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April 21 2014

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2 posts tagged "Heather Huey"

Heather Huey Gets Pleated

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“I felt like I needed to do something a little bit more classic,” says thirty-two-year-old Heather Huey, the milliner-cum-conceptual-designer best known for her dramatic body cages (as worn by Rihanna in her Annie Leibovitz-lensed Vogue spread last November), crystal bunny masks, and sculptural chapeaux. Indeed, Pleated Project, her latest collection of pleated grosgrain and felt headpieces, stems from classic references (like circle hats and papal miters), but the result is hardly traditional. Made completely in black (“I love black,” says Huey. “It’s classic, flattering, easy, and lets me focus on other elements of design, like shape, texture, and finish.”), the collection features a host of structured toppers that are simultaneously wearable and editorial. Take, for instance, a fascinator that twists and arcs like a pair of frowning lips, or a large piece with upturned wings that merges Hunger Games-esque futurism with a Victorian silhouette (thanks to her background in architecture, Huey’s shapes are always unusual but considered).

So who can pull off Huey’s head sculptures? “She has to have confidence and a desire to commit to whatever look she is creating,” explains the designer, who describes her personal aesthetic as “low-key casual” and rarely wears her own work. (There are exceptions, of course, like when her boyfriend, photographer Billy Kidd shot Huey in her creations for an exhibition at Clic Gallery last year.) She does, however, try on her toppers during the design process. “My head isn’t really a ‘hat’ head, so I know if it looks good on me, it’s going to look amazing on anyone else,” she laughs.

After spending several months on her intricate pleated looks, Huey is already planning her next move—a new range of cages. “The Pleated Project challenged me to take on the traditional,” she says. “Now I’m ready to try something new and modern again.”

Heather Huey’s handmade hats and cages are available at Kiki de Montparnasse, on her Web site, and at other select retailers.

Photos: Billy Kidd

Tip of the Hat

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Thanks to European labels like Saint Laurent, Acne Studios, and Costume National, hats—mainly casual versions with wide brims—are a well-established Spring ’13 trend. But here in the USA, it’s National Hat Day. And while milliners across the pond (like Stephen Jones, Philip Treacy, Piers Atkinson, and Maison Michel) get lots of love from the fashion set, we’d like to use the holiday to tip our toppers to homegrown headgear talent. Take CFDA winner Eugenia Kim, for instance. Her sweet kitten-ear felt caps were a big hit this fall, and her bright feather-embellished fedoras can be worn with most anything. Satya Twena crafts everything from easy-to-wear fedoras to out-there studded fascinators, and Jason Wu included floppy feminine hats in his debut Miss Wu collection. On the more eccentric side, we have milliner Heather Huey, whose conceptual chapeaux (left)—which range from bejeweled bunny ears to sculpted, twisted takes on more traditional styles—have appeared in magazines such as Vogue, W, and Interview . Whether or not you deem yourself a “hat person,” National Hat Day is the perfect excuse to experiment with topping off your look. And, considering each of the designers above is based in New York, you won’t have to go too far to do so.

Photo: Courtesy of www.heatherhuey.com