Do you ever feel like a perpetual student?  I sure do. I’m forever taking workshops in a quest to perfect my millinery skills. Case in point, I will shortly be attending a millinery workshop to learn advanced skills working with parasisal straw.  Taught by Bridget Bailey it’s sure to be intense, rewarding, and well worth the effort.  This isn’t the first workshop that I’ve attended at the Chateau Dumas or with Bridget Bailey.

I’ve often heard it said that the teacher will appear when the student is ready and that pretty much describes how I first discovered Bridget. A group of us were talking about millinery workshops that we’ve attended in the past.  Two participants were raving about Bridget’s tartelette aux fruit fascinator class and encouraged us to study with Bridget if we had the chance.  Fast forward a few months and voilà, there it was, a workshop on flower-making techniques taught by Ms. Bailey.

Her attention to detail was incredible, her patience knew no bounds and her generosity in sharing her knowledge was humbling.  She showed us how to dye fabric, create individual leaves, assemble flowers petal by petal and then turn it into a hat. Let’s just say I had an amazing time and learned a lot.

velvet flower hat

I remember staying up late at night, wrapping thread around the wire that was to be an integral part of my millinery creation. My goal was to create something in keeping with the level of millinery skills that Bridget was sharing. If the stitches were too big, I redid them. If the attachment was showing, I started over.  As I entered the “zone” it all came together. A unique piece that I was intensely proud of.

Patience, patience and more patience became my mantra

black jumpsuit by CoBut what to wear with such an unusual headpiece?  Usually, we select an outfit first and then coordinate the headpiece.  Every now and then, the process is flipped and we find a headpiece that stands on its own. I decided to go shopping at Neiman Marcus to find the right outfit.  Something black…a bit of a statement but not too much to detract from the piece.  Hmmm.

I found a black, one-shoulder, belted jumpsuit that was perfect.  Made by Co, a Los Angeles-based label founded in 2011 by Stephanie Danan and Justin Kern, the outfit was infused with drama and romance. It was the perfect foil for my dramatic headpiece.

Now, let’s see what this workshop brings…