I might be a jewelry designer, but I have to admit, I secretly believe that the hat is the ultimate accessory. Let's be completely honest here. For all the time and money that we spend on shoes, how many non-fashion people actually stop and take the time to look at your feet when you first walk into a crowded room? The same goes for the jewelry, belts, gloves, and bags that I love so much, which are essential for filling out an outfit, but ultimately often go unobserved and unnoticed to the passing eye. You see, none of these accessories will get you noticed like a hat. Whether it's a simple beret, or a large fur number, it's one of those in-your-face things that people just can't avoid looking at. As Stephen Jones says in his new book, Hats an Anthology, "Why are they remaindered to the Timbuktu of fashion when they are in fact its Shangri-La?"
Mr. Jones, I couldn't agree more. That's why, when I heard that Bond 07 was opening a new hat salon, I decided to head straight over and take a peek. The store is already full of an amazing selection of designer vintage clothes, young independent designers, as well as their enormous stock of Selima Optique eye glasses, but for me, the new hats were truly the highlight. Even though they only have a small selection of their Fascinators on display in their upstairs boutique, Elena, the super-stylish sales girl, took me downstairs to the hat salon, where all the hats are custom made and fit. Many of the hats were out for press, but I got to see a good selection of the couture hats, all designed by Virginie Promeyrat, and her assistant Lopeti. While the RTW hats retail from $280-$340, the custom made couture and cocktail hats run between $185-$700. While the prices aren't cheap, they're pretty reasonable considering that no two couture hats are the same, and each design can be customized according to your wishes. I'm personally a huge sucker for anything customized or one-of-a-kind, and am going to try and save up for a top hat or a bowler.
This might be the bowler hat of my dreams---I would have to add my own finishing touches though. I also love all the Dolly Heads they use for displaying the hats, they remind me of my time at Anna Sui, and her extensive collection of Dolly Heads.
I've been looking for a traditional black top hat for over a year now (they're so damn expensive), but I'm really loving this one in violet.