October 20, 2012

HAT ME UP® is up!

Filed under: daily life,Hat Me Up®,Millinery trivia and events — Cristina de Prada @ 9:31 pm

When I thinking about brand names for a line of hats, HAT ME UP® was at the top of the list. I loved it but was not sure if it was “right” because English is not my mother tongue, so I asked my American friend  Montez, and she loved it too. After that I could not believe it when I checked and there were no hits on Google, and the domain was not taken. I immediately (after jumping up and down with joy) took the domain and initiated the trade mark registering process.

After all that, the next step was to create an brand identity, and I decided to go for a retro look, both in the choice of letter style and the colours. One piece of advice though, if you decide to create a logo design, better forget about putting an edge around it, it has only given me headaches in the making of the labels and printing of cards (where, finally, I decided to eliminate the edge).


While I’m talking about design I want to thank Joan Solé and his company Totem Taller Creatiu for all the help polishing up the brand identity and also in creating this add for the Tattoo Expo of Barcelona, where I had a booth presenting my new creations.


One of the star products of the Hat Me Up® range is the GARBO vintage silk turban. It’s a tie-turban, and it’s called like that because it’s tied up at the back. The top padded knot is what gives it its “turban” appearance , and the back ends pop out nicely, but can also be tucked under if you don’t like that bow look on the back.


The beauty of these turbans and what makes them so special is the luxurious and gorgeous vintage kimono silk they’re made of. I’m in love with kimono silk bolts, and will search high and low to find the best and most beautiful fabrics.


The other product designed specially for Hat Me Up®, and that has had a lot of success is the Valentina pin up, 40’s bow. A lot of thought has gone into these bows to give them that fluffy retro look without any need for interfacing or wiring. They are cut on the bias and made of a luscious polkadot fabric in a variety of color combinations. I suggest you take a look at Hat Me Up’s Facebook page to see gorgeous pictures of customers wearing them!


Funny that shortly after designing these bows I found this picture in American Vogue from July 1942:


The third item designed for the Hat Me Up® range is the Vera tulle visor headband that I love particularly because of its versatility, it’s easy to wear and it can be worn more discretely with the tulle flat, or more flirty with the tulle ruffled up:


Here I am wearing a Vera tulle visor headband and a wonderful jacket made by the amazing couturier Paco Peralta, I recommend you follow his blog to learn couture techniques, and if you dabble into sewing, you should treat yourself to one of his hand drafted patterns, available at his Etsy shop. And I’m not saying that because he’s my friend, I’m saying it because he is absolutely amazing.


So here you have it, some blatant self promotion, because after all, who is more qualified to talk about me and my work than myself 😉

Keep an eye on Hat Me Up® and treat yourself to something nice, because wearing a hat could literally change your life. And yes, for the better.

14 april 2013: I’ve removed links to the Etsy shop that is currently not stocked!

November 11, 2011

A hatty evening!

Filed under: daily life,Millinery trivia and events,Nit amb barret - Hatty Evenings — Cristina de Prada @ 12:12 am

November 25th is Saint Catherine’s day, patron saint of milliners. Come and celebrate with us! This is an evening to dress nicely and wear a hat. Everyone is invited. You can join us from 8.30 at El Paraigua, eat something, drink a pint, glass of wine or a cocktail with us. There’s no entry fee, you pay for what you eat/drink, and if you wait until 11.30 you will enjoy live music.

El 25 de noviembre es Santa Catalina, patrona de las sombrereras ¡Ven a celebrarlo! Este es un encuentro nocturno para venir guapos y con sombrero. Todo el mundo está invitado. Podéis venir a partir de las 8.30 a la coctelería El Paraigua y comer algo, tomar una cerveza, un vino o un cocktail con nosotras. No hay que pagar entrada, cada cual paga lo que consume y si os esperáis hasta las 11.30 podréis escuchar música en vivo.

El 25 de novembre es Santa Caterina, patrona de les capelleres. Vine a celebrar-ho! Serà una trobada nocturna per venir guapos i amb barret. Tothom està convidat. Podeu venir a partir de les 8.30 a la cocteleria El Paraigua i menjar algo, prendre una cervesa, un ví o un cocktail amb nosaltres. No cal pagar entrada, cadescú paga el que consumeixi, i si us espereu fins a les 11.30 podreu escoltar música en viu.

June 23, 2011

Going to the final of the Hat Designer of the Year 2011 competition: sketches

My friend Montez (Susan Murphy) who writes the wonderful blog Chapeau du Jour sent me an email on March 12 telling me about the Hat Magazine competition themed “La Dolce Vita” to be judged by milliner Elvis Pompilio and encouraging me to participate (I have every issue of the Hat Magazine, but I had completely missed the article about the competition!).

In order to participate on the competition I had to draw 6 designs of hats and send them off to the Hat Magazine by the end of March, so I only had two weeks to work on them, but I embraced the project and managed to finish them in time.

My life would have been much easier if I had first made the hats and then sketched them, but there was no time so I draw the hats out of my imagination (which proved to be quite a challenge later on).

Here is the announcement at The Hat Magazine of the 12 milliners who moved on to Round 2:HatDesignerCompetitionAnouncement

I was lucky to be one of the 12 milliners that made it to the Round 2, and I was instructed to make 3 specific hats out of the 6 sketches. Everything moved really fast after that because of the many things going on in my life at that time (co-organizing Barcelona’s Hat Parade -Passejada amb Barret-, giving hat making lessons, a trip abroad) and I had to work really hard again to meet the deadline for the finished hats, but it sure was fun!

The second round was judged this past June 21st by Elvis Pompilio and Sylvie Pourrat and her team (from Premiere Classe). They selected 9 milliners who will be showing hats for the final judging on September 4 (one of my hats will be there!).

These are two of the the three sketches that were selected for me to turn into actual hats (the hat that will be exhibited in Paris will remain a secret for now!!):


These are the other three sketches (I am better at making hats than at sketches, I promise you).


This is all for now. Pictures and insight into the making of two of the hats soon!!

January 26, 2011

Versatile buttonhole shawl

Filed under: daily life,Sewing projects — Cristina de Prada @ 11:04 am

Hi there everyone,

Although this is not hat related I thought you might enjoy it. I made a beautiful (if I may say so myself) shawl as a christmas gift for my sister in law, and I posted a tutorial on the Burda Style website. Today it has hit 1000 views and because of that I’ve decided it deserves to be on my blog!

Kimono versatile cape

It is made using gorgeous kimono silk, and I suspect it looks particularly nice because my sister in law Helena is a pretty good model!


June 18, 2010

Pictures of the Paris Vintage shop opening cocktail

Filed under: daily life,Millinery trivia and events — Cristina de Prada @ 11:31 pm

It was a wonderful event, here are some pictures for you to enjoy (click on the image to see more):

June 15, 2010


Filed under: daily life,Millinery trivia and events,Uncategorized — Cristina de Prada @ 12:56 pm

You are invited, next Thursday June 17th 2010, to come to the cocktail that will take place at the shop PARIS VINTAGE in Barcelona to inaugurate their new venue. There you will be able to see and purchase wonderful vintage haute-couture garments. For this day only you will also be able to view and purchase garments by the couturier Paco Peralta and hats and fascinators by Cristina de Prada (myself).

Cocktail: 19 h. C/Rosselló 237, entlo. 1ª (Esq. Rambla de Catalunya)

Estáis invitados, el próximo jueves 17 de junio de 2010, a venir al cocktail que se celebrará en la tienda PARIS VINTAGE de Barcelona, con motivo de la inauguración del nuevo local. Allí podréis ver y comprar maravillosos vestidos de alta costura vintage. Únicamente durante este día también podréis ver y comprar prendas del modisto Paco Peralta, y sombreros y tocados de Cristina de Prada (la que os escribe).

April 23, 2010

Sant Jordi – a Rose and a Book (well two actually)

Filed under: daily life,Hat book and magazine reviews — Cristina de Prada @ 7:07 pm

Sant Jordi is the patron saint of Catalonia, the region where we live.  On the 23rd of april there is a tradition for the man to buy a rose for the woman and for the woman to buy a book for the man, that’s why it’s also know as Book day or Rose day.

Today, Barcelona has a flower stall on every corner selling roses, and many shops have book stalls on the street. In the spirit of the day I have put on a little rose fascinator and have been to Gratacós (the fabric and accessories shop)  where the author of the book “Barcelona alta costura”,  Josep Casamartina, was signing.

Here you can see me with my new book (on the right), “Barcelona alta costura” (sold internationally as “Barcelona haute couture”). It is a gorgeous book showing both haute couture dresses and hats from the Antoni de Montpalau Textile Collection. This hardcover book is packed full of wonderful full page color pictures, and very little text  (three introductory articles, the cataloguing and biographies). Both versions (the one in Catalan with a green dress cover, and the Spanish with a pink dress cover)  have full English text, which is wonderful. Some of the couturiers shown are well known (Balenciaga, Pedro Rodriguez, Pertegaz, Lanvin), while others not so much, but throughout the book the constant is incredible quality, design and workmanship. These were the dresses worn by the Barcelona elite and it shows they had excellent taste.

Here is the dedication from the Author, Josep Casamartina i Parassols (I love his curly hand):

The other book in my hand is my Mom’s book, “Joaquín y Loli. Un encuentro de cine”. Those who have been following me for a while know about this wonderful book, written by my mother as an homage to my father, and they also know that my mother was sued because of it by the surviving brothers of my dad. The book is wonderful, and I want to repeat this to my mother, I LOVE YOU MOM, and I think your book is beautiful, innocent, romantic and fun.

This is the dedication that my mother wrote to me in my copy of her book, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did:

Translation: "What to say! it's the most precious thing in the world, it's our daughter Cristina, sweet, intelligent, pretty, loving ¡How much we love you dad and I! and how much you love us. We give you little starts, but hey, don't give them to anyone. My whole life is yours. Loli de Prada, 25 April 2007

A mother’s love, what can I say!!

SPANISH TEXT follows… for my Mom, and her friends, and my friends, so they can read it without using a silly online translator (just this once).

Haz click en “More..” para leerlo en castellano…


April 16, 2010

Trying on hats, that’s a party!

Filed under: daily life,Millinery trivia and events,Passejada 2010,Passejada amb Barret — Cristina de Prada @ 3:38 pm

Last Sunday, April 11 2010, we celebrated the VI Passejada amb barret (Hat stroll) in Barcelona, and that was an excuse for a couple of friends to stop by, try on some hats and decide which one they wanted to wear for the event (about which I will blog shortly).

Above you can see the lovely Helena (a wonderful storyteller, checkout the blog that she writes along with my brother José Manuel: http://escuchandoconlosojos.blogspot.com/), she’s in front of the harpsichord which is serving temporarily as an exhibition area for my hats (I knew it would come in handy one day… naaah!! just kidding!!! Sorry Peter!!).

My friend Eulalia also visited me to try on hats and they both had a great time, and had to try every single hat (some of them more than once!).

It was a pleasure for me to see others taking pleasure in my hats. Thank you Helena! Thank you Eulalia!

April 2, 2010

Traveling in style with my Samsonite Streamlite hatbox travel case and Loewe umbrella

Filed under: daily life,Millinery trivia and events,Samsonite vintage hatbox — Cristina de Prada @ 2:48 pm

Truth be told, the only traveling I’ve done with this wonderful vintage Samsonite Streamlite hatbox is the trip a couple of years ago from Cologne (Germany, where I bought it at an antique fair for a hefty 50 euros) to Barcelona where I live. But it’s such a beauty that I could not resist buying it, specially considering its mint condition -key included- (after buying this one I saw others cheaper, but they where all dirty or damaged). These come up frequently on eBay (US) and can be bought at a reasonable price.

The vintage style Loewe umbrella on the other hand was a gift, a couple of years ago, from my wonderful mom. The umbrella has a green leather handle and luscius fabric that is green on the inside and shocking pink on the outside, with the lettering LOEWE making a repeated circle pattern. I believe these umbrellas are still available, although from looking at their website I think the handles are now all brown, which is a pity.

Funny enough, after having bought the hat box I happened quite by chance upon the corresponding patents, one for the manufacturing process and one for the design.  The patent allows us to date the design to 1955 (that’s when the patents were filed, although they were granted in 1958). I’ve also found an old ad for the hatbox, dated 1955, already with the famouse catch phrase “… it’s strong enough to stand on!”.

If you check out the patents you might be surprised (as I was) that they are not under the name of Samsonite but Shwayder Bros. Jesse Shwayder founded the company in 1910 and Samsonite was a trademark (that was first used in 1941). The name of the company was not changed to Samsonite until 1966.

All pictures can be seen in more detail on Flickr if you follow this link.

March 28, 2010

Emilia and Philip with their new hats

Filed under: daily life,Millinery projects — Cristina de Prada @ 1:54 pm

My most grateful customers, here you can see Emilia and Philip wearing their new hats:

And here is the cloche of Emilia while on the block. It’s a 5 piece puzzle block, and all went dandy, including unblocking (a miracle how when you pull out the middle piece the whole thing collapses and you can take out one piece at a time) until I folded the bottom edge in, and it buckled!!  there was too much felt!! It was supposed to fold in nicely but it didn’t and I had a hart time shrinking the felt so that it stayed flat… I’m thinking of modifying the block shaving off the extra wood, so that the next time it will work properly.

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