You’re never fully dressed without a hat according to custom hat designer Teressa Foglia and her celeb fans including Nikki Reed, John Mayer, Ashley Graham, Will Smith, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Gerard Butler, Keri Russell and Jamie Chung seem to agree.
The modern milliner sat down with Stylish at her Malibu shop to dish on what goes into making chic headgear for the stars and why her creations can complete any look.
“I’ve always loved hats and have early memories of a dear family friend who was a hat collector letting me go into her hat closet. … One of the first hats I loved was a big purple, oversized straw hat that I would wear to high school basketball games since our colors were purple and gold,” Foglia said.
Since then, Foglia’s hat preferences have changed, but she draws upon vintage styles when designing by using recycled fabrics, colors, unique trims and art details added on by her boyfriend Tyler Hays Wild to make each of them stand out.
“They are modern and classic, while also bohemian and fun,” she dished. Beyond the special features that her and Wild incorporate, the coolest part of it all is that when you purchase a hat from Foglia, you can expect to be part of the design process.
“Our clients love putting their personal stamp on something. It’s more than just going into a shop and buying something, it’s an experience for them. Even if we have a hat on the shelf that’s the perfect design and style, we still might drop the crown down a half inch, so it’s just perfect for them,” she said.
To get started on a custom hat, Foglia first encourages her customers to find inspiration and goes on to make sure their creation will fit them perfectly.
“We measure their hat size with a conformateur to give us the exact shape of the head. … Later we’ll create a custom wooden disk that will be the shape of their exact head size, so when it comes time to block the hat, it’s made exactly to measure.”
From there, the hat maker and her clients decide on the material they want to use and explore shape and color options. “A lot of personal touches go into each hat like the height of the crown, the length of the brim, how stiff or soft it will be and how the brim should curve or not curve,” Foglia explained.
Trims and external designs can be decided upon at the initial meeting with Foglia, at the final fitting, or you can give her full creative freedom to use her eye for style to create something one of a kind for you.
“We love to offer our guests the option to simply dive in with everything we have including grosgrains, leathers, suedes, antique fabrics from all over the world, gemstones, patches, silks, precious metals and more,” Foglia dished.
Some popular ideas: “Adding small details like birthdays, astrology signs, quotes or symbols bring an emotional connection to something that they can have and cherish forever.”
Once you’ve helped design your ideal topper, expect to receive it in two to three weeks and prepare to make it a staple accessory for any get-up.
“Hats have always just been a piece of my wardrobe much like shoes would be for someone else,” Foglia told Stylish.
“For me, it’s the first thing you notice about someone and it makes the outfit. I love how you can dress up jeans and tee with a chic, felt hat or dress down a look at a wedding with something more casual. There’s a certain confidence that a hat gives someone that elevates their look just by how the hat makes them feel.”
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