The inspiration for Charming Lady Designs Handmade Millinery came from a single "hair doodle" I purchased in Sandy, OR several years ago. It always garnered compliments and I would look at it and think, "If I had made this, I would have done this, or added that." I finally decided to make one, and I loved it! I couldn't stop learning about millinery, special fabric, techniques and history. Instead of having an expensive and messy hobby, Charming Lady Designs was born!
As a wife and busy mom of two young boys, I wanted something to feed my soul and spark creativity. When the universe handed me this gift, I am so glad I was paying attention!
My inspiration comes from early to mid twentieth century: La Belle Epoch, Art Deco, Art Nouveau, and Mid Century Modern design ideas. The beauty, confidence and glamour of headwear and hats of bygone eras are achievable with today's style. Treasure your custom hat or handbag, it has been made with you in mind.
I wanted something to feed my soul and spark creativity.
Every Charming Lady Design is created by hand at my studio in Allen, TX, using the highest quality fabrics, feathers, vintage embellishments and Czech glass beads. Styles include fascinators, fedoras, cloche styles, and a variety of hair accessories. The items are carefully sewn by hand and structured using traditional millinery techniques with modern style. I have a collection of vintage hatblocks I was fortunate to find, and they produce beautiful shapes. If your favorite item has a hatband, the standard size is 22 1/2", but can be made according to your head measurement.
My love of textiles and construction has led to a selection of handbags crafted from unusual vintage fabrics or designed to match a particular headpiece. I find that crossbody bags are particularly suited to vintage kimono linings while oversized clutches can really showcase an amazing pattern or texture. A little wristlet or zippy pouch is the perfect canvas for a special detail in the design.
Speaking of canvas- I am fortunate to have an amazing artist friend, Kristi Smithson, of Studio Smithson as a collaboration partner. Our handbag collaboration is called Scarlet Paintbrush and uses her beautifully painted modern canvases and my design and construction skills to create stunning, one of kind, painted canvas handbags. www.studiosmithson.com