DSC_1751  I've become a rather persistent and pushy stay-at-home blogger.  Instead of operating on a shooting-emails basis, I'm instead, barging into people's homes/workspaces instead.  Beware designers… Susie could be invading your home soon… and not in the good Changing Rooms sort of way either.  

I subjected to Moody & Farrell to this space invasion last week because after discovering their pigskin boater hats via My Sugarland and going onto their shell of a website, I thought it necessary to do a bit of poking around.  Turns out Moody & Farrell isn't a physical partnership but is in fact, milliner Eloise Moody and her spiritual partner, her now-deceased grandfather (named Farrell) who was an inspiration to her hat-wise.  I think I spoke of the time when I was wandering around Paris in my straw boater and a few elderly gentlemen tipped their hats to me as a gesture to my own hat wearing.  Eloise's hats therefore hark back to a period where hats were no form of costume, adornment or sign of extravagance but merely a day-to-day part of necessary attire just like socks and shoes are today.  Starting off in fine art and theatre, Eloise started to specialise in millinery and through a word-to-mouth mode of operation, has established Moody & Farrell as a custom hatmaker, selling to private clients as well as film and TV costume commissions.  She mentioned her recent appearance of her hats in a scene in Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland… guessing she meant this one…

Alice

Eloise has toyed with the idea of making her hats more widely available in a ready to wear model but seeing as she operates her hat making all by herself (yup, NO interns…), her small scale production allows her to concentrate on shape, structure and ultimately, hats that we might want to get a good deal of wear out of rather than just limit to occasion wear.  Case in point, Eloise does NOT make fascinators or the sort of Ascot-hat affairs where a whole feathered bird could be residing in the hat.  

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Instead she takes inspiration from historical references… be it actual hats, figures, found antique materials…

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… and then transfers them to hat forms where shape is above all, more important than any superfluous decoration.  Not that the shape is trying too hard to be completely 'avant garde' or radical as the intentions is still that these hats are worn all the time.  So quite often, the shapes are recognisable from classic shapes; bowlers, boaters, top hats, trappers etc… but then changed up in proportion to make them stand out.  Eloise also gets creative with the materials she uses, illustrated by the pigskin boaters…

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Her latest masterpiece is this hand-cut scallop covered bowler with a curved 'cow-boy' style brim…

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Like my vintage aviator hat, these 'helmet' style caps are strangely versatile… no volume to knock off and they feel very 'integrated' with your head… 

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Another oversized triumph in the form of this deerstalker hat… 

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And the most oversized of them all is this mushroom bowler… which adds a good 10 inches on top of my head.  Now why haven't hats been thought of as height-enhancers?

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Eloise is currently working on a collaboration with Dashing Tweeds… love these distinct tweed patterns that well… don't look all that tweedy…

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Having been through a fair amount of vintage and new hats myself, I like that Eloise has taken the approach where striking form is the emphasis (she carves a lot of her hat forms herself…).  Moody & Farrell hats are definitely not just for Christmas/Ascot/theatre/weddings… leaving it in the hall way, preferably on a hat stand would hopefully instil a habit of daily wear.  

Comments (59)

  1. worn journal says:

    I adore these. It isn’t often you see such great structure, thanks for letting me know about this awesome lady.

  2. diane says:

    oh this is amazing!
    funny i was searching today for a hat and i found an interesting boutique of vintage hats: http://www.etsy.com/shop/elyse72?section_id=6374988
    this artist is very inspirational!

  3. Shini says:

    That scallop blue hat is indeeeed a masterpiece. How I love seeing the behind stage workspaces of designers and artists… Me likey your latest bloggy routine!

  4. Maria says:

    wow I love them!! crazy designs!

  5. I love this post…. great hats!! PS— Eloise’s apron is a thing of glory. I’d say my favorite hat is the scalloped blue one but I also like the red leather yarmulke. Yea, I know it’s not a yarmulke, but something about a close-fitting hat seems Mennonite, at least!

  6. Sophia says:

    I love the aviator hat! I would easily wear that everyday! I’m always looking for hats online but the vintage ones often don’t fit! I must look into these. <3
    skiepies.blogspot.com/

  7. Tania says:

    Those are some of the most beautiful hats! They are different in a way of their own, but not like the extravagant masterpieces you often find! Love it!
    http://toruu-tania.blogspot.com/

  8. sophia says:

    Do you know a contact for Moody & Farrell? The web site seams a little bare. The hats are really beautiful.

  9. Jennifer says:

    The blue bowler looks like its covered in fishscales, its pretty cool. I used to never much be into hats, but I’m kind of moved on from bows to little old lady hats, I’d like to start a collection soon 😀

  10. Brilliant hats. I don’t think I’m ballsy enough to wear most of these but I can definitely appreciate them, the scallop covered bowler is really incredible. I would wear the helmet style red cap in a heartbeat though, I love the shape of it, so sleek. You must have been tempted to leave with a few!

  11. Sandra says:

    The hats are devastating! ^^
    xoxo Sandra
    http://glamirrorous.com

  12. gih says:

    Another style of a hat. But if you ride a fast vehicle, it would really drop in the air.

  13. Mayweather says:

    Well, that a cute and nice design either.

  14. Clare says:

    Ohhh, those hats are a delight, I feel a dent in my student loan coming soon…
    http://iliketweet.blogspot.com/
    x

  15. elizabeth says:

    this is one of the more exciting new things i have come across in a looooong time. the deerstalker!!!!

  16. TaraRose says:

    ohmygoodness cutest hats everrr. yourr facial expressions are evnn cuter though:)
    come check out my blog yeah?

  17. Maggie says:

    i’d like her to make me a hat, please.

  18. KD says:

    YES! Love it! It is so so wonderful to see lovely, handmade hats that are not one-wear-only! Now if only I could afford one . . .

  19. Nickie Frye says:

    She’s brilliant and adorable. I love all the hats you showed & I also love her doggy apron.

  20. lyrebirdgully says:

    The red aviator cap looks sensational on you Susie, with all your long black hair; I confess I never would have picked it as such a great look. From the photo it seems to have a bit of that Star Wars feel, i.e. of being simultaneously from the past and the future. I’d love to see your take on styling it with a whole outfit.
    PS. wishing you plenty of post-trip rest and relaxation in Sydney (my town)!

  21. trashtastika says:

    Loving these! I do like it when common or established shapes are subverted, like the mushroom bowler hat 🙂 Having studied millinery and made hats myself, I know how much work it is…especially sewing straw braid round and round to make hats. Thanks for featuring hats!

  22. MiA says:

    Couldn’t agree more!! love the light blue in particular.
    http://miamarionette.blogspot.com/

  23. BEX says:

    I CAN’T BELIEVE SHE DOES THESE ALL BY HERSELF! SHE MUST BE REALLY DEDICATED! LOVE THE DIFFERENT STYLES!!! SOOOOO TALENTED!
    xx
    http://www.thestylingbee.blogspot.com
    http://www.thestylingbee.blogspot.com
    http://www.thestylingbee.blogspot.com

  24. Duck says:

    Oooh what is the deerstalker made of? Deer? My mum has a fabulous hat she bought in Italy, which she thought was made of felt. When she came home I happened to look at the label and saw the word “coniglio”. I didn’t tell her.
    xx
    Duck

  25. Laveena says:

    The woman makes great hats, hats off to her! I hope you invade my workspace some day. 😉

  26. i’m all into this barging business. these has are simple-fantastic and look very wearable. the scalloped blue is my favourite.

  27. nicole says:

    makes me want to wear hats more often <3

  28. Eloise says:

    Hi all,
    Eloise here. Thank you all for the lovely feedback. Especially pleased that the dog apron (practical yet educational) has won long overdue respect.
    Apologies that my website is still under construction. A proper one is being made at the moment but in the meantime I can be contacted at eloise@moodyandfarrell.co.uk.

  29. j Lloyd says:

    Brilliant hats Ellie. Mog’s mum here. How beautiful Chris’ hat is makes me want one of my very own. The scallop bowler and aviator and the mushroom are all total favourites of mine. That’s not a hint. Lovely to see you in the mode.
    Love Judy

  30. Fashion J says:

    i think the brown one is perfectly right for you…you should buy !

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