The Swanepoel Hat

I always get excited when I find out that some designer or artist or whatever professional who's work I admire hails from Africa. Such was the case with milliner Albertus Swanepoel from South Africa. I first took notice of his work through the F2008 Carolina Herrera collection where his hats stole the show as far as I was concerned. I literally wanted to run out of my tukul (I was in Sudan when the collection came out) and just throw one of those hats on my head. Needless to say that would have sealed my 'I have official LOST my mind' state. But seriously, is there any fashion item (besides a great bag and shoe of course) so mature and elegant as a hat?!?! A man or woman who can rock a great hat just oozes a higher level of confidence and maturity (even if there's nothing but crazy underneath the hat)!

Picture from The Frock Report

Anyway..back to Albertus. Starting out in Jo'burg, Albertus had his own line of fashion designs before you took that big, scary leap of immigration. Landing in NYC in 1989, he had to start at the "bottom" making designer gloves before enrolling in FIT and working with one of the best milliners in the industry. Fast forward a few years later and boom - a Swanepoel hat is one to own! For spring, I'll take a straw one with big white flowers please!

Collection from F2008 Herrera Show


ColoredOpinions said...

Was wondering, do you know why it is called a Gainsbourg hat?

Brandie said...

The Gainsborough hat is named after an English artist Thomas Gainsborough who was famous for painting English ladies in dramatic versions of this hat. They were popular at the end of the 18th century and again at the end of the 19th century. The hats were originally made of velvet, straw or felt had basically had the whole kitchen sink on them, including whole birds.
I think this is a simplier, modern take cause I could certainly not rock a bird on my head! :)

ColoredOpinions said...

oh, I thought it was the famous french singer Gainsbourg that had a hat named after himself. You know him?