St John's Square was all a-twitter Tuesday evening with the launch of the Pop-Up Hat Shop currently occupying the eastern corner of the ancient priory courtyard. This event was the love-child of five up-and-coming designers who met through milliner Martina Bohn, whose hat block hire service provided a platform for such like minded ladies to meet and work. In an act of sartorial solidarity, the gang conspired to create their own space for showcasing and selling a collection of their latest toppers. And the results are so delightful that now I can't seem to stop alliterating.
The shop is based at Craft Central, a non-profit workshop/studio dedicated to supporting craft and design. Its breezy main gallery provides the perfect display for a lush spread of berets, bowlers, bonnets and caps; arranged in tall glass cases like trophies in a school gymnasium. All was seen-in in thoroughly good style, with champagne flutes and hearty gossip all 'round. Delicious work by some truly talented women.
Highlights include pieces by Thirzie Hull, whose vintage inspired berets make good use of taxidermy and other organic ingredients. Her combination of materials plucked, preened or skinned from the natural world with softer elements such as ribbon, lace, and gold leaf imbue her work with a lightness of touch and a heady dose of whimsy. Delightful, authentic, and full of romance.
YashkaThor's architectural woven bonnets are also a standout, crested waves of color in a sea of white-washed walls. Martina Bohn's own kitsch headgear is out in full force, and includes dignified looking caps with butterflies and scorpions glued askance. Not exactly an easy task to stick over-sized insects on your hat and make it look half-glamorous, but Miss. Bohn took the plunge and appears to have surfaced triumphant.
Milliners on display include: Martina Bohn, Pamela Graham, Louise Halswell, Thirzie Hull, Yashka Thor. All works are for sale.
Pop Up Hat Shop will be open until the Sunday, November 20th at Craft Central. 33-35 St. John's Square. EC1M 4DS
more about craft central - http://www.craftcentral.org.uk/
more about Marina Bohn - http://www.martinabohn.com/
[images taken by Charlotte and courtesy of Miss. Hull]