.  I'll miss the support of people that know me, as well as my character.  Nothing will ever replace the presence of warm and caring people.  As for Mrs. Edwards, we'll always keep in touch with each other and hang out together.  When I talked to her this morning, she informed me that she may volunteer a few hours at the senior center.  If she does, I'll make an extra effort to visit my friends at the center, plus Ms. E' would love all of the attention she would receive.

Also, I must mention how much of an inspiration these ladies have been to me.  Some of the ladies that attend the center are over 30 years my senior.  Most of them drive to the center one to three times a week.  The cloths and hats you will see in the following video were made by these wonderful ladies.  If you could see the clothing and hats up close, you would think that they were bought from department stores; that's how well they are made--a wonderful reflection of the instructor.  Thank you Mrs. Edwards.

Also, since all of our millinery classes may be cut, I have to say thank you to Mrs. Eloise King, my millinery instructor, on-and-off, for 28 years.  To Mrs. Edwards and Mrs. King, no matter how many millinery instructors I may have in the future, if I have the chance to study abroad, none of them will top you guys.  I'm good at what I do because of the foundation you gave me.

I'm not going to introduce the following video as Mrs. Edwards final fashion show video because I attended a spectacular fashion show this afternoon that was moderated by Mrs. Edwards.  Some ladies had attended her fashion show and liked it so much that they invited Mrs Edwards to do it again for charity club.  Now on to the video!

Note:  I wasn't home to select the video cover image when it stopped processing on YouTube.  I would have preferred that Mrs. Edwards image appear on the video cover.  Click twice on the video to maximize video screen and to see the text that has been written on the video images.