October 6, 2010
At the NY burlesque festival where lots of great vendors. I already talked about Drag Addict and their wonderfully luscious non-feather boas. Today I must talk about Dollsville NYC and the wonderful experience I had with them. Upon arriving at the Thursday night ‘Teaser Party” at Brooklyn Bowl, I was running late and just passed by the vendor stands but got to go back and check them out later.
Upon arriving at the Dollsville NYC stand they had some of their ‘Pin-Up Essentials’ flower clips, but the stand mostly consisted of their ‘Psychobilly Sweetheart Essentials’ line featuring hair ornaments like clips with Lily Munster, The Bride of Frankenstein and Pee-Wee Herman in the center. I really dig some of their clips, but was extremely saddened to pick them up and find felt as the adherence fabric on the back. If you remember from a previous post, I found out recently that the felt used to make hats is typically made from rabbit fur, and many felted items are made of wool, both of which are decidedly not vegan.
When the woman running the stand and shop, Laura, came over to ask if I needed help I explained the my dilemma of loving some of the clips, but not being able to get them because felt is made from wool or rabbit fur. By the look of shock on her face, I deduced she was not aware of this. She pointed out that some of her clips had fabric backings and she could custom make them for me at no additional charge. I picked out a skill and vinyl combo and then asked to get a skull hand painted blue to match a dress I have.
Saturday morning I sent an email to Laura as a reminder and she was prompt and kind and totally on the ball with working within my vegan limits. That night when I met up with her at the Bell House for the NYBF Premiere Party, she had my custom pieces, but showed me the information about the felt she uses for her hair ornaments. Ends up it is not only vegan, it’s totally eco-friendly and made from recycled bottles. This makes me really really happy because I always felt guilty at my last job when I had to work with felt, but now I realize craft felt isn’t all made from animal products. Hip Hip Hurray!
I quickly purchased my two custom pieces, as seen above, and even put the blue skeleton clip in that night to help hold my hat on so it didn’t blow away in the wind. I loved the idea that the skull hand was holding the hat to my hand.
If you dig any of the Dollsville NYC works, I highly suggest purchasing them. They aren’t two expensive in the world of handmade hair decorations, and the owner and maker is a super nice woman who is willing to custom make whatever ever color or design combo you are looking for.
August 2, 2010
Yesterday was a day of strolling and just enjoying the city. Well, at least the second part of it. My morning was a bit stressful when I messed up my subway directions and didn’t make it to the corset place before stopping at the theatre to see We The People: America Rocks, starring the one and only Bastard Keith (well, not billed by that name since it was a family friendly show) as Ben Franklin.
After the theatre, my partner wasn’t feeling too well, but we decided to quick stop at the corset place, since I missed it before the show and was feeling sort of glum. I bought two items there (to be discussed in a different post) and then on the walk to get a taxi we passed by a hat shop.
Now, hats have become sort of new interest for me. I think I always enjoyed the look, but never really got into them myself. With the abundance of 1930’s era films we’ve been watching lately and a lot of jazz-age themed events popping up in NYC, I decided I should invest in a cloche hat so I’d have something to wear to events. Walking past this hat store, I saw one in the window and decided to go try some on.
Victor Osborne‘s store is a really amazing experience. Hat blocks (the wooden models that they fit the hats on to shape them) line the store and are placed along the back wall with hats that are finished or are currently being fitted. Osborne himself was actually steaming one when we walked in. I tried on a variety but knew I had come in looking for a cloche, and decided to get one. As a warning, the hats there are a bit pricey for my taste, but the craftsmanship was amazing and he was such a great guy running his own business, it felt good buying from him.
Now, for the vegans in the house, here is another interesting fact for you all. Victor Osborne makes his hats out of two main mediums – straw (vegan) and felt (not vegan). I asked about the felt, figuring it would be made from wool, like felted bags I’ve seen people knit. I was actually surprised to find out most of the felt he uses is composed of rabbit fur. Vegans, before you squirm, know that he is fine making any style hat in straw if it is structurally possible. Personally, I was in love with so many of his hats that were already created in straw, I am eagerly awaiting my chance to make my next purchase!