Millinery has been around for centuries, with people donning hats to protect their heads in chilly weather, add a dose of high-fashion to their ensembles, and even prove social status. Nowadays, hats are majorly in fashion, with designers handcrafting bespoke fedoras, cloches, fascinators, and inventive, of-the-moment creations. From London to New York to Los Angeles, these high-end milliners offer stylish toppers for everyday wear and special occasions.
“How a hat makes you feel is what a hat is all about,” says headwear designer Philip Treacy. Hailing from County Galway, Ireland, this celebrated hatter is one of the world’s most recognized, imagining haute couture hats and headpieces ranging from his signature shapes to striking avant-garde designs topped with ribbons, flowers, and butterflies. Treacy dresses the heads of British royalty and Hollywood’s A-listers, so it’s no surprise that Vogue magazine defined him as “perhaps the greatest living milliner.” His work has also been featured in London’s Victoria and Albert Museum and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
GLADYS TAMEZ MILLINERY
“Hats give confidence like no other accessory,” says Gladys Tamez, a designer based in Los Angeles. While visiting Spain, Tamez encountered a multigenerational milliner who made her a hat, inspiring the start of her millinery career. “Its sculptural forms, the materials and tools, along with the process itself, really spoke to me,” she says. With an upbringing and education spanning Texas, Mexico, and Italy, her work is inspired by art, culture, historical fashion, and northern Mexico tradition.