Last week I went to visit Ellen Christine’s gorgeous showroom downtown in the 100 degree New York summer heat wave and played mad hatter with a few of her newest hats! I had so much fun with the hats that I had to take a few home with me! Ellen Christine has been a milliner for decades, first getting her start in costume design. She’s done work throughout the industry, most recently with Phillip Lim, Joe Fresh and Jill Stuart. Hats may be something that your grandmother wore, but they can definitely be a great way to spice up any outfit! And not to mention, look like a proper lady. Kate Middleton seems to wear them all the time and it definitely works for her.
Ellen and I had a great conversation, here’s a bit of what we talked about.
How did you get started?
I always did costume if not theatrical, then rock and roll, and then at one point was on the road with the producer and they decided they wanted a gladiator hat…so I had to make it. And that’s what started the non-sensical hat making. I started making hats for friends and designers in the early 1980s and it’s always been vintage-historic leaning towards the crazy people from other eras.
What specific eras inspire you?
Post World War I and Edwardian era. When women were first starting to be free.
On artwork inspiring her...
Old world drooping ostrich feathers, I love Duchamp and the Impressionists. (Artwork) gives me pause. Calder movement, light and shape on canvas, and the different feelings that it gives. I’m the mind of a child of the 1960s and it’s all about flow.
What’s your favorite hat you’ve ever made?
I don’t think it’s ever happened yet it’s like a bad boyfriend that keeps cheating on you…it’s an ongoing process of being in love.
I just love Ellen’s whimsical hats, they push the envelope and can really add something to your outfit. As I said, I left with two hats and one purple one (in the last photo below) from her exclusive Spring 2014 Collection. I can’t wait to wear them. If you love her couture hats, good news. Ellen Christine is giving blog readers a discount! Just call the showroom (212-242-2457), make an appointment or talk by phone and get a hat at a 10% discount!
I WAS WEARING…
Hats/Hat Box by Ellen Christine (call showroom at 212-242-2457 and mention the blog for a 10% discount on exclusives)
Vintage White Blouse
Vintage Christian Louboutin Magenta Booties