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Designer Profile - Shawn Pigott of LaVictorianRose Millinery

 I met Shawn Pigott designer of LaVictorianRose  quite some time ago. Just before hurricane Gustave.  Shawn has been trying to rebuild and is still displaced today due to the damage of hurricane Gustave. I was immediately intrigued by her story, and her attention to detail in all of her beautiful hats. I hope you enjoy my interview with her. I know she is very excited to begin filling spring orders for 2009.

For those of you who may not know what a milliner does, it is defined as  as one who makes, trims, designs, and/or sells women's hats.


(Pictured, Josephine)
How did you get started in Millinery?
It was quite accidental that I became a milliner. Although I do have a degree in fashion and design, that did not lead me to millinery.
 My dear friend and mentor, the late Cynthia White of Lady Cynthia Millinery, called one afternoon and told me she was dying. Cindy asked me to promise her one thing: to open my own millinery studio and to begin making hats as soon as possible. When I told her I'd never made a hat in my life, she replied "I don't know another person who loves hats as much as YOU and I know you will be fantastic! You have the knowledge inside....just tap into it." That was our last conversation as she died one month later. I have kept my promise. I opened LaVictorianRose Millinery in 2005 in Cynthia's honor. Unfortunately, we never met in this lifetime.

(Pictured, Victoria)

What drives your passion for this style craft?
I've loved hats for as long as I can remember!! I think I was born loving them. Custom, hand-blocked millinery is truly a form of art. I derive great pleasure from the designs I create for my clients.  Also, custom millinery, in my opinion, is becoming a lost art and one that I feel should be preserved. I absolutely love what I do and that shows in each hat and veil. I specialize in romantic styles from the Victorian Era, Edwardian Era, and the Roaring 20's.
(Pictured, Jacqueline)
What's in a hat?
Mostly a lot of love. Each design I make is done only after consultations and getting a feel for that client's personality. Hats should always enhance the wearer and bring out her special qualities. The straw I use is hand woven in the Orient and it takes that weaver 5 days to create the straw for a small hat like a cloche. It takes that same weaver 15 days to weave the straw for a wide-brimmed one. I also use the finest quality felt velour for cold weather wear.
(Pictured, Veronica)
Can you give us any history on Millinery?
Of course, people have been wearing a head covering of some type since the beginning of time.
The word "milliner", a maker of women's hats, was 1st recorded in 1529 when the term referred to the products for which Milan and the northern Italian Providences were well known such as ribbons, gloves, and straws. The haberdashers who imported these highly popular straws were called "Millaners" from which the word eventually derived.
The earliest documentation of a millinery shop in the United States was the Margaret Hunter shop in Colonial Williamsburg established in 1767. I know of one historical literary reference to millinery. Shakespeare mentioned "millinery" in a Winter's Tale published in 1603.

A special thanks to Shawn for giving us this wonderful interview. Derby Day will be here before you know it Kentucky gals, start planning for your hat purchase! Please visit Shawn's website for more of her beautiful hats including wedding and bridal, travel hats and more.


Bumpkin Bears

This was a really interesting article, such beautiful hats :)
Wishing you a Beary Merry Christmas, Catherine and the Bumpkin Bears x

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