October 26, 2010

James Prinz Shoot

This shots were done in May of 2010 of a few of my hats that were exhibited in the Curiouser and Curiouser gallery show. The first hat was based off of the New York Chrysler building with the different tiers and studs. I some how never got a good picture of this hat, so I'm really thankful it was part of this shoot, especially since it just sold at Mr. and Mrs. Digs!

Based off of the Chrysler Building in NYC - black felt and studs - 

Based off of the Eiffel Tower with the lace "iron" arches - grey stiffened silk and black lace.

Twig Hat - Hand painted live leaves and twigs on black sinamay.

I am currently working on a commission for Halloween night. It's based on Casablanca's
Ingrid Bergman. 
I will take pictures once it is done. What a long process!

Also if you have not done so yet, check out my new blog Contemporary Vintage! It's about every day life, fashion, and the struggles of becoming an adult (including starting my own little label - Zzouzi Hats!)

October 23, 2010

And the Hattiest of them all...

My old teacher Eia finally received the great photographs from spring semester of the Raymond Hudd Millinery Award Judging. What a nerve racking day! We had no idea what was in store. It was after our gallery show, so we had the stress of the show finished but then the nerves of the judging.

We were asked to tell them what year we were in, the techniques that we used to create our pieces and our inspiration.

Dean Lisa Wainwright trying on my hat that she ended up wearing to graduation

The recipients of the dean's hat award - Myself and Sophia Khan

The Dean trying on the Golden Twig hat.

Explaining to the judges my technique of silkscreen printing on hats

Advanced Headwear Class

Advanced Headwear class with the judges and our teacher, Eia.

The Award Winners and the Judges

The six award recipients

October 20, 2010

Millinery Animal Use: Fur trimmed hat

Milliners have never been very good friends with animals. We used to use beaver to make the wool hoods but due to the popularity of hats in the 14th century beavers were being over used. Using beavers to make felt lasted until the 18th century because it was the preferred material. By the 1600s Europe had used an extraordinary supply of their own beavers and many began to look to America for the supply--and thus, exporting hats and wool began.

Independent hat makers were whittled down because of the big boom of factories, and to meet the factory supply, imports had to be made from further and further away. Needless to say, fashion has had a huge impact on the fur trade and the use of living creature as accessories should not even be an option anymore. We've made great advances in technology, different ways to replicate fur, different ways to get the texture and feel of faux  fur, and even better ways of keeping ourselves warm. Now that we have the knowledge of different insulation solutions, why do we need to use animals?

I began thinking about this when someone tried on this recent hat and asked me if the fur I used was real...and she seemed aghast when I told her it was, and she immediately put the hat down. On that note, my own practice: I do use Rabbit felt because it is the only wool I feel comfortable enough working in for my hats. The rabbits are shaved and only their underbelly is used for the wool. Beaver is a lot more expensive due to the great decline in that population. The fur that is used in my hats is strictly vintage.

It makes me very happy to see a lot of fashion is moving in the way of the FAUX. Elle magazine, after receiving a very upsetting letter about it from a reader, has printed a page dedicated to fur fashions 7 out of 10 of them are faux!

I am not a vegetarian, nor do I know if the beauty products I use are tested on animals, but I believe that I am working my way into finding out a better way to go about treating our furry friends the way they deserve to be treated...especially since I have a baby of my own.

October 10, 2010

Mr. and Mrs. Digz

It's been a very busy weekend for Zzouzi Hats!

We had the great opportunity to be one of the showcased designers at Mr. and Mrs. DIGZ, a great little boutique in Andersonville, as part of Andersonville's Art Weekend. This weekend is dedicated to showcasing artists and shops in Andersonville. You walk up and down clark st, drinking champagne, eating, and enjoy art work. What else could you ask for?

They had various sorts of performences and music going throughout the evening. When I stopped into Mr. and Mrs. Digz I met a few lovely ladies who thought my hats were a hit! I am always so relived to hear that people (other than artists) like my hats! I ended up selling one which is wonderful, and now I have to make more for another event Mr. and Mrs. DIGZ is hosting!

Fall 2010 Hat Display at Mr. and Mrs. DIGZ

Well this looks like a very busy week ahead. On Wednesday my friend and I some how both landed tickets to see OPRAH! I am trying to figure out what hat to wear now. I might bring up a back up hat in case they tell me that my hat is too big. I hope it's a good episode.

Anyway - I am so sorry for such a late update, but nothing has been happening in the "Hat World"...which is partly my fault. My sister was here to visit and I dedicated a week to spending time with her. Between that and working, I was wiped out. Anyway folks, I will try to do better... I am just wondering, what is the next step? Any suggestions? I think some advertising, and press is necessary. Any leads?