Friday, January 29, 2010

A No Camera Post

Over the christmas period during our travelling trip my trusty and favourite camera decided to go on a holiday of it's own and retire it would seem. As I have not been able to make the time to get it to the repair man I have have realised how lost I am without it especially when it comes to 'blogland'!

So as it seems the days are disappearing and what was once a joyful opportunity to occasionally share with you all here what I am up to has now become a little more like ' I really must get my act together' OMG has it been that long! Kinda feeling, not a good one as you might relate as fellow bloggers.

So when I accidently came across two of these very old and missplaced photos in recent days I decided my scanner will have to do for now to share something I have been meaning to do anyway. Some of my original work as a Milliner in the mid 1990's for my own label.


Whilst these two particular photo's are just random they do represent some interesting points to mention. The straw hat is not just a decorated hat from a pre-made hat, but rather as a milliner we start with a raw woven straw on this occaison not unlike a woollen beanie in shape and them have to stretch, steam and mould them over some wooden hat blocks with lots of pins and toxic fumes. Then cut, shape, stitch and connect the brim to the crown as they are shaped separtely in most cases and wired back together in a hidden fashion to strengthen and support the design. Often taking up to 6hrs for a hat like this from start to finish.

My point of design was always based around ensembles so I would always have a piece of clothing I had made from the same fabric to sell as a set. Having also done the 'Creative Clothing and Textile Design Certificate' after my Millinery training to complement my Millinery qualifications. This allowed me to also design, draft the pattern and sew the finished garment. Making the entire ensemble totally original and all hand made by me. In reflection how I found to time to do this as a single, fulltime working mum now scares me. But fond memories all the same and I have literally hundereds of these photos all in albums waiting for me to do something with them.



The second photo actually represents a step further when I was working with a very dear friend of mine who hand made silk fabrics and garments. We would often tean up for fashion events and I would have full artistic liscence to creat anything to go with Marlene's stunning whimsical designs. She so spoilt me in that way as well as all the scraps i would get to keep.Most of the hats I created whilst working with Marlene won many awards in the 'original design' catagories of competitions I would entre that were avaiable to me at the time.

These hats were always made from absolute scratch meaning they were 'Hand Tailored' and started out as flat pieces of mesh like fabrics and would be designed in a similar way to a good hand tailored suit would be - with lots of designing, pattern making, trial and testing before going into production. The wrapping and stretching of the fabric over the final shape is always the hardest part of this process and again from start to finish a good hand tailored hat with a brim would take a minimum 12 hrs to complete. However once completed was always a highlight of my career at the time as they became masterpieces that you really did know where entirely of my own doing. To be able to work with hand made original died silks just made then even more precious thanks to Marlene and fetched some handsome prices!

I often think about going back into this process as a fulltime occupation again and maybe some day will. Who knows what the future holds with us that desire the creative outlet what tomorrow brings!

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2 comments:

Ro Bruhn said...

These are fabulous Brenda and still well in fashion. The fabrics look wonderful.

Louise said...

Ahemmmm! this blog needs updating!!! LOL Hello Brenda, it is Louise here, lovely meeting and chatting with you 2nite!!

Louise :)

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