"I was one of those little girls who loved playing dress ups, and little has changed throughout my life. My Aunt is a classically trained ballerina; and I’d spend my weekends as a child rummaging through her costumes and parading around my grandparents’ house in these extravagant ball gowns and tutus.
It’s little surprise I grew up to be a burlesque performer.
The hat that started it all was a round folded number with burgundy triangles making up the crown; rather like a whoopee cap without the chevron brim. I chose it out for my 8th birthday and refused to take it off my head for the next 3 years straight.
In the words of couture milliner Philip Treacy: “Hats are about emotion. How a hat makes you feel is what a hat is all about”.
I’ve always felt there was something magic about the entire world of millinery and the inspiring headpieces it’s artists and followers create. I’m not alone either, from the concept of the Mad Hatter to the dazzling creations throughout history for horse racing events, hats are something that seem to mystify and
seduce both the wearer and the viewer.
I’ve also found on my travels that you never simply choose a hat, but it chooses you.You will know it as soon as it’s on your head when your entire face and demeanour lights up.
And that’s because the hat magic just happened. You have been chosen.
Unfortunately for myself, hats seem to be extremely attracted to me and I now have a collection of over 150 hats from all around the world. I wear a different hat every other day and it’s become my signature look as both a performer and out an about local Inner Westie of Sydney, Australia." Paige Hart
As with Paige, my interest in millinery grew from dress-ups as a little girl. This extended to my involvement with performance from a young age. I adored studying drama and theater throughout high school. Hats were always an inevitable part of the costume so when the opportunity arose, when I was 20, to learn how to make them, I was in!
Paige was, and continues to be, one of my #1 supporters. She was besotted with this piece, Old Gold Baroque, so when the opportunity arose for me to deliver it, in person to her in Sydney, the planets had aligned. I think we were each as excited as the other. There is something very special in meeting the person who will wear a piece I've created - getting to know them for just a moment and seeing the joy on their face when they put on the hat that was meant for them.
Old Gold Baroque is a jaunty, tear-drop shape. The a-symmetrical line, coming down by the side of the face, lends itself to suiting most face shapes. In this instance it has been covered in black lace and trimmed in my fabric twist shown here in black satin, edged with a gold braid.
The Egrot feathers create height while the curled pheasant feathers enhance the natural shape of the piece while maintaining a warmth of colour.
I think you will agree that Old Gold Baroque has truly found her forever head with Paige. She wears it beautifully, and with such respect for the art of millinery and burlesque. If you would like to continue to follow Paige's story please go to her facebook page Lady Hart and follow away! Personally, I'd love to catch Paige live at one of her performances. Who wants to join me on the adventure?!?!
This concludes chapter 2 of the new Hat Lovers series. Thank you to Paige for sharing such a beautiful story. To all of you hat lovers out there, keep the theater in your everyday life alive! Chapter 3 will be heading your way in two weeks...stay tuned!
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Images: 1,2,3: Paige Hart, 4, 5 : Old Gold Baroque, Johanna Guerin. ALL IMAGES SUBJECT TO COPYRIGHT AND NOT TO BE REPRODUCED WITHOUT PERMISSION