The competition Hat Designer of the Year is organized by The Hat Magazine. Every year they decide on a theme and invite professional milliners to participate. On 2010 the theme was Steampunk, and this year it was La Dolce Vita. The participating milliners have to design a collection of 6 hats (2 haute couture, 2 blocked, 2 pattern) and send sketches to the magazine. From those sketches the judges select a few that have to actually make 3 hats from their collection. From the finished hats, 6 designers (or 9 this year) are selected to go to the final.
All finalists except for Kerrie Ann Meaton-Baker (from Australia) came to Paris for the final that took place at Premiere-Classe. The hats that made it to the final were all very nicely displayed at the center of the trade show, and after the prizes were announced there was champagne for everyone.
Here are some pictures of the event. On the top left corner I’m with Felix Weber and Dirk Seegmüller trying to shamelessly steal away their 2nd prize medal (it did not work, unfortunately). Under that picture on the left is Nigel Denford of The Hat Magazine with the representative of the Florence based hat company Marzi, awarding the industry prize to Emmy Jaarsma (who also won the 1st prize and popular vote), and to its right is judge Elvis Pompilio. Underneath that a group picture and on the right there’s a general view of the exhibition, a pictue of my hat and a picture of myself with judge Elvis Pompilio. Finally a lovely picture of the Denfords: Nigel, Alice and Carole.
On the group picture above you can see, standing: Beth Simpson, Ani Stafford-Townsend, NamQ Park, Emmy Jaarsma, Dirk-Jan Korstchot, Jill Simpson, Les Incroyables (Felix Weber, Dirk Seegmüller) and Cristina de Prada. Seating: Elvis Pompilio and Carole Denford from the Hat Magazine.
These are the hats of the winner, Dutch milliner from The Hague, Emmy Jaarsma:
The hats of my friends from Germany, Felix and Dirk, Les Incroyables, who won a shared 2nd prize:
The hats of Kerrie Ann Meaton-Baker from Australia:
And the hats of the rest of the finalists:
All in all it was a lovely experience and I’m really happy I got to be in the final and meet all these lovely people!
Oh, I almost forgot to include the sketch for the hat that got to the final! Here it is: