Sunday, February 22, 2009

A Look at A Designer: Ellen Christine Millinery

With an intimate and irresistible shop in Chelsea, Ellen Christine Colon-Lugo and her team creates fantasy. Ellen Christine brings more than a good imagination and a selective eye to her craft. Hats became part of Ellen Christine's life ever since her grandmother let her select a pink straw hat for Easter. Her handmade hats have earned her a devoted East Coast following.

Ellen Christine has a costume background ... Master's and doctorate degrees in costume history from New York University. She loves working with antique garments and her inspiration often comes from the theatrical and couture.

"Historicity plays a big part, since my fascination is with old-school line, form and construction methods. Antique trims, and details have always fascinated me, and I have a core collection of feathers, silks, flowers and buttons, that are all pre-1947, so they often get incorporated into the designs."

Ellen Christine produces five collections a year. The store works as a showroom for editors, stylists and other designers ... to be inspired, and plot their shoots, or lines. Her creative hats are used quite frequently by Conde Nast, mostly with W and Vogue, providing them with fresh pieces for their editorials, as soon as ideas pop up.

Who buys Ellen Christine creations? Editors for their weddings, pop stars for CD covers, in addition to any normal, naked head that walks into the shop.

"People may read about us in a magazine in Park City, and call in an order. Or their daughter is getting married, and they want a fabulous hat as the Mother of the Bride. We do bridal, as well, and in New York City, it's everything from cathedral length beaded veils, to goth black lace."

To visit the shop:

Ellen Christine Millinery

255 West 18th Street (at 8th Avenue)
New York City 10011
tel: (212) 242-2457

To shop online, go to : Ellen Christine Millinery