Millinery: The Wild Party

The Spring Musical, and final show of the season at UCI was “The Wild Party”, directed by Dennis Beasley, and Costume Designed by 1st Year Grad, Joe Kucharski. Per usual, I jumped at the opportunity to construct some of the hats for this show. Working out of one of my favorite books, Denise Dreher’s “From the Neck Up”, I made a clouche and a few headbands.

I want start with my favorite build. A jeweled and feathered cloche hat.  Pictured here is actress Taylor Jackson Ross, an undergrad at UCI. Then some of my finished process shots. For this hat I flat patterned a 4 part soft cap, so that the cloche would fit close to Ms. Ross’ head, and then using that as a base was able to drape  material on top of it. There by controlling the texture and drape to the satisfaction of the designer, but also making the hat largely actor-proof.

(She certainly makes it come alive!)

Next is sequined headband built on wire. The idea with this hat was to camouflage any of the construction elements, so that the actresses head simply “glowed” with sequins, accented with peacock feathers in the front.


This is one of the best transformations of object to costume, I think I can claim as my own. On the head-form, when all the wire and horsehair are visible the piece lacks grace or any sense of “jazz”, but that all changes on the actor.

My 3rd piece was worn by Ashley Norland. It’s simply a fabric headband, that I hand beaded, and attached a long glorious feather to.

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