About the Designer


VKC: Why Hats? Lillie: I first knew I

wanted to try making hats after seeing a hat a classmate had made. I enrolled in an accessory design class the follow-

ing semester. We had an emergency substitute teacher the first day of class, so she didn’t really have a lesson plan for us. She allowed us free reign to make essentially whatever we wanted. My first hat was blocked on a homemade block that I cobbled together using a bowl, plasticine, protofoam and a lot of tape. I loved the entire process and my teacher was impressed, so I was hooked. I took every headwear class offered at my school after that and won a grant from the school to continue working on hats after gradu- ation. I think at the core I love headwear because it allows me to blend my passion of sculpture with my love of fashion. VKC: What inspires you? Lillie: I am inspired by many things—other cultures, literature, even the movement of dancers—but nature is the underlying theme in all my work. During my senior year of col- lege, every hat I made was based off of images captured by the Hubble Space Telescope. More recently, I made a line of hats based on water and fire deities from cultures around the world. But, in every piece I make I try capture a little of God’s creation—whether it be the organic chaos of stars or the translucence of flames. VKC: What materials do you like to use? Lillie: I work with a variety of materials and I like to try new materials as I discover them. I’ve used resin with limited success to embellish my hats and more recently I’ve been experimenting with a new material called WireKnitz, which is a very fine metallic wire that has been knit into a tube. Along with the newer materials, I work with more traditional materials like fur and wool felt, sisal and paper braids, fabric and leather. My favorite materials are the ones I purchase as “destash” from other artists and parts that I salvage from vintage headwear. I have a collection of vintage braids and veiling, as well as a precious reclaimed beaver fur felt. While the quality of headwear supplies is still very high, finding the old “Union made in the USA” hats and giving them new life by changing out a veil or salvaging the felt and making it into something new, is very gratifying.


VintageKC << Fashion 2015 47

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