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New Hat Inspirations
Over the years I have collaborated with many clients to create new hats using a client's vintage find that needs new life or a piece of beaded clothing or jewelry much loved but no longer fashionable or worn. These requests and collaborations have been a welcome creative process for me and I wanted to share a few stories of the work and process.  

​For instance, this Aubergine Toque - the inspiration - a gold and amethyst fashion brooch with its chain tassel.
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New Hats From Old Hats
Transforming this vintage pillbox into a larger hat was a unique challenge. The hat was purchased on Ebay but was determined to be too small and dated once my client had received it. She loved the dramatic ornate trim but asked if I could possibly transform it into a larger more elegant hat. 

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The hat was a bit fragile and wilting due in part to age and the surprising heavy metal studs, gold metallic passementerie braid and glass rhinestones. The original designer Mr. John, was a well know milliner in the 50's and 60's. In the process of working with the hat I have determined the elaborately embellished fabric was likely part of a dress or jacket brought to Mr. John by a client to commission a hat to match an outfit.

I carefully re-blocked the fabric over a new crown block and then married the crown shape to a Dior era brim style in black velour felt. To complete the seam or transition between the crown and brim I used a vintage black and gold metallic braid that had been whispering to me from my trim cabinet for the last 30 years. A stylish and sophisticated hat! My client was delighted and I trust Mr. John would approve as well.

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New Hat From Old Clothes
My client brought me two 18-inch fabric panels which were originally from the sleeves of a jacket. These would certainly make a wonderful trim for a hat but the beaded and embroidered trim applique was sewn directly into the fabric and could not be easily removed and applied to a new hat.

I stabilized the fabric pieces with a glue solution and deftly cut around the beaded and embroidered detail, then arranged and stitched the trim to the inside and outside of the brim. This hat style is quite versatile - the hat can be worn with the upturned brim as the front of the hat or reversed with the brim upturned in back.  
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40_1_Wayne-Wichern-Cover Ornament Magazine

​Celebrating four decades showcasing the art and craft of personal adornment.

I am honored to be featured in this recent issue. 

Article - A Hat For All Seasons - Wayne Wichern   OrnamentMagazine.org

Learn to make hats!

The 2018 Workshop Calendar is now posted on my website.

Millinery Workshop Schedule

Learn the fine art of millinery and hat making. Beginning and advanced workshops provide ideal opportunities to explore the world of millinery. Using traditional wood hat blocks, millinery felts and straw materials you will learn to block and shape unique hats and create trims and embellishments to comptete your wonderful hats. 

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I will be working in my Burlingame, CA Studio February 1-9. 
Please call or email for an appointment.

650 369 4336 - wayne@waynewichernmillinery.com

Happy New Year!


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Wayne Wichern Millinery
Peninsula Museum of Art / Museum Studios
1777 California Drive, Studio 7
Burlingame, California 94010

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