Monday, July 29, 2013

Rain...How I love you...

The last few days here in Sapporo the heavens have opened and drowned my little garden, I have never been so happy.  I am sure that one of the most common reasons for people moving abroad is to run away from the British weather but after a month of crazy heat and humidity, humidity and more humidity I have never been so relieved to wake up to Scottish dreich and drizzle.

That is not to say that the humidity has gone away and here my wardrobe stumbles.  Wearing a raincoat in any form of humidity is like walking around in a portable sauna and if you wear a skimpy top underneath to compensate you end up feeling like a PVC wrapped gimp, not nice (personal opinion, that may be your thing).

I have always been too lazy to carry an umbrella never mind when I am hot and bothered and I am bound to leave it in the first place I sit down so this weekend I am going hunting for a rain hat, hopefully one like the picture above as rain and getting to dress up like Captain Birdseye is my idea of a good day :)

Some other options:

In other news my mum went on holiday just as I ran out of teabags and I am now entering my second week of life sans Tetley.  Dandelion tea is a poor substitute so all please feel free to drop some teabags in the post, much appreciated (unless it is Liptons).

This tea is green and has c**p floating in it, do they know who I am?

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Leather Hats?

When I think of leather I think Jim Morrison's trousers.

When I think leather evening wear I think Angelina Jolie's dress.

When I think leather hats I think guy from the Village People.

Where am I going with this I hear you question.  Well it seems that the Village People's rein over the leather hat is about to end as this week I have been flooded by images of leather hats...really nice ones.

Nero Bianco

Head Mistress Boutique

Jill and Jack Millinery

Pooka Queen

The Little Hat Shop

Greer McDonald Hats

Hello Sweet Leigh

jasmin Zorlu

Rachel Shortt

The Millinery Shop

Jill and Jack Millinery

Maybe its because younger ladies are wearing hats more, maybe its because milliners are taking inspiration from the MET ball's punk theme or maybe its just because we can and its pretty but it seems that this Autumn is going to be awash with leather hats.  

What do you guys think, Yay or Nay?

Thursday, July 4, 2013

4th Of July

Happy Independence Day to all my lovely American customers, family and buddies.

I have never been in the states over the 4th of July but I imagine lots of parties and people looking like this.

A quick google search however tells me that Martha Stewart became owner of this holiday many years ago and so lots of you will be heading to swanky garden parties and cocktail soirees...i'm jealous.

This of course gives you a wonderful reason to wear a patriotic hat.  Have fun :)

I know it's a doll but it's also one hell of an outfit!


Beth Hirst Millinery

Judy Bentinick

Maynard Millinery

Rose Patricia Millinery


Pool Party?


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Threads of Peru

There are three things I truly love: indigenous fabrics, colour and llamas.

When travelling around Asia with my sister I fell in love with all the different fabrics, weaving and dying techniques and colours found in the different regions we travelled.  From the bright red and gold sari of Kathmandu to the traditional clothes of the Himalayan women we passed in the mountains through to the batik of Sri Lanka.

Not to mention how cool the hats are:

The thing that struck me the most however was the fact that all of these fabrics, clothes and accessories are made mostly by the people wearing them.  While trekking in the mountains of Nepal every home seemed to have a loom in the garden with a half finished rainbow of fabric on it while in Sri Lanka there was a sewing machine and a small table.  When we were taken to see the women making batik fabric I was amazed to see a few ladies at a big table drawing their patterns with wax before dipping the fabric in a bathtub full of dye and hanging the finished pieces on the washing line at the back of the house.

It was this matter of fact simplicity that encouraged me on my return to try and start my own business crafting form my own home using all the fabrics and techniques I had seen on my travels and of course which led me back to the fabric making cottage industry of my own home Scotland and Harris Tweed.

And so I set about making hats using the warm toned wool of the Islands of Scotland and the beautiful hand painted and hand stitched Kimono fabric of my adopted home of Japan.

But I still dream of going back to Nepal and stocking up on the jewel tone fabrics and turquoise beads to start a new range of hats and I am always happy when I come across another group of people trying to promote the work of small artisans to the world to ensure that the cottage industries of the world aren't lost.  Last night this search led me to Threads of Peru:

I repeat: There are three things I truly love: indigenous fabrics, colour and llamas.  This has them all with awesome hats thrown in like a cherry on top.

In their own words, Threads of Peru is a non-profit organization that connects the world to handmade textiles of Peru; helping to preserve ancient craft techniques and empower indigenous artisans.

They do this by travelling to the remote areas of Peru to help the weavers to perfect their craft before buying the finished fabrics directly from each weaver and selling it online to the world. 

The Weavers

The finished products

They also occasionally ask for volunteers to help with their work and are currently looking for someone to photograph and blog about their work and the communities they work with.  

Itchy feet, itchy feet, itchy feet!!!!

Peruvian hats coming soon to Aka Tombo...?