Tag Archives: feathers
When everyone around seems to be obsessed with comfort and ease, the idea of donning formal headwear might seem a bit contradictory. But that is exactly what Gigi Burris seems to be all about. A 6th generation Floridian who now calls the LES home, she is a smart and eager business woman who has given the Millinery industry the kick in the ass it needs. Pick up nearly any glossy fashion mag over the past year, and you are sure to see one of her wares. Here, the always smiling and bright eyed Burris sounds off on being THE “crazy hat lady.”
Everyone in Millinery seems to have an “A-Ha!” moment that sparked a formal interest. What was yours?
While studying at Parsons, I went abroad to Paris and wandered into a Millinery supply shop in the 2nd Arrondissement. It was that dusty and romantic shoppe that made me fall even more in love with this craft and it’s history. I purchased some of my first felts there, and went on to make hats with them in my first millinery course back in the states.
Citing Coco Chanel and Jeanne Lanvin as influences, do you see yourself working in couture in other areas? What about Ready-to-Wear?
What I love about these incredible women, is that they began multi-billion dollar companies with the niche category of millinery. I see the benefits of having the long term goal of building a lifestyle brand, but for the time being I am taking the time to focus on growing in millinery alone.
Why do you feel that millinery has fallen out of favor? What, if anything, do you think will lead to a resurgence?
The way people dress themselves has changed drastically in the past half century. We are currently in the most casual climate that we’ve ever been in. It was once unacceptable to be seen without a hat in public, and now wearing one elicits so much attention for the wearer. As we are seeing a resurgence in “lady-like” dressing though, people seem to be taking more time to put themselves together. We are definitely seeing hats coming back into the modern wardrobe.
Who of your contemporaries do you most admire/identify with?
I truly admire the work of Stephen Jones. His lighthearted whit, incredible craftsmanship, and dedication to the category makes him a real idol in my eyes. I have heard from mutual friends he is as charming as he is talented.
You were recently awarded the honor off being included on the “Forbes 30 under 30″ list. That’s an incredible achievement! Do you feel this has helped or hindered you?
Well, thank you! I was flattered to be included on the list this year with some major players in the industry. It was rewarding to be recognized for my hard work in running a business, in addition to being a creative, and that has given me the confidence to keep moving forward.
What do you think the largest obstacle is for you in the accessories market?
I believe being in the accessories market is an advantage in the current economic climate. We have seen that women are still spending on accessories as investments. I think that the market of hats is an obstacle in itself because it is so niche. Yet, because of that, I believe my talent has been allowed to stand out.
What part of the design process do you appreciate the most?
My favorite part of the design process is manifesting that original idea for a new collection. It can be sparked by a color, material, image, piece of artwork, a song…it varies. But once I catch the spirit, it quickly begins to build. I can easily translate it from materials into pieces, and eventually into a 20-25 piece collection of headwear.
What do you think about the trend of musicians/actors starting their own Fashion lines?
I believe that someone with a platform to an audience, and a distinct taste level can have success based on the element of celebrity. That aside, I believe that craft and authenticity provide lasting results for a fashion line.
Describe for me your ideal client.
One of my favorite elements of my job is working personally with my couture clients. The women that dare to wear these avant-garde headpieces are the women I want to know! An enthusiast that is particularly dear to my heart is Miss Cindy. She is the kind of woman that wears a bird winged headband to The Tides Inn in Bodega Bay (famous as the location where Hitchcock’s “The Birds” was filmed.) Glamorously eccentric woman are the ideal I fantasize about designing for, and being able interact with these types is always such a pleasure.
If you could do a collaboration with any living designer, who would it be?
I would love to collaborate with the newly revived house of Schiaparelli. Her story and dedication to whimsical and irreverent couture is something that I would love to channel into my modern day millinery.
“If I wasn’t designing hats I’d be…”
A lobbyist. I would be a blonde power player in the political world, wearing a skirt suit and court shoes. Politics and fashion are both very cut throat!
What is your favorite place to shop in NYC?
Eataly! When I am overwhelmed with fashion and work, I love to unwind by cooking for my boyfriend. There is nothing more indulgent or relaxing to me than enjoying a glass of white wine while perusing wonderful Italian ingredients for a big dinner.
What trend do you wish would end?
HAIR FEATHERS! Since this trend has begun, sourcing that type of feather has been quite difficult for us on the millinery side.
“Never would I ever…”
Interview: Niko Liakaris, Photos: Courtesty Gigi Burris
Yesterday was the Gay Pride March in NYC. Despite a little rain alot of people showed up. While there were many colorful looks this one struck me as having a more interesting aesthetic than others. Love the mix of prints and the use of feathers. And I’m sure that fan came in handy in the crowds!
Our friend Dominicci proves that sometimes more IS MORE. We’re loving the leopard necklace on the leopard shirt. The gold pants are a bit crazy but it’s all outrageous in a good way. -And his friend’s furry/feather style works too – we’re just feeling a bit crazy for the leopard today!
Feathers were EVERYWHERE. Whether it was the influence of Rodarte or the Black Swan je ne sais pas de tout, but let me tell you that literally every show had someone showing their own twist to the feather trend. I have to say that I think jackets in general were more successful than skirts. The skirts tended to be short and unless the wearer was very tall and thin the look was less than flattering. (hence no photos!)
Skinny jeans were taken off the Spring 2011 runways so we’ll consider this girl ahead of the trend. Her wide leg trouser-style jeans are simple and sophisticate and we love how she paired them with a cropped tailored jacket.
I know that we just officially finished “Day 5″ but I had to post a few photos from the Tommy Hilfiger party. I was going to stay home Sunday night but a call from my friend Aleks to come to the Tommy Hilfiger show and 25th Anniversary party got me out of Brooklyn. The show was too crowded to shoot but the party? A-MA-ZING! (so good I skipped another “exclusive” party to stay)
No I don’t know what the hell this girl is wearing either but I could not keep my eyes off her. She has that kind of presence. Oh and she’s gorgeous!!!
And these 3 are poptarts –I mean popSTARS in Japan. But I lost their card so if you recognize them let me know. And if you like more of the model-y blackstage photos follow me on twitter where I’ll be posting them regularly.