One of the greatest privileges of being able to teach millinery is the fact that you open doors of you Atelier to extraordinary gifted people who come into your world and make it that much more beautiful. People so passionate about millinery and so dedicated to learning the secrets of the trade, they don't think twice of jumping on the plane and coming to the US to take Advanced Millinery Course with me. This was exactly the case with Ayuko who came to study with me all the way from Tokyo, Japan. Here you see the very first hat Ayuko created in my class (top picture), she named it "Black And White". The process of design of this hat immediately set Ayuko apart from the majority of the class - she made it very obvious that she gravitates towards structure and form in design.
I have this theory that somehow we carry our approach to design based on our DNA and place of birth. I feel it in my own work and I could, certainly, feel it in Ayuko's designs: her designs have a strong flare of her home country - Japan. I could see it in the way she handled the material folding it almost origami style ("Black And White" Hat) , the way she would position pearl sprays and feathers and, of course, I could see it in the choices of colors .What impressed me the most is Ayuko's ability to design a composition which would consist of gazillion little colorful parts. This approach demands a lot of patience, especially if the design includes work with "preserved flowers" - extraordinary technique from Japan, excruciatingly tedious, something I am well familiar with therefore can easily appreciate the effort and the final beauty of the design.This beautiful hat Ayuko decided to name "Butterfly", also includes preserved flowers.
The "Queen" hat designed by Ayuko is also created out of preserved flowers. This hat Ayuko created to express the strength and beauty of a woman. Remarkable that every single flower on this head piece is a natural flower not made of silk or any other fabric and, yet, because of the precious technique of flower preservation this hat will live a life time. One of my most favorite hats by Ayuko.
Here is a "Flower Crown" by Ayuko - also made out of preserved flowers, the amount of work on this piece is staggering given the small tiny flowers Ayuko chose to incorporate in her design. Ayuko told me that she often draws inspiration from nature itself and with this piece she wanted to express the feeling of blooming happiness. I think she has done an amazing job!
Also, one of my favorites by Ayuko is this beautiful piece she named "Rabbit" with "love me hug me" text on it. So playful and so rich in color and detail, made me smile!!! :-)))))
"Sweet Wedding" hat was created by Ayuko all by hand and included work with preserved flowers, pearls and ribbons. Very editorial version and I absolutely love it!!!
Since studding with me in my Atelier Ayuko Hishikawa established her own brand she named "Ms.Merry" based in Tokyo, Japan. She now creates extraordinary hats for many occasions and works on teaming up with one of the garment designers in Japan to start on a special line of clothes and hats. You can find Ayuko right HERE and if you are not fluent in Japanese, you can visit Ayuko's Facebook Page . I can not express how happy and proud I feel looking at beautiful hats by Ayuko, but again good things come to good people and beautiful hats are created by those whose hearts are filled with beauty, patience and love for the chosen art. :-)
All images are courtesy of Ayuko Hishikawa.