GALVIN-ized Headwear

Creativity, Copying and Hat Styles | Modern Millinery

Millinery Operations with Kristin Silverman

Happy third Thursday of September! Wow! Where has this year gone? Anyhow, my post this month kind of relates tangentially to time passing so quickly.

A week or so ago, there was a minor brouhaha among milliners on Facebook over the subject of copying. It happens every so often where a milliner’s design is blatantly ripped off. And I can only think “Why?” I have more ideas than time to make them. I don’t even have time to make all the styles I want. Saying you’re a milliner doesn’t even tell much about what you make. Saying you make hats is like saying you make clothes. There are so many types, from felt fedoras to bridal headpieces, from small beaded fascinators to huge sculptural headpieces.

I consider my style as a milliner to be felt or straw hats (fedoras and cloches, with occasional top hats or bowlers) that are vintage-inspired but casual enough for everyday wear. I’ve dabbled in sewn hats, bridal headpieces and fascinators. If I had unlimited time, here’s what I’d “copy.” And by copy I just mean working (or working more) in that category. With so many hat shapes possible — not to mention the options in terms of color palettes, trims, feathers, veiling, etc. — why waste time doing the exact same thing someone has already done?

Sewn cloches:


Bridal headpieces:


Dramatic headpieces:


Dramatically vintage-inspired:


Straw boater:


Gold headpiece:


There are more than enough ideas to go around. Two milliners can make sculptural felt fascinators with visible decorative stitches — and still not copy each other:


The styles are similar. But nobody would say that one designer copied from the other.


Imagine that! (Pun intended.)

Jamie "Mr X Stitch" Chalmers

Hi, I’m Jamie “MrXStitch” Chalmers and since 2008 I’ve been on a mission to change the way the world thinks about needlecraft.

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