LadySalisbury's Profile

About

After working many years in the hi-tech corporate world, I decided to follow my passion, which is the textile arts. I love to create things, especially hats!

I attended the School of Fashion Design in Boston, where I first learned the lost art of fine millinery. My training has also included self study of books, from the turn of the century and from the 1920s and 1930s, where I have mastered the techniques of the early couture milliners of days gone by.

My hats are hand blocked (steamed, pinned, and molded) on wooden hat blocks. Many of my hat blocks are antique and vintage, dating back as far as the late 1800s and early 1900s, as well as from the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s. In addition, according to traditional millinery techniques, the edges of the hat brims are hand wired to properly shape the brim and allow it to hold its form…

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  • Female
  • Born on March 12
  • Joined December 14, 2009

Favorite materials

silk, velvet, lace, feathers, vintage veiling, antique buttons

Shop

LadySalisbury
Ladies Handmade Hats - Couture, Kentucky...

About

After working many years in the hi-tech corporate world, I decided to follow my passion, which is the textile arts. I love to create things, especially hats!

I attended the School of Fashion Design in Boston, where I first learned the lost art of fine millinery. My training has also included self study of books, from the turn of the century and from the 1920s and 1930s, where I have mastered the techniques of the early couture milliners of days gone by.

My hats are hand blocked (steamed, pinned, and molded) on wooden hat blocks. Many of my hat blocks are antique and vintage, dating back as far as the late 1800s and early 1900s, as well as from the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s. In addition, according to traditional millinery techniques, the edges of the hat brims are hand wired to properly shape the brim and allow it to hold its form.

All of my hats are made by hand, by me, in my studio. I also make many of the silk flowers adorning the hats using French flower making techniques. I use only high quality silks and natural fibers.

I carefully select the shape, material, color and trimmings to create an elegant hat that is a work of fashion and of art. I am inspired by color and also by fine fabrics and embellishments. I also love to use antique buttons, vintage veiling and beautiful imported feathers in my designs. I am a perfectionist for fine detail and have a genuine passion for hats!


Ela, Countess of Salisbury

On another note, a bit of whimsy on why I named my store Lady Salisbury - I love history and I have an English ancestress, a great, great, ... 23rd great-grandmother who lived in medieval times. She was considered "one of the towering female figures of the 13th century".

As the only child of the 2nd Earl of Salisbury, a noble of the court of Richard the Lion-hearted, Ela succeeded to the title, in her own right, as 3rd Countess of Salisbury. She married King Henry the II's illegitimate, but recognized, son William Longespee - her marriage being arranged by King Richard. They had eight children. Upon her husband's death in 1226, she became the first woman sheriff of Wiltshire, the only woman sheriff until 1998. She founded a nunnery called Lacock Abbey in Wiltshire, in 1229, an Augustinian order. After her children were grown, she took the veil in 1238, eventually becoming the Abbess of the convent. In her era, she was described as, "a woman of strong character and full of good works." So, anyway, I feel a strong interest in her as a person and liked the name Lady Salisbury and this is how I came up with my store name.

The type of hat that Ela, Lady of Salisbury, may likely have worn would have been a barbette, a chin band attached to a pillbox hat (fillet), with her hair swathed in netting called a crespine (snood). This would have been a distinctive headdress for wealthy women of the 13th century.

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