Tuesday, May 4, 2010


A heady wink, a slight lean forward, a smooth chignon and the perfect hat recall this iconic 50s film. And entirely coincidentally the modern owner of this name, Gigi Burris, is a young designer who has mastered the art of millinery. Her work recalls an era when women dressed to thrill – both themselves and their admirers – in perfectly planned looks head to toe. And yet it is far from retro.

Burris attended Parsons where she studied millinery, and during this time traveled to Paris to integrate herself further with the storied mercerie shops. As Jeanne Lanvin and Gabrielle Chanel had done, why not recapture this somewhat languishing craft, and inject the glamour and atmospheric principles of luxury headwear into the modern girl’s wardrobe?

She graduated in 2009 with a BFA and nomination for Designer of the Year, and promptly founded her namesake label to begin producing bespoke pieces. The collection preceded the influx of audacity emanating from the music world (in the case of Rihanna, Lady Gaga et. al.), and compliments this sense of newness, while fitting perfectly with an Ascot (or Derby) crowd.

The work is deeply varied, ranging from dramatic, black swan swooping feathered numbers to petite, sharp pieces in pale shades and slight nods to punk. Fantastical, yet relevant and timeless – truly hats for the ages. 

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