Hello and a happy New Year! We’re delighted to welcome the return of the 7 Wedding Questions feature on the Paper Themes blog and, after reading this, I think you’ll agree that we’re kicking off the New Year with a bit of a bang.
So, without further ado, we’d like to welcome Chloe, expert designer of unique handmade headpieces and hair accessories – ideal for any wedding!
Hello Chloe! First of all can you tell us who you are, where you’re from & what you do?
I’m Chloe Haywood Designer and founder of Hatastic! I design and make hats, headpieces and hair accessories from my workshop at the end of my garden in Surrey. But I also facilitate fascinator workshops for hens, parties and team building events…
Sounds like you’ve always had a love of vintage fabrics, where did this come from? Where did it all begin?
It seems like everything starts from what you enjoy as a child, and our home was choc a bloc of materials, be it fabric, cardboard or paint. Our house (my mother still lives in the house I grew up in) has it’s own art room as my parents had their own craft business and my mother was always making, painting, creating something.
Every Saturday we used to go to a local Jumble Sale (there seemed to be one every week when I was a child) and we had 50p to spend on what we liked, unless we’d managed to find some small change in the sofa! 2p could go a long way in those days!
Our task was always to find something unique and different and I’ve always gone for colour – easy to spot in those situations, but mum was brilliant at spotting vintage fabrics and clothes. Theatre was a big part of our family so you learn about eras that way too.
What is a typical day in the life in your Hatastic workshop?
Walking in and switching on all the heaters! It’s freezing in there! The next thing is struggling through my massive to do list. As soon as I get through a bunch of things, I get more to do. But I’m my own worst enemy as I seem to always have some to ‘investigate’. I have too many ideas!
Hats and headpieces are more popular than ever now at weddings, does anything change when you’re designing for a big day? Do you ever get special requests?
I get some lovely bespoke orders actually. What I enjoy about them is that the people who come to me for a special piece, understand the ethic behind my work so they pretty much leave the designing part to me.
As long as they can provide something for me to colour match (or even better supply a scrap of fabric for me to use in their piece) I’m confident that it will complete their outfit perfectly. No bespoke order is the same which is what I love about them too.
Do you have any favourite designs you’ve come up with so far? Both for a wedding piece and in general?
I’m really fond of my first collection Recreation – a collection of headpieces made from discarded vintage games, which I still get orders for certain designs like Jigsaw and Windmill.
I also have a particular favourite in my bridal collection which is Vintage Gold & Feather Bridal Headpiece. A stunning one off piece made from three ostrich feathers from a Debutant headdress and decorated with a gold silk metal organza bow, and pearl horseshoe shaped vintage brooch.
My current collection for Spring / Summer 2013 Sheerluxe I’m thrilled with and I’m so excited to share with you as it was showcased at London Fashion Week (Ecoluxe London) and will also be stocked in Fenwick, Bond Street in time for Royal Ascot. (As seen in Vogue too!)
How do you source the vintage materials and fabrics you use to come up with such unique designs?
I source through Freecycle, junk shops and I have friends in the vintage circuit who sell me bags of remnants and beads that they can’t sell, which are perfect for my designs. I also have dealings with a junk yard who supplies me with fabulous bits and pieces when they come along.
The designs / collections come from the materials themselves. I have collections of certain colours or styles, and when I feel that I’ve got enough materials for a certain collection, then that’s when I start creating. The process takes so long, but it’s wonderful to know that each hat / headpiece is completely upcycled from restored vintage bits and pieces. Very special to the wearer.
Lastly then, what inspires you? Who are your favourite designers?
‘I’ve always had a love of fabrics, but love anything 3D. So sculptures and buildings are intensely exciting, so of course when I discovered Gaudi I wept! For a short time I worked with Thomas Heatherwick in his studio (designer of the London Olympic cauldron) who is such a lovely man but so inspiring too‚ he’s a magician as Heston Blumenthal is Willy Wonka!
The thing about Gaudi and Heatherwick’s work is there isn’t a beginning or an end, and I feel hats should be like this too. When you look at a person, you don’t always look at their face, you may notice someone at the other end of the room, so every side of a hat / headpiece should look interesting. Inevitably it’s difficult to know what angle of shot we take on my pieces. You want to be able to show everything!
In regards to fashion designers, it’s always been Vivienne Westwood and who could fail to love Stephen Jones’ designs.
Thank you to Chloe for letting us interview her; I’m sure you’ll agree with us that her designs are absolutely stunning and she’s extremely talented. To see more of her designs visit www.hatastic.co.uk