When I was a little girl, my mother read many books to me. My favorite, “Toodles and Her Friends”, had a cat that went through obstacles, but would always persevere and come out on top. She would always say “Perseverance Pays”. That has always stuck with me.
In designing hats, I am always the most proud of the hats that were the most difficult to design. I will generally design whatever the client requests, even though at the beginning of the project, I have no idea how to “work” the hat.
The hat pictured above was designed by me for a client who attending Royal Ascot. We had an idea of what we wanted, but getting the final design and feather color was difficult. She was located on the West Coast, so we never met in person. We would email ideas and photos back and forth. Both she and I ended up being very pleased with the hat. It was one of those that I hated to let leave the studio.
The double brimmed hat pictured was done for a client in Chicago. It was a project that I had never attempted, a fabric covered double brim. We had a difficult time matching up the fabric and getting the right fabric weight. At times, I didn’t know if the project would work, but I perservered on and it did. In part, I knew it had to work because my client is really great and I couldn’t let her down.
What usually happens is that I fall madly in love with the hats that are the most challenging for me to finish. The hat pictured was done for the Kentucky Derby. We knew we wanted to incorporate peacock feathers, but how? They are notorious to work with since they are flat. I worked day and night on this hat, until it finally came together. The client loved it and said it received rave reviews from everyone she met at the Derby.
What made these difficult hats work was not only effort, but working with great clients. The three mentioned in this article were patient and a had vision of what they wanted. I am lucky to work with such wonderful ladies.
By: Polly Singer