When I was little, my favorite book was The Marcel Marceau Counting Book. The famous mime taught me how to count by trying on different hats and becoming each new character. A pirate hat, a soldier’s hat, and cowboy hat… His outfit never changed—except the hat of course—but the hat and his pose told the story.
I was fascinated by the animation a person could bring to his body and face to tell an entire story in one pose, using one prop! Who knew a hat could say so much! (By the way, the book is by George Mendoza and was published by Doubleday in 1971. It’s long been out of print but used copies can be found on Amazon and eBay.)
Our newest title in the Design Collective series, Hat Shop, captures that spirit and sense of fun for me. I had such a great time working on this book. The hats are all so different. The designers are from around the world… Italy, Greece, England, Australia, Canada, and of course the US.
We all had so much fun planning the look of this book, too. Our art director, photographers, and the rest of the book team kicked around ideas. We talked about the possibility of recreating the Marcel Marceau book. We played with a photobooth idea. We discussed taking it to the street with models in urban settings.
What we ended up with is a great combination of all those ideas. We thought one main model with hugely expressive eyes could become each hat’s character. Backgrounds are plain…our very own 1950s pinup look!
What was clear was that we needed the right model. No question. Casey. Casey used to work at C&T Publishing as one of our production coordinators. She’s since moved to another part of the state. But she has the perfect look! Good naturedly, Casey agreed to fly up for the photoshoot, and fly up again for the extra days. It was great to have her around and the photos couldn’t be better.
We introduced different models for the kids’ hats… different ages were needed, plus we had hats for two guys and even a unisex hat. With 25 projects, oh yes… there are hats for everyone! There are rain hats and sun hats. Serious hats and fun hats. (It’s true, Dr. Suess rhyme or no Dr. Suess rhyme.) There’s a lot of vintage style from a 1940s half hat to a bowler that hints of the Mad Men‘s era. There are decidedly modern entries including our cover fascinator.
There are easy sewing projects, like Rosey’s Reversible Headscarf, with cute and clever ideas for perfecting and embellishing. There are more challenging projects as well that show you how to sew and attach brims and crowns and work with basic millinery supplies.
When it comes to the photos, I have a favorite. The rainhat shot. When it comes to the hats, there’s no way I could pick a favorite… They are all as unique as their designers and as the people who’ll make them for themselves!
I even contributed what I consider a classic… everyone needs a baseball cap, don’t they?
Now for the giveaway – one lucky reader will win a copy of Hat Shop! To enter to win, leave a comment here on the blog telling us what kinds of hats you like to wear. The deadline to enter is Sunday, 4/22/12; the winner will be contacted via email and listed here with an update to this post.
For a second entry, sign in to your Amazon account and hit the “like” button for this book. Then come back here to enter a second comment saying you did so. Good luck!
4/23/12 UPDATE: Natishia chacon is our winner – congratulations!