Monday, March 26, 2007

My Favorite Milliner: Kelly Christy

In the catalogue for Inside Design Now, The 2003 National Design Triennial, Donald Albrecht writes of my favorite milliner:

In the age of mass-produced fashion, Kelly Christy holds out for customization, transforming her clients into eccentric actors in the drama of city life.

As an aspiring milliner, I count Kelly Christy as one of my inspirations. I still remember the first time I walked into her little shop on Elizabeth Street in Little Italy. That was right around the time that Café Habana had just opened a few doors down, and the neighborhood was starting to be called Nolita. (The shop has since moved to Broome Street in Soho.) Maybe my mouth was slightly open as I stood there in awe of her beautiful creations, a little afraid of touching the rich felts and soft straws. I examined my favorite shapes, each trimmed with a distinctive band, a feather, or some other treasure. Tickled.

Kelly’s designs are traditional, but with a nod to the contemporary, and often with a witty twist. Until then, I had satisfied my hat lust with a mad ebay addiction, which deprived me of the joys of a custom fitting. I stalked the little shop for a few years before I finally broke down and just had to have a hat all my own. Kelly is terrific, as she guides you in picking the shapes that are most flattering, and invites you to pick out the trimmings for the millinery confection that she is about to create.


D-in-SanFran said...

SF Fashion Week, 2006, I am, blown away, check that out.

Republic of Candy said...

I did a little research, and Deanna Gibbons was the milliner who made the hats. You're right, they are gorgeous!