Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The "Ruby Hunter" Series, Part 2.

 One of the most interesting hats I created for my 2013 "Sanctum"  Collection was a hat I named "The Thief: Ruby Hunter" - you can see it in more detail right HERE . Some hats just have a way of making it back into your life and this is exactly what happened with "The Thief; Ruby Hunter" Part 2 I am introducing to you today. Unlike the first version, this one had to be put together feather by feather. The fabric dyeing process included four steps and involved mixed layers of colors applied in several steps. The pallet of Pink, Red, Fuchsia and Bordeaux were mixed in different proportions to make sure that the spectacular tail created out of the feathers of the Bird Of Paradise (which, by the way came to me all scattered inside a 100 years old box in every shade of dirty cream and grey you can possibly imagine).
 The process of dyeing feathers  rich ruby color slightly fading towards the end of the Thief's tail took several test trials and one week on top of it to complete. And only than it became all about the story and the best possible techniques to implement in order to tell it. I probably never told you but many years ago, when I just came to the US I had to work several odd jobs. Nothing special, your standard immigrant story: waitressing, cleaning houses and taking care of senior citizens and even an ice-cream girl (my most coveted position at the time since I had an unlimited access to the best ice-cream in the world. :-) ). And so one of the elderly ladies I took care of for several months had a giant parrot called Binky. He was an amazing, beautiful creature, very proud, terribly cranky and extremely hard to please. :-) Binky was red, yellow, cobalt blue and turquoise. Despite having a bit of a temper Binky did have one soft spot.
 Well, three soft spots if you think of it: he loved apples, taking baths and above all his most favorite thing to do was to get into Mrs. K's jewelry box (which contained every single piece of jewelry Mrs. K collected, bought or had given to her as a gift over the span of her entire life) and play with long necklaces. After a while I noticed Binky was more drawn to one particular necklace: it was made out of ruby red German glass beads much like the beads you see on the hat in this post. He would actually dig this ruby necklace out and than try to place it over his head. Often he would refuse to give it back to me or Mrs. K and I can not tell you how often Binky went to sleep in his cage wearing it. And so here you have it - my memory of the beautiful thief who loved Mrs. K's ruby necklace. :-)
 Well, with all the beads and gold bird's feet, not to mention the structure and the bird itself ended up weighing almost 2.5 lb. Every visitor in my Atelier is immediately drawn to "The Thief: Ruby Hunter" series. Since the hat was formally released into Collection, it starred in several editorials including two features in WWD, Vanity Fair Italia and even CNN news.  This is one of the hats (an I have few of them) I will never sell or recreate again. One of a kind. I want to keep them close to my heart just like the memories they embody. :-)

Friday, May 9, 2014

"New-York Blues" Hat Created For The 32nd Annual Frederick Law Olmsted Awards Luncheon. Central Park Conservancy Luncheon.

 Gorgeous signature butterflies have invaded my Atelier since the end of April. They seem to be everywhere. :-) I have been incredibly busy with working on several couture pieces which included butterfly elements and it has been SO much fun!!! Like, for example, this beautiful cerillium blue silk turban with embroidered silk veiling, crystals and gems I named "New-York Blues". It has been created for the Central Park Conservancy Luncheon which took place Wednesday, May 7th in NYC Central Park. Wonderful fundraising event and one of the most beautiful Hat events in NYC and in the US. I would say it definitely tops Kentucky Derby in terms of gorgeous head wear that is consistently presented year after year.
 The hats worn to this event is really a sight to behold. Year after year I marvel at the hats worn by the ladies to the Luncheon: beautifully made, creative, fabulous designs, everything a truly beautiful hat must be - it is magnificent. You can see the examples of hats worn this year right HERE. But, of course, images are rarely do justice, one has to see it in person to really appreciate the beauty of the setting, people in attendance and hats!
 Beautiful, young NYC stylist Tricia Warren was a lucky girl who wore "New-York Blues" to the event. And while we are waiting for more images (which I will, of course, share with you) here are couple of those that we have on hands now. Tricia wrote to me after the event telling how much she enjoyed it and how much compliments and attention she received on "New-York Blues" both from reporters and attendees.
 Wishing everyone wonderful Spring weekend ahead. Such a serene time to create more beautiful designs!

Friday, May 2, 2014

Kentucky Oaks 2014 Survivors Parade : The "Andrea" Hat And The Story Of Andrea.

Kentucky Oaks and Derby is, finally, here. It has been a long and intense  production period in the Atelier working overtime once an again to fulfill beautiful orders from our clients and ship it to all destinations just in time for  the Kentucky Derby. Today, I would like to share a very special story of a beautiful girl Andrea who was chosen to participate in Kentucky Oaks 2014 Survivors Parade and for whom I created a very special couture hat I named "Andrea". The story behind the order is also quite remarkable. Several weeks ago I received a very sweet e-mail from a girl named Anne. She wrote about her best friend Andrea who has been battling breast cancer for many years. She was first diagnosed in her early 30th but 9 years later the cancer came back and now Andrea is battling stage IV.
As soon as the news were received that Andrea was chosen to be a participant of Survivors Parade on Oaks Day, Anne opened a very secret Facebook page where Andrea's friends and family were able to pitch in to raise money for Andrea's hat. Little did we all know that the "Andrea" hat will not only bring people together in an effort to help Andrea to go to Kentucky Derby in style, but along the way will make TV news and create treasured friendships. Hand painted Italian silk I chose for the "Andrea" hat is full of Light and full of Life. The minute a saw it I knew that this is exactly what "Andrea" hat should look like.
As a matter of fact, from the very first time I met Andrea I was blown away by her beauty and her remarkable personality. She has the most gorgeous, infectious smile you can imagine and I don't remember the last time I met a person so full of positive energy like Andrea. I am at owe, because to me it is an ultimate strength of character and a beautiful example of how one should truly live a life enjoying every single experience as the greatest gift. And so it did not come as a surprise to me that Andrea was surrounded by the most wonderful, carrying, loving, extraordinary group of people. Light always attracts Light. As I was putting my signature blue jeweled butterflies on Andrea's hat, I felt that this hat is Life itself: filled with color and gentle sparkle. It was a privilege to work on creating the "Andrea" hat.
And so, as Andrea prepares to step out in her beautiful hat today, I would like to say: My hat is off to you Andrea. You took me on a beautiful journey the memory of which I will cherish for the rest of my life. I know in my heart that you will emerge from your battle victoriously. I love your beautiful heart. You are an amazing source of inspiration and I hope you know that you have a new friend and a new admirer, right here in Babylon.
On the day when Andrea came to pick up her hat Channel News 12 Long Island came along the way. Hundreds of thousands,the entire army of people stood by watching Andrea trying on her beautiful hat for the first time with her face glowing and happy.
And here she is, in my Atelier, looking absolutely stunning and oh, so exited and in love with the "Andrea" hat! :-)
All proceeds from the "Andrea" hat will go to "pay forward" program which will fund hats for those cancer patients who can not afford beautiful hats. Because, remember, Light attracts Light !