BY DEBORAH FERGUSON
CFDA/Vogue Fashion Alumni - South African born/NY based Milliner Albertus Swanepoel's first exhibit, "A Milliner's Story," had a private opening July 23 in the Odin New York boutique in Soho. Since I'm an avid hat collector, I could not miss the opportunity to attend and lust over the the workmanship and design. The various styles presented on one-off hat forms in glass cases would be best suited to a throwback "dandy" or a contemporary interpretation of Sherlock Holmes.
The exhibit was fascinating to me as Albertus collaborated with various New York based RTW designers, including Cushnie et Ochs, Suno, Richard Chai, Duckie Brown and Band of Outsiders, and asked them to create a one-of-a-kind hat form and gave no direction. My favorite was the black snakeskin hat form by Cushnie et Ochs and Irene Neuwirth's pink face decorated with semiprecious stones. The craftmanship of the trillbies, fedoras, and tophats was an impressive selection of vintage felt, cashmere, fur, and skins. Jason Wu, Alexander Wang, Marc by Marc Jacobs, and Proenza Schouler (to name a few) have all commissioned Albertus to design hats for their RTW shows. I'm not surprised and look forward to seeing his future commissions appear at future RTW shows.
Hats available for purchase at Odin New York: www.odinnewyork.com