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New Hat From Old Pillbox

This vintage pillbox hat was purchased by my client on Ebay. While she loved the dramatic ornate trim she determined it was too petite and dated in its style and commissioned me to transform it into a larger scale elegant hat.

The foundation material supporting the hat was fragile and collapsing due in part to age and the surprising weight of the metal studs, gold metallic passementerie braid and glass rhinestones.


The original designer Mr. John, was a well know milliner in the 50's and 60's. During the process of redesigning the hat I have concluded a client commissioned the pillbox using the same elaborately embellished fabric used for the client’s dress or jacket.

I carefully removed the embellished fabric from its disintegrating foundation and re-blocked the fabric over a slightly different crown block and using a felt foundation for durable support. I then married the newly completed crown to a timeless Dior era brim blocked in luxurious black velour felt.

To complete the transition or join between the crown and brim I used a vintage black and metallic gold braid that had been whispering to me from my trim cabinet for the last 30 years. A felt band at the back of the hat secures the shallow fitting hat and allows it to perch forward on the head.

A stylish, sophisticated hat, My client was delighted, and I trust Mr. John would approve as well.