Etsy OvertheTopHats Cocktail Hat

Glitz and Glamour | Modern Millinery

Millinery Operations with Kristin Silverman

My Etsy team’s latest challenge theme was “Glitz and Glamour”. My team, the Milliners of Etsy, is a global team that currently numbers 467. Often people mutter something about millinery being a dying art. Not so. We began just a few years ago with a membership of 26. The art’s not dying, and the artists come from everywhere, which you can really see in the entries for the challenge. Winners will be chosen by the membership, and will win a hearty slap on the back and a big atta-boy.

I found it really interesting to see how people interpreted “Glitz and Glamour”. It would see they came in three basic categories: the sophisticated, the historical and the hysterical.

The Sophisticated

Etsy LittleHatParlour Black Velvet Headpiece with Diamonte Trim

This little headpiece was created by LittleHatParlour from Edinburgh, Scotland. It is a black velvet covered teardrop, with a simple diamonte trim, feather pouf and merry widow veiling.

Etsy talulahblue Gold feather and brooch cocktail hat

Talulahblue, from Tetbury, UK made this gold cocktail hat with a champagne birdcage veil.
She decorated a 4″ or 10cm gold fascinator base with a plume of marabou and coque feathers, a vintage brooch and gold diamantes.

Etsy OvertheTopHats Cocktail Hat


Representing the United States in this category is OvertheTopHats from just outside Nashville TN. This glamorous cocktail hat is made on a base of buckram. Silk hand dyed this rich merlot, lays down a foundation for this beautiful layer of hand beaded vintage lace. Hand dyed and tooled Cosmos Flowers with pink netting and pink coque feathers complete the look. Lined in matching Merlot silk, an elastic band that hides in the hair holds this hat firmly in place.

Etsy RanaHats Plum purple fascinator fur felt cocktail hat

 This small button fascinator was created by RanaHats, from Israel. This plum purple colored fur felt cocktail hat is handmade using classic techniques employed by artisans in the time of Greta Garbo. The felt is hand blocked, wired and sewn carefully to obtain hidden stitches . Decorated with dotted tulle and a bow with delicate beads.

The Historical

Etsy Crystalsidyll Flapper Headband


Evocative of the 1920s, this flapper-style headband was created by CrystalsIdyll from Monroe, Washington. The central piece is a handbeaded, Victorian era medallion with dangling strands of jet or glass beads. Small intricate beading is accented by several large beads at the very center. The delicate beadwork is backed with sturdy buckram and lined with interfacing and velvet ribbon. The feathers are also antique, small curling black plumes attached inside the beaded piece. The sides are beading from a newer, but still vintage shirt sewn over organza ribbon.

Etsy RedHotandBlue Peacock and Pheasant Feather Aigrette Fascinator


RedHotandBlue from Rugby, UK created this peacock and pheasant feather aigrette fascinator.  This fascinator has a felt-backed buckram base covered in peacock body feathers, with peacock eye feathers and hand curled pheasant tail feathers and a diamante trim. It’s an Edwardian style ‘aigrette’, part of a costume designed for Sybil Birling from ‘An Inspector Calls’ by JB Priestley. Every feather was sewn on, using techniques of that period. No glue.

Etsy HorsefeatherHats Black Felt Hat with Bead-work Detail: Regal.

HorsefeatherHats from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania created subtle waves with freeform blocking on the sides of this hat, sweeping up into the focal point of  vintage beads. The upper most beaded portion was taken whole from a vintage garment and attached, then the lower bit was hand beaded with vintage beads.

And then there’s the….


I know I can always count on these two milliners, two of my very important team leaders, to create hats that push borders.

Etsy Boring Sidney St Patrick's Day Hat - Robin Hood Sequin Hat


Boring Sidney from Bothell, Washington taken a wool Robin Hood cap and painstakingly hand sequined it in green. In her words making it “super cute for any Spring party, the horse races, Kentucky Derby, or just rock it anywhere you want!”

Etsy ChefBizzaro Rainbow Sequin Cocktail Hat

The incomparable ChefBizzaro from Michigan City, Indiana used this fun rainbow sequin fabric to cover a hand blocked a buckram frame to create this sparkly piece. It is finished with a handmade black silk rose and peacock fringe.

By this time tomorrow we’ll have our winners announced. I will pop back and to keep you updated!

Emily Moe is a milliner who, since 2007, has slowly been taking over the world of Millinery and captains the Milliners of Etsy, a collective of artistan hat-makers from around the world. She lives with her husband in Minnesota and gets up to all kinds of creative mischief.

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