Wednesday, 21 September 2011

The Second Bridport Hat Festival

The Hat Festival was even better this year: festival patron Hank Wangford and his Lost Cowboys played a hugely entertaining set on the Friday evening at the Arts Centre, including the World Premiere of "Hats Off to Roger" a song celebrating the Festival and the Mighty Snook, Bridport Hatter Extraordinaire, the inspiration and guiding spirit of the festival. It is wonderful festival, the whole town is involved and people come from all over the country to be there. Everyone is hatted. Many make hats specially and the town is thronging with locals and visitors all weekend. As last year I was sharing a stall with my friend Gee and we realised that next year we need a table each as we were a little squashed!

One of the great delights of being a stall holder in the Hat Market ( St Mary's Hall and the Arts Centre) is that you get to talk to other Hat Stall holders and what a splendidly lovely lot they are.

Most are working on their own and make everything on their stall: Burlesque hats from the delightful Fern Berreen of Ferniche Millinery ,

pretty and unusual fascinators from Lucy Fosh at Gypsy Rose Upstyling,

and absolutely exquisitely crafted period reproduction hats for stage, screen and every day from Kee Wilkinson ( sadly, my photo of her stall was pants, but the hats...oh the HATS-magic). Something for everyone- felt hats made from the wool of your own sheep, vintage hats, wedding hats, gents hats, hats for seriously bad weather, hats to be frivolous in name it, you can find it. There was also the fun of the Hat Swishing Workshop-here is a 'before and after' Swished hat-

I was rather too busy to take many photos, let alone decent ones, but there are plenty to be seen here, including one of the lovely Hen, who was at the festival and came to say hello, looking very stylish indeed in a glorious vintage outfit. So nice to meet someone from blogland in the real world. Planning next year's stall already- I have the urge to make some bonnets, an idea in its infancy, but I'm thinking of the old field bonnets- perfect for gardening and keeping the sun off, but made with really modern fabrics- Amy Butler, perhaps

...mmm, best get the sketchbook out!

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