Thursday, September 10, 2015

The "Manolo" Hat, Created For 2015 Couture Council Of FIT Artistry Of Fashion Award Presented to Manolo Blahnik.

Yesterday, on the very first day of New York Fashion Week, FIT Couture Council held a Luncheon in honor of Manolo Blahnik. Mr. Blahnik was selected to receive the 2015 Couture Council Award for Artistry of Fashion as a result of his longstanding dedication to superior craftsmanship and innovative design.  An art form he dedicated more than 40 years of his life. Amazing, well deserved achievement. I don't know a single girl, including myself, who doesn't dream about getting a pair of perfect Manolos :-) And so when the phone rang in late June with a very special order for the Luncheon, I was thrilled to be able to attempt to express my own admiration for the beloved shoe Master. The lady who ordered the "Manolo" hat is one of my long time amazing clients and a member of the board of FIT Couture Council - Rosemary Ponzo. It is always a tremendous pleasure to design one of a kind pieces, but even more so when you are completely trusted with the design and given freedom to create the hat without any restrictions.
 The "Manolo" hat became a project of love. The word "enjoy" doesn't really cover or describe the way I felt while in production. When creating any hat in my Atelier I always follow the belief that Fashion must never be literal. The idea of getting a ready made Manolo shoe and simply placing it on the hat was never considered - from the very first sketch it was never an option for me. Instead I chose to draw my inspiration not only from Manolo shoes but rather from the colorful drawings of the shoes created by Mr. Blahnik. The construction of the shoe was a bit of a challenge, considering the fact that it was nearly impossible to get a block for the heel of the shoe in trademark Manolo shape. The most beautiful fabrics were sourced out for this very special hat starting from very rare silk velvet in red, rare vintage German glass beads for embroidery, dying extraordinary feathers in just the right shade of scarlet and silk rose petals for the top of the heel. On the images you see the shoe in production. It was extremely important to me for the shoe to be anatomically correct while remaining a fantasy.
 Sometime in the beginning of June I received a beautiful gift from Switzerland sent to me by the Master flower artist - Elena Bain: a rose of superb quality and beauty. I remember the moment I opened the package...Sometimes magic comes in small packages and I knew there and than that this rose will grace a very special hat. I did not know which one at the time, but once the work on "Manolo" hat began there was never a question where to place the rose. A perfect size - not to hide the shape of the heel and make sure that the hat is photographed beautifully from every angle. And so, I was told, Manolo Blahnik noticed it. I am waiting to receive a very special photograph of Rosemary wearing the "Manolo" hat next to Mr.Blahnik himself. Moreover, Rosemary was approached by the press team for Manolo Blahnik with a very special invitation to be photographed in "Manolo" hat in Saks Fifth Avenue. I will make sure to post images as soon as I have them available.
 I breath and live hats. I love every hat I touch but there are some hats, like "Manolo" hat, that make you feel that this is exactly the reason why you chose to do what you do. I am, undeniably, the luckiest girl on Earth! :-)


VM Creation Atelier said...

HOW excited,how beyond touched me your story about making " Manolo" very special creation If you,dear Anya!
Inspire me every time your extraordinary experiences behind of creatief process and your always very personal feelings and an investigation into the dieptes of the item itself.....
Really amazed loodjes forward to your New post about your stunning "Manolo" creation!:)))
Much love,

Cindy de la Rosa said...

Not only am I in love with this hat, but was SO PRIVILEGED to witness Anya in almost all the steps of its creation!!!! I saw with my own eyes the "occupational hazards" of couture millinery like bleeding fingers. Those invisible stitches to put the hat together did happen without a cost. Anya trained me to aim for perfection or excellence even in the execution of a single stitch. Thank you so much, Anya, for what you taught me.. Not just technique or design.. But excellence. I do have a long way to go, I know, but you laid the foundation, and that's what makes you great and an authentic Master Milliner. Miss you!!!

Anya Caliendo said...

Cindy, thank you so very much for this beautiful comment! "Manolo" is the hats I was absolutely thrilled to work on and the final result exceeded all expectations. :-) I miss you so very much and think of you often! Sending much love your way!

Anya Caliendo said...

Violetta,thank you so very much! :-) :-) :-)