Unlike many other areas of fashion design, pure millinery courses can be few and far between. Millinery is generally an afterthought in the process of fashion design and apart from intensive one off courses it can be frustrating for someone who wishes to academically pursue their passion for hats specifically.
Images from Boticca
It would seem the vast majority of hat making is left to large fashion corporations where designs aren’t particularly avant garde and the manufacturing process is en masse and lacks that personality that comes from a real handmade item.
But fear not, there are still some genuine milliners out there, Super Duper Hats, Italy for example have a really touching story: three young designers came across an old wooden hat block shaper and became engrossed in the history of the item. They were enticed to subvert modern mechanised hat making techniques and revert back to the handmade practices of the art.
Super Duper Hats now have exclusive items on online fashion store Bottica.com and are able to supply the whole world with their own original artisan millinery.
It doesn’t require a lot of training to become a hat maker, thankfully, as there isn’t much out there! But if you are thinking of perusing a career in millinery it would seem the best thing to do is to get making with your hands. Present your artisan items to one off boutiques and online stores looking to promote independent designers. Why not also try and get into the performance art circles; bespoke head wear designs are always needed for on stage and on set.