One of the two milliners whose designs we pulled for our Put A Lid On It photo shoot was Molly Yestadt of Yestadt Millinery. The New York designer, whom this editor met during her NYU days, walks to the beat of her own drummer. From our late teen years to now we've always admired Yestadt's inherent sense of style and disregard for the monotonous in fashion. Now with her own full-fledged millinery company Yestadt is taking her sense of fashion, which is undeniably unique, and applying it to a genre that so deserves a young, creative voice. Below, our quick interview with the designer.
Can you tell us a little bit about how you got into millinery?
My Grandfather and great Grandfather were furriers in Chicago, while the other side of my family had a tailors shop on the west side of Manhattan so I’ve always been around old world craftsmanship. Ive been doing Millinery since 2004 and Its been a real drive for me to create hand made pieces with the same skill and quality.
The history of hats/headpieces/scarves/coverings is rich with cultural information. How do these complexities inform your designs?
Millinery is an old trade, so there’s a ton of technique and craft involved in each design. In the community where I grew up, wearing a hat has connections to modesty, marriage, and status. It’s an accessory that bridges fashion and art with traditions.
Why do you think American women stopped wearing hats as fashion accessories? Do you think this will change?
Hats may have slipped from the wardrobe as American women became more informal and casual. Woman today have been spoiled in to thinking that everything needs to be comfortable. I think Men and Women are beginning to wear more hats already. Everyone wants to wear something special and different, it’s almost like a reaction to the big disposable fashion people are used to.
What other milliner do you admire and why?
Stephen Jones is quite inspirational in his manipulation of lines and materials. I also look to Cha Cha’s House of Ill Repute for their amazingly textured product and constant reinvention of the fedora.
What don't people know about this particular type of design?
To dress a head is really to frame the face and neck. Each hat’s contour has the ability to highlight a different feature. Like any other kind of handmade product, there is a lot in the details.
In terms of your own company, what projects or accomplishments are on the horizon?
Haha filling orders! I do a lot of bridal in addition to the fashion pieces I make so its always pretty hectic in the workshop. Also, Im working on a lot of exciting pieces for winter that are going to be totally outrageous with lots of furs and leathers.