Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Launching Millinery School.

 For the past several months I have been working on designing a very specific program on teaching the subject of Millinery. I have been also working on paperwork to launch a Millinery School based in my Atelier and first of its kind in New York. Today I am very excited to  announce that  the registration for Summer Sessions of 2011 will start on March 31st. Complete description of the program can be found on my website http://www.anyacaliendo.com/ .
 I do not know if I have ever told you about my pitiful experience at FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology) in New York. FIT runs the only available independent millinery program in New York. There is also Parsons School of Design, but millinery there taught as a part of the design course in very small measure and is available only to the students of Parsons. Long before I travelled to England to be taught by Ms.Corey, I stumbled upon FIT Millinery program and immediately filed to enroll. I was beyond excited about the possibility of studying specifically to become a Milliner. All my excitement, however, disappeared by the end of the first lesson. FIT Millinery program suggested course stretched out to 2 years with lessons once a week, in the evenings on Thursday 6:30p.m to 10:00p.m  Did not make any sense to me. I have calculated that if you combine suggested hours together for, let's say, two semesters, you will barely have 60 hours at best .Not only that, but there was a class of 40 students, no materials, no blocks, no clear direction and a very overwhelmed teacher who announced that we are expected to make something like 20 hats by the end of the first semester. There was also a glass case on the wall with the designs of the hats created by graduates of the program. Sad little creatures behind the glass plunged me into depression. With that, I barely was able to sit until the end of the class, walked out and never came back. It was easier for me to travel all the way to London to study there than to suffer through what FIT for some reason decided to call Millinery Courses.
And so I developed a program that would teach my students advanced Millinery skills over 3 Sessions during the Summer, 3 weeks each at a total of over 100 hours during each Session with many sources of inspiration, craftsmanship as a main priority, adaquate attention to every student and all materials and blocks available. The program is certified and at the end of it each student will have a certificate in Millinery Arts. Don't tell me I have to much ambition because I know that I do.:-) Wish me luck! 


David Toms said...

Anya, from what I read this is much needed in New York and the rest of the world! Your luccky students will have one of the best creative teachers in you! I am sure that this will be ahuge success! Best of luck and sending you all my best wishes!Davidxx

La Petite Gallery said...

I hear ya! What is this country coming to. Save the money go to Paris and find an old famous Milliner an work as an apprentice.
That is hands on learning it may not pay much but what knowledge
you will get. I know you will be real famous someday.. You have the desire. yvonne

Rachel {Inspiration in Italy} said...


I'm so touched by this post, really hits home for me. I can't tell you how much I admire you for this and how much I believe that you are going to change the life of some very special and eager person out there, and most likely many many grateful individuals. You know personally my story front and back, and you know very well how much we can relate to the need for passionate believers in their art, like you. What a blessing this will be, and how courageous and inspiring that your love of the art has driven you to share it and pass it on... Eric and I wish you all of the luck in the world, and you know very well that your "too much" ambition is what makes my wildest dreams seem possible! Congratulations on this beautiful endeavor. ♥


Sandy at Ooh La Frou Frou said...

Oh, darling, how very exciting! I've wanted to do a post with the girls wearing hats and have been meaning to contact you, but my schedule has been insane (as yours is, I'm sure!) But, I am planning on doing so. This millinery class ... what a privilege for those who will be taught by you! Loved hearing about your experiences at FIT. So surprising, no? But, you obviously made all the right decisions to get you where you are today ... wise girl! xoxo

Maja said...

I can understand your frustration about the other schools!
But wow, this sounds amazing! Is it for beginners as well or do you wish the student to have some experience already?

Beach House Living said...

I have thought it kind of sad when one wants to pursue a passion there is a generous amount of the extra's and so little of what ignites the passion.

Congratulations! I think this is wonderful.

Lauren said...

This is so wonderful! If I were dreaming of being a milliner, I would jump at the opportunity to study under you! So many think of millinery as a lost art, but I can tell from this post that you are bound to change that! (-:

The Gossamer Tearoom said...

Dearest Anya,
I am so proud of you for making this step! I know there will be such a lot of work involved, but the work will surely be a joy to you, knowing that you are bringing the knowledge of your art and joy of your craft to other people. Once again, your generosity of spirit is shown at its best and for that, my friend, you will be rewarded with success! I just know it!

Hugs to you,


Little Rus said...

This is so wonderful and exciting! I wish I had a chance to spend 3 weeks in NY with you. I would be amazing to learn how to create magic.
Good luck, darling! I am sure you are going to have so many students, you will have to run your programme 4 times a year. :)

VMcreation-fashion-studio-atelier said...


Izvinite za to,4to pishy ne po anglijski...
4ystva perepolniajut menia,kogda ja predstavliay sebe,4to Vi bydete prepodavat Masterstvo proizvedenia shliap!!!
BOG moj,kakoe eto veliklepnoe 4ystvo: ambizioznost,potomy4to Vashi ambizii vozdadytsa absoliutno spolna,ja v etom ni4yt ne somnevaius!!!

Ja zelaiu Vam ot vsego serdza tolko yspexa:-)))*

Much love and warmest hugs,

lorenabr said...

Congrats:) I wish you a wonderful time and great students!
If I would be in NY for a months I would be right in your class!

Draffin Bears said...

Dear Anya,

Oh how wonderful that you are going to be teaching Millinery and I only wished that I lived in New York.
Wishing you much luck dear friend, I know that your program will be fabulous. How exciting for you and your students.

Have a happy week

MissNeira said...

This is awesome! good for you, and so glad you can do this for other people!

Miss Neira

Angie Muresan said...

Anya, this is marvelous news. I wish I was there to take lessons from you. Best of luck, dearest friend.

Kate said...

Wow that is amazing! I so wish i could attend but New York is a bit far from my London home! If it is a success, please bring it to England!
Good luck!

Dash said...

Hi Anya, I have just popped over from Angie's, as I thought the hat was beautiful and Angie looked divine in it. So glad I did I love your hats and your blog. I wish you the best of luck for your new venture.

Kate said...

p.s, I was wondering if it were possible for me to use a few pictures of your artist's palette hat, your tribute to Steve Jones, in a blog post. Of course it is perfectly reasonable of you to decline but if it were possible I would be incredibly grateful, I would love to showcase your work of art and use it as inspiration.

SabinePsynopsis said...

I think it's a splendid idea, Anya. I've just discovered the courses at Central Saint Martins in London and am LOVING it. IF I was a bit closer I would be very tempted to learn millinery, too.
All the best for your courses! xoxo

Jan said...

Good Luck! (though you won't need it)
Lucky students.

classiq said...

The best of luck, dear Anya! It's amazing what you're doing, I'm sure it will be a success! Ada

Lee Duncan is HatStruck said...

Thank you and congratulations! We really need better instructors here in the States. It is appalling how many non-skilled instructors are teaching millinery here and passing on their horrible disgusting skills. They have no shame. ...and as far as FIT goes, I've seen the work of some of their students and the work of students from some of the other design schools. Horrible! Yes, there are good milliners and good instructors here, but we do need more of them. I am fascinated with the millinery abroad. Wonderful workmanship, in most cases.

Well Anya, I'm extremely passionate about couture millinery, and I'm so happy that such a skilled milliner will be training others here.

Fashion, Art and other fancies said...

Ah, what a delightful idea, dear lady. I really ought to sign up for one of these courses when next in New York. I congratulate you and I'm also very happy that you are so ambitious;-)

It's good to be passionate about whatever you do. XX

carla fox said...

Oh, please keep us posted about your classes! I'd love to take them, but I'm on the other side of the country. Maybe someday.....

Kat said...

hello anya!

i'm wishing you all the luck in the world, that sounds so fantastic!
please let us know everything about it, i'm so very curious about this course!

hawkbrwn said...

oh! this is WONDERFUL news. congratulations. being ambitious is THE BEST way to make something wonderful happen. :) !!

d30d5caa-4233-11e2-8920-000bcdca4d7a said...

I have to chime in here regarding FIT. I would caution against letting one course with one professor color people's opinion on the entire millinery certificate program. I took my first millinery class back in 2011 and admittedly was not impressed. After that, I spent about a year working for a local milliner in NYC; following which I decided to give FIT another chance based on what I had heard about some of the other professors - and I'm so glad I did! It's been a amazing experience. My millinery skills have increased tremendously, from blocking to pattern making (which is significant), and I feel like a more complete milliner as a result. Also, I'm confused by your statement regarding the facilities, which are also an amazing resource. They have an ample block collection, and working millinery equipment including millinery set-up sewing machines, steaming/drying equipment, as well as a slew of other specialized industrial machinery. Congratulations on your endeavor, I hope you the best.

Couture Millinery Atelier. said...

Dear Anonymous,

I simply described my own experience of attending Millinery Course in FIT back in 2008. To say I have been disappointed is to say nothing at all: at the time FIT did not have significant collection of blocks at all. Few of what I saw there were rather vintage looking basic crown blocks. As a matter of fact, on our very first day we were told that we would have to get our own blocks to complete the course. As I recall, we were requested to get the same basic crown blocks, nothing elaborate, no other shapes either. I also think that the key word for me here is "industrial". I dreamt of Couture Atelier type of millinery and very fortunate I have been able to study and work in all together different direction. I use Couture techniques,including in pattern making, working with furs and many other things secrets to which FIT was not able to provide at the time and currently as well. Industrial machinery is excellent when one is producing cookie cutter hats, classic shapes in large volumes, factory based type of production, unfortunately,it has nothing to do with Couture. I do not use the simplest of sewing machines. I am glad to hear that since that FIT improved in so many different directions with regards to Millinery program and you are satisfied with the knowledge you are getting there. I am wishing you much luck and thank you for stopping by. :-)