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Hat of the Day Sketch – Louise MacDonald “Mambo” hat, 2009

April 15, 2010

I discovered modern Australian milliner Louise MacDonald this week and have to say I was floored by how prolific her collections are and how completely inspirational they are.  In fact, I literally dreamed all night about making free-form blocked hats last night after looking at so many of Louise’s hats.

From her 2009 Spring collection, today’s HOTD is entitled “Mambo” and appears to be a fabric hat (or fabric draped over buckram frame) with ribbon and brooch embellishments.  The fabric looks strikingly similar to Harmony Arts’ Let It Grow in the green colorway (I have made hats out of this fabric in the brown/aqua colorway).

I love the color combinations in Mambo.  That green with the rust red/brown….  Yum!  And the shape of the ribbon reminds me of the way entire birds’ wings are used in millinery.  In fact, to me this hat’s overall style reminds me almost instantly of hat styles in the early 1900s, particularly the period between 1910-1918.  I absolutely love it!

As always, please feel free to comment on this post below.  If you like what you see here, subscribe to this blog for more great millinery stuff!

Louise MacDonald "Mambo" hat, 2009

2 Comments leave one →
  1. April 16, 2010 11:02 am

    Hi Ginger,

    Thank you so much for the drawing! “Mambo” is made from vintage straw and trimmed with a striped vintage ribbon and brooch. The green straw hood is made up of about 60 little 3 cm wide straw braid discs. I blocked the straw into a trilby shape. The striped ribbon I had sitting in a drawer for some years…. until the right hat came along….
    I love fossicking for vintage millinery materials….. Whenever I go on holidays I have half an eye open ….always on the look out. Garage sales, car boot sales, ebay…..

    “Mambo” I enjoyed for the color and the texture. Other hats I make I enjoy for the movement and line. I guess you see the movement I like in the Mambo ribbon.

    I loved reading your blog and look forward to receiving further post!Now I am off to browse through the rest of your offerings!
    Thank you
    Louise Macdonald

    • April 19, 2010 9:36 pm


      It’s such a pleasure chatting with you! I’m even more impressed with “Mambo” now that I know what it’s made of. I’ve been trying to find more vintage items for my hats; so far most of my vintage items have come from my grandmother’s estate, which is nice because it has a personal history behind it. I remember spending hours in her house with my cousins chatting and sifting through the drawers of vintage buttons and other notions, half of which I didn’t know what they did!

      Keep checking back here for more of your hats. I know they’ll be the subject of my Hat of the Day more than once!

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