Fascinated With Beth’s Fascinator!

Photo shot on location at MONDO Summit

Photo shot on location at MONDO Summit

Photo shot on location at MONDO Summit

Milliner Beth Alden has a signature: rain hats handmade from 100% recycled rain coats and gear. But when her friend Patty asked if she could design a custom fascinator for an upcoming Irish wedding, Beth was game to try. Because this artist and designer, who grew up playing dress up, has always been inspired by hats. In fact, Beth shared with me that she started her love affair with hats when she and her mother would choose the hat department in any store – first – and begin the dress up in earnest.

In the United Kingdom it is considered poor manners not to wear a fascinator to a wedding. Patty’s dress was peach; with this information, Beth designed two hats for her by making use of her antique fabric remnants – and this feathered fascinator was the winner. “I love to make one-of-a-kind hats,” says Beth. “I never pre-plan a custom hat design; I work with whatever comes to me. And I am committed to using existing materials and try to design as zero-waste as I can.” I would say this fascinator is jolly-perfect!

Beth Alden graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design. Today, she and her creative business partner and photographer, Joe, live in Saugerties, New York, where her business and studio is located, and where the dressing up continues.

Patty, wearing her fascinator at the wedding in Ireland – courtesy of Patty

 

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‘Tis the Season for Hats

One of Ms. Colon-Lugo’s creations
Credit Dina Litovsky for The New York Times

Tomorrow marks the 143rd running of The Kentucky Derby – a day for horses and hats! Extravagant hats. That is why the recent New York Times feature about milliner Ellen Christine Colon-Lugo, is inspiring. This is Ms. Colon-Lugo’s, owner of Ellen Christine Millinery in West SoHo, New York, busiest season. And she herself has already spent hours preparing hats for women who will wear them at tomorrow’s Derby. Not to mention that May 15 marks Straw Hat Day, when people used to trade in their winter felt hats for spring hats.

Ms. Colon-Lugo has quite a story: she studied costume design at the School of Fashion Design in Boston and later at New York University. Her hats have adorned the covers of Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, and W Magazine, and she is president of the Milliners Guild in New York. Says Colon-Lugo, “The idea of balance is very important in a hat. I don’t do yoga, I do hats. Hats reveal our inner characters, and we have many of them.

Which of her hats will be watching the Kentucky Derby tomorrow?

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