A hat has always been the ultimate expression of personal style and attitude. Who can think of Fred Astaire without a topper or Madonna without a cowboy hat, Justin Timberlake and his trilby or the wonders of the hat wearer of the moment Lady Gaga. "Her hat is a creation that will never go out of style. It will look just as ridiculous year after year" Fred Allen.
Fashion is a kind of communication, a language without words, as milliner Stephen Jones states a hat is the cherry on the cake, the dot on the 'i' of the exclamation mark.
It has been an honour to be involved with Lotherton Hall, Ruffled Feather exhibition and school's competition; when you look at Natalie Raw's curated exhibition it truly shows that hats have the power to evoke a lifestyle, a time period and an attitude, the hat is the crowning glory of any outfit and can be created from a range of materials, yet feathers are always the perfect foil.
I would like to thank Mrs Baker at Carr Manor High School, Mrs Joslin at Tadcaster Grammar School, Mrs Patchesa at Parklands Girls High and Mrs Makin at Farnley Park for letting me into their classrooms to make a mess with feathers, sinamay and glue. Thank you to all the students for your wonderful exuberance, questions, willingness to experiment and having seen all the results when judging the energy, passion and hardwork you have all put in to the project. I was astounded by the innovation, creativity and design development that I saw, congratulations to each and every one of you.
Hats are often seen as just a fashion or frivolity but as can be seen from all your work, a head adornment is often a piece of sculpture or 3D art it is no wonder that many artists past and present have been inspired, from the Surrealists & salvador Dali working with Elsa Schiaparelli on the first lobster hat, to Eileen Agar's Angel of Anarchy, to present day designers such as Philip Treacy creting iconic head sculpture.
Any material or technique can be used, it is a skill area that can embrace many disciplines from woodwork, photography, jewellery design, textiles, fine art, print making to 3D design, sculpture and fashion so within any area of the curriculum in art & design it has potential. I would like to finish with a quote from the Bedside Guardian 1962 "In making the right choice of millinery you have nothing to lose but your head" Thank you and I hope that you will alll continue to embrace the wonders of headwear"
That was my speech delivered with my knees trembling, people did at least laugh and I think they enjoyed it. The prize giving was lovely and the student who won Anna Batiste very much deserved it her passion and work ethic were phenomenal.
The whole project has been a unique experience that i would never have undertaken if not for the MA to explore what i could do with hats and how community work could develop,though funding is now even more of an issue so I will just have to be pro-active if I wish t do more.
I talked to the lady at the bird garden and she was very keen for me to do some work with her so maybe this could be the concise MA project.