If your morning fashion news feed reads like a Style Scroll lineup, you've likely noticed one particular piece that's topped off the looks of some of our city's biggest blogstars. In addition to covering the caps of soon-to-be Angeleno Chiara Ferragni, Courtney of Always Judging, Jacey of Damsel in Dior and Jenny of Margo and Me and many others, LA-based milliner Gladys Tamez has also crafted custom châpeaus for celebs like Johnny Depp, Rihanna, Erin Wasson, Em and more.
After a visit to a fifth-generation haberdashery in Spain, the Mexico-bred designer returned to North America and apprenticed under legendary LA millner, Eloise King. Made from repurposed and recycled materials, Tamez's latest line of handmade hats, Horses in Space ($310 and up), explores "the anatomy of the horse and how its parts relate to the space in which they exist." The range—available at essential boutiques like Maxfield, Guild and Just One Eye—joins Tamez's Fashion Icons collection, inspired by stars like Cher, Brigitte Bardot, Marianne Faithful and other leading ladies of style. Find out what intrigues Tamez, her favorite creation so far, her ultimate design muse and more below.
You first discovered the art of millinery during a visit at a haberdashery in Spain. Can you describe that specific "a-ha" moment when you knew you found your calling?
"It was more gradual. When I saw that hat making had this sculptural quality, that is was personal and less swayed by trends and that the hat as an accessory didn't have its proper place in the hierarchy of apparel. I also saw a need and a desire for hats that reflected a modern approach to fashion that complemented a look but still would serve its purpose functionally.
Additionally, I was attracted to the specialized atelier concept. I liked the idea of designing like a Savile Row tailor and the creative independence that that brings."
What's the best advice that you were given by your mentor, Eloise King?
"Be true to yourself."
Whether it's for a celebrity or an "average" hat wearer, what intrigues you most about creating custom headwear?
"The challenge of making the hat a universal accessory that people acquire with the [the same] care, respect and attention that they apply to the shoe or bag."
What's been your favorite creation so far (besides that amazing Prada/Schiaparelli piece)?
"The Bianca hat, which was inspired by Bianca Jagger in the 1970s. It is part of the Fashion Icons Collection."
If you could design a hat for any famous figure living or dead, who would it be?
"Isabella Blow, [socialite] Daphne Guinness and [Vogue Italia's] Anna Piaggi. I'm inspired by their elegant and crazy personalities."
Who is your ultimate style inspiration?
"Johnny Depp, who has been my muse since I started the brand."
· Gladys Tamez Millinery [Official Site]
· LA Bloggers Loving Cosabella and Gladys Tamez This Week [Racked]
· Hat Maker Nick Fouquet Loves Huck Finn & Homemade Burritos [Racked]