December 23, 2009

Filed under: daily life — Cristina de Prada @ 5:32 pm

December 2, 2009

My hats at GRATACÓS

Filed under: daily life,Millinery projects,Millinery trivia and events,My hats at GRATACOS — Cristina de Prada @ 11:51 pm

If you happen to be in Barcelona and get a chance you should visit GRATACÓS (Paseo de Gracia 110), the best fabric and accessories shop in Barcelona where you will be able to try on and buy the hats from my mini-collection, PAJAROS (Birds). My friend Nina Pawlowsky and I share a window and a large table display inside (shown on the picture). The hats with a cut design on the left are Nina’s designs, the bird hats on the right are my babies.

Si pasas por Barcelona te propongo visitar GRATACÓS (Paseo de Gracia 110, esquina Diagonal), la mejor tienda de telas y accesorios de Barcelona, dónde podrás ver y comprar los sombreros de mi mini-colección, PÁJAROS. Mi amiga Nina Pawlowsky y yo compartimos un maravilloso escaparate y una zona interior de exposición. Los sombreros “troquelados” a la izquierda son diseños de Nina, los sombreros de pájaros a la derecha son míos. Ya sabes que pedir a los Reyes Magos!

June 21, 2009

Learning hat making with Nina Pawlowsky

Filed under: daily life,Millinery courses,Millinery trivia and events — Cristina de Prada @ 1:43 pm

Last week was the last class of the millinery course that my friend Nina Pawlowsky was giving at Escola Massana in Barcelona. There was a celebration dinner and I was invited because I was a substitute teacher for one class (and some of the students are followers of this blog!). I had a great time, and it was fun to be there with these wonderful ladies, all of us with our hats on, of course.

On the picture above you can see Nina (the one holding the flowers) and her students (one holding a 2 piece cork block made in class). They were very very happy with the course, very sad it was over, and I must say they were very good students to work with.

The Massana School, one of the centers where Nina gives classes, is a center of art and design belonging to the Town Hall of the City of Barcelona. It is placed in a beautiful historical building on the Gothic quarter (Hospital de la Santa Creu) and was founded in 1929 thanks to Agusti Massana’s legacy, a well known patissier and philanthropist. Unfortunately their website is available only in Catalan language, which is something I find absurd at many, many levels, but I’m not going to bore you with my rantings about that.

The 2009-2010 course will be even more interesting because instead of being just one course lasting two semesters it’s going to be divided in two different courses, both lasting 60 hours, one about hatmaking in general (starting mid-October) and the other one about fascinators and turbans (starting beginning of March). Nina is a very experienced milliner and speaks perfect English so if anyone reading this blog is interested in joining these courses and needs help inscribing just let me know. Inscription is from 2 to 10 September and from 18 to 28 January.

June 12, 2009


Filed under: Big loss,daily life — Cristina de Prada @ 4:47 pm

On June12 1991, 18 years ago, my father, Joaquín de Prada, died.

Two days from today, on the 14th of June, Peter’s father, Ewald Kooiman (like a father to me) would have celebrated his 71birthday. He died on the 25th of  January 2009.

These are sad days for us, made even worse by the fact that some of those who should have been comforting us, uncles and cousins on my father’s side, decided instead to soil his name and his memory by dragging it through the courts. To those people I say, like my brother does, STAY AWAY FROM MY BLOG, this is not for you.

But what I really want to do is to thank the many who want to honor the memory of my father and of Peter’s father and who join us in remembering these loving, intelligent men who left such a void after their deaths.

Dad I miss you terribly. Mom, we’re with you.

Ewald, we are still trying to come to terms with your death. We miss you more than you could ever imagine.


El 12 de junio de 1991, hace 18 años, murió mi padre, Joaquín de Prada

En dos días, el 14 de junio, habría sido el 71 cumpleaños del padre de Peter (como un padre para mí), Ewald Kooiman. Murió el 25 de enero de 2009.

Estos son días tristes para nosotros y todavía más tristes por el hecho de que personas que deberían estar consolándonos, mis tíos y primos/as por parte de mi padre, han preferido dedicar su tiempo a ensuciar el nombre y la memoria de mi padre en los juzgados. A esas personas les digo, como dice mi hermano, NO OS QUIERO EN MI BLOG, no es para vosotros.

Lo que sí quiero hacer es dar las gracias a los muchos que quieren hacer homenaje a la memoria de mi padre y la del padre de Peter y que se unen a nosotros en recordar a estos hombres inteligentes y cariñosos que han dejado un gran vacío tras sus muertes.

Papá, te echo de menos muchísimo. Mamá, estamos contigo.

Ewald, todavía estamos intentando asimilar tu muerte. Te echamos de menos mucho más de lo que tu pudieras llegar a imaginar.

April 27, 2009

More pictures of the Passejada amb Barret 2009, thanks to Andrea Fisbein

Filed under: daily life,Millinery trivia and events,Passejada 2009,Passejada amb Barret — Cristina de Prada @ 4:35 pm

Here is a collage of pictures taken by Andrea Fisbein during the recent Passejada amb Barret. They are beautiful close ups of some of the people that took part in our parade, and their hats of course! (all pictures are from Andrea, except two of the pictures -the one of Peter and me, and of Gloria Gratacós and my mom, those were taken by my brother).

Collage of the Passejada amb Barret

I want to thank Andrea Fisbein for sharing her pictures with us, if you click on the collage you will be able to see all her pictures.

I also want to thank Salvador Blanco Heredia who has sent his beautiful pictures of the passejada (click here to see his pictures), and Paco Peralta, who also shared his pictures of the event with us through his blog.

April 20, 2009

Successful Passejada amb Barret 2009

Filed under: daily life,Millinery trivia and events,Passejada 2009,Passejada amb Barret — Cristina de Prada @ 11:14 pm

This year’s Passejada amb barret (Barcelona’s hat parade) has been a great success, in no small measure because of the cooperation of the Gratacós shop. The passejada started in front of  Gratacós, and they exceptionally opened their doors on a Sunday for a short while so that people that wanted to participate in the parade and had no hat could borrow one, and of course many of their clients could not resist such temptation!

The sun shined on us and we had a wonderful time, also this year the Passejada got a mention (with pictures) on the press (La Vanguardia) under the title Barcelona se pone Sombrero (Barcelona wears a hat).

April 1, 2009

Passejada amb Barret 2009 – Put your hat on and take a stroll with us!

Filed under: daily life,Passejada 2009,Passejada amb Barret — Cristina de Prada @ 1:58 pm

El próximo 19 de abril 2009 (domingo) te esperamos en Barcelona para dar un paseo con sombrero. Es la quinta edición de la “Passejada amb Barret”. Quedamos en frente de la tienda Gratacós (Paseo de Gracia con Diagonal) a las 12 del medio día. El paseo será a lo largo de Rambla Cataluña. Es la excusa que necesitabas para comprarte (o hacerte) un sombrero nuevo. Los participantes en este evento recibirán una chapa conmemorativa ¡Nos vemos!

Come to Barcelona and wear your hat! Next April 19th (Sunday) at noon we will wear our hats and take a stroll down Rambla Catalunya. This will be the fifth edition of the “Passejada amb Barret” (Walk with a hat), our version of the Easter Parade that takes place every year on the Sunday after Easter. This year we will be meeting in front of the shop Gratacós in the corner of  Diagonal and Passeig de Gracia. It’s the excuse you need to get (or make) a new hat. Those who participate will receive a commemorative button ¡See you!

El pròxim 19 d’ abril 2009 (diumenge) t’esperem a Barcelona per fer un tomb amb baret. És la cinquena edició de la “Passejada amb Barret”. Quedem al devant de la botiga Gratacós (Passeig de Gràcia amb Diagonal) a les 12 del mig dia. El passeig es fará per la Rambla de Catalunya. Es l’excusa que et calia per comprar-te (o fer-te) un barret nou. Els participants rebran una xapa commemorativa. Ens veiem!

Foto del año pasado… Pidture from last year… Foto de l’any passat…

December 27, 2008

Christmas 2008

Filed under: daily life,Millinery projects — Cristina de Prada @ 1:03 am

Joaco, Jose and Helena with their new hats.

This Christmas my gifts have been things that I have made myself, which I believe have more value (and require much more effort) than going to the shops and buying something or the other. Basically I have been running around like a headless chicken for a few days trying to finish up my gifts (and had no time to do something nice for Peter, sorry Peter!).

My brother Joaquín has been nagging me for a long time to make him a hat (and rightly so), so for him I’ve made a fur felt Fedora that suits him really well. For my brother Jose Manuel I thought it would be great to make a Smoking Cap, and I think it was a great idea because he looks very dashing on it (turned a bit too tight, so I’m fixing it now). For his girlfriend Helena I adapted this pattern hat from the Japanese Book to fit her small -but smart- (54.5 cm) head, and she looks like a million dollars.

Here are some more pictures of the hats:

For my Mom I made a tote bag with long comfortable handles. The cotton fabric (Kleo by Alexander Henry) is very colourful and works very nice on a bag. The tote has a small pocket for the cell phone, a big pocket, and a strip of fabric with a clip to hold the keys. It has a rigid oval base, so it stands comfortably.

Ever since I made the knitting bag for my Mom, she’s wanted to have a street tote bag. She doesn’t go out at the moment because of health problems, but I hope this gift will encourage her to start going out on little walks with me.

All in all it was fun to make the gifts myself, and I’m happy to say that they were greatly appreciated.


Happy Holidays to you all, and my best wishes for 2009!

November 13, 2008

III Hat Week – III Semana del Sombrero – Madrid (Spain)

Filed under: daily life,Millinery trivia and events,Other Millinery people — Cristina de Prada @ 10:35 pm

Invitation to III Hatters Week in Madrid

I want to invite you all to the “III Semana del Sombrero” (“III Hat Week”) that will take place in Madrid (Spain).

It’s organized by the “Asociación de Sombrereros” (Spanish Hatters Association) and will take place from the 24th to the 28th of November 2008.

It’s a collective exhibition of hats made by the members of the Association (three of my hats will also be there!).

The title of the exhibition, “Sentar la Cabeza”,  is inspired by one of Goya’s works, an engraving called “Ya tienen asiento” (“They’ve already got a seat). You can see the engraving in question if you follow this link to the Wesleyan University.

The themes of the exhibition are:

  • “Trade and techniques: straw, felt, flowers and feathers.”
  • “The customer: The art of wearing a hat, protocol.”

This is the agenda:

  • Tuesday 25 at 19:00 Opening.
  • Wednesday 26: Lecture “Hats in 20th century painting: a glance from art, economy and society”.
  • Thursday 27: Styling at the dressing table: Which hat is most flattering for you?
  • Friday 28: Roundtable discussion “Hatters from yesterday and today”, with the participation of Manuel A. de Souza, Charo Arguña, Charo Iglesias, Nina Pawlowsky and Charo Cortázar.

I hope you will stop by and visit the exhibition!

October 31, 2008


Filed under: daily life — Cristina de Prada @ 12:10 am

Cover of my Mom's book

This off topic posting is here because I want to show my full support to my mother, Loli de Prada, who has been sued by my two uncles (with one of my cousins as the lawyer). First you will find the Spanish text, followed by the English text, if you so wish to read it.

Este escrito (no relacionado con sombreros) está aquí porque quiero mostrarle todo mi apoyo a mi madre, Loli de Prada, a quien mis dos tíos -hermanos de mi padre- (con una de mis primas como abogado) pusieron una demanda judicial.

Pusieron esta demanda porque escribió un precioso y dulce libro llamado Joaquín y Loli. Un encuentro de cine. Un libro acerca de mi padre y de la época en que eran novios a finales de los años cincuenta.

Mañana, 31 de Octubre 2008 es el día del juicio.

Por si acaso estos que se hacen llamar “familia” tienen dudas acerca de lo que yo (y mis hermanos) pensamos acerca de toda esta historia, quiero decir aquí que APOYAMOS COMPLETAMENTE A MI MADRE. Ella ha escrito un MARAVILLOSO LIBRO acerca de una época muy especial de su vida. Es un libro precioso, lleno de cálidas memorias y fotos muy bonitas de la época en que está centrado y algunas fotos de la infancia de mi padre y de mi madre.

Parecería que algo que mi madre menciona en el libro, o quizás la simple idea de que haya escrito un libro cabreó a la “familia”, y en lugar de comportarse como gente NORMAL, y llamar o visitarla para expresar su desacuerdo (lo que habría sido una novedad, ya que desde el funeral de mi padre hace 17 años no se han dignado a visitarla una sola vez), en lugar de hacer eso decidieron ponerle una demanda judicial, a ella y al editor de este maravilloso libro.

Aparentemente (por lo que puedo deducir), la idea era (y es) hacer daño a mi madre y obviamente a todos aquellos cercanos a ella (sus hijos y amigos). Como no pudieron encontrar ninguna otra base para la demanda, la demandaron basado en unas fotos en las que ellos (mis tíos) aparecen (junto con mi padre) cuando eran niños, diciendo que el uso de esas fotos viola su derecho a la propia imagen. Asimismo dicen y repiten que mi madre ha escrito el libro con el único propósito de hacerles daño. OBVIAMENTE, NO LO HAN LEIDO, ya que el libro va de mi padre y de mi madre, de su vida de novios y de nada más.

Para resumir. Estamos DOLIDOS, ASQUEADOS Y DISGUSTADOS con toda esta historia y con el comportamiento de nuestra “familia”. Estamos asqueados de que puedan ser tan crueles, insensibles y sin corazón. Asqueados de que no se den cuenta de lo mucho que ya hemos sufrido al perder a nuestro padre (y mi madre, a su marido). Joaquín de Prada fue un GRAN HOMBRE, trabajador, respetado en su profesión, marido amante y padre cariñoso. Perderlo tuvo un efecto devastador en nuestras vidas y es una pérdida de la que todavía nos estamos intentando recuperar.

Mi madre le quiso y todavía le quiere con todo su corazón. Mi padre, esté donde esté, la sigue queriendo.

Quiero mucho a mi madre y la respeto por haber logrado lo que parecía una tarea imposible, escribir un libro, y la admiro por hacerlo con tanto talento y buen gusto.

En lo que a mi concierne, todos aquellos involucrados en este pleito ya no son mi familia. Para mi han muerto y nunca les perdonaré el dolor que nos han causado, a mi Madre, a mis hermanos y a mi.

A aquellos que no tienen nada que ver con esto siento el haberos involucrado, pero esto era algo que había que decir, y esta es una manera como otra cualquiera de decirlo, ya que se que esas personas de vez en cuando visitan mi blog.


Here follows the English text.

My Mom was sued over a perfectly sweet and beautiful book that she wrote. A book about my father and about the period when they were dating in the late fifties.

Tomorrow, 31st October 2008, is the day of the trial.

Just in case my so called “family” have doubts about what I (and my brothers) think about the whole thing, I want to say that WE FULLY SUPPORT OUR MOTHER. She wrote a WONDERFUL BOOK called Joaquín y Loli. Un encuentro de cine about a wonderful time in her life. It’s lovely and full of heart warming reminiscing and beautiful period pictures.

Somehow, something that my mother said in the book, or perhaps the simple idea of her writing a book, pissed off the “family”, and instead of behaving like NORMAL people and calling or visiting and expressing their views (well, that would have been a new thing, considering my dad died 17 years ago and since the funeral they have never paid her a visit ), instead, they decided to sue her and the unsuspecting Publisher of this wonderful book.

Apparently (as far as I can gather), the idea is was (is) to hurt my mother and obviously everyone else close to her (namely her sons and daughter and her friends). Since they couldn’t find any other base for their lawsuit, they sued based on the few pictures where they (my uncles) appear (next to my dad) as children, saying that violates their rights. In addition, they say and repeat again and again that my Mother wrote that book with the only purpose of hurting them. OBVIOUSLY, THEY HAVE NOT READ THE BOOK. This book is about my Father and my Mother, their lives as boyfriend and girlfriend, and nothing else.

So, to summarize. We are HURT, APPALLED AND DISGUSTED at this whole business and at my family’s behaviour. We are appalled that they can be so callous and so heartless. Appalled that they don’t realize how much we’ve already suffered from losing our dad (and my mom, her husband). He was a GREAT man, hardworking, respected on his profession, loving husband and caring father. Losing my dad had a devastating effect on our lives, and it’s a loss from which we’re still recovering.

My Mother loved  and still loves my dad with all her heart, Father, wherever he might be, is still loving her.

I love my mother and respect her for accomplishing what seemed like an impossible task, writing a book, and I admire her for doing it with such talent and good taste.

As far as I’m concerned those involved in this lawsuit are no longer my family, they are dead to me, and I will never forgive the pain they have inflicted upon my Mother, my brothers and me.

Sorry to impose this upon you all, but this had to be said, and this is as good a way to say it as any other, because I know they occasionally drop by my blog.

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