Monday, October 24, 2011

Hattitude by Dorothy Winterman

The Hat Inspiration
Hello! This is Cantor Jessica Kettle here (my Steampunk name for this article, allowing me to be the singer I've always wanted to be!).
Back in March of this year, I had the honor of being asked by stylist Scot Louie to assist him in styling a photo shoot alongside a phenomenally talented crew. Of course I said yes, and he sent me photographer Erika Hokanson's style guide. Erika was going for a "60's contrast vibe" and the inspiration of this shoot came from a shot she had seen in the Parisian magazine Numero. This hat here to  the right was one of the looks in the given style guide. Where would I find a hat like that on such short notice?! Luckily, the guide arrived in my inbox not too long after a conversation with long time friend and new Steampunk hat designer, Dorothy Winterman, on how her designs would be awesome in editorial work. Soooo, who else better to recreate this look for Erika's photo shoot? I must also add as a side note that the same above conversation was a major factor in the inspiration of Circle of Art Movement. I decided a top hat version was the way to go for this look, and while Ms. Winterman got busy making our hat on such short notice, I got busy pulling wardrobe and accessories from my closet and NYC showrooms for Scot Louie to make fabulous outfits with. Below are some pictures of model Ashley LaCamp posing in the final creation followed by an interview with Dorothy Winterman herself, filling you in on what Steampunk genre is all about and about her fabulous line of hats and accessories. I am so impressed with the recreation of the hat from the style guide and how Hattitude made exactly what we were looking for while defying absolute imitation; creating an inspired look, not a copied look!

 Photos of Ashley LaCamp taken by Erika Hokanson. Stay "tuned" for their interviews and more photos of their work this week!

Above (L) Hat inspiration, veiled tilted saucer hat (R) Hattitude by Dorothy Winterman, veiled tilted top hat

Interview with Dorothy Winterman: 
  •   I know you as Luisa Fuentes. How and why did you choose the name Dorothy Winterman and what inspired the name of the line, "Hattitude"?
Okay so... here's the truth. I wanted a "Steampunk" name when I entered the genre as just a participant.  I went to Brassgoggles Steampunk Name Generator, or something like that, and was given the name: Dorothy Winterman.  So I went around introducing myself as that.  No one in the genre (at that time) knew my real name (just as we have stage names for belly dancing- I had one for this because one can NEVER be too careful).  As one of the few women of color in the scene I became known pretty easily- couple that with extensive cleveage and a lack of fear of showing it and my unique style of dress and accessorizing and Miss Dorothy Winterman became known more quickly and much more easily than I had EVER anticipated.
    At a Steampunk event in NYC in the fall of 2010, I decided to make my very own hat to wear along with the ensemble I had dreamed up.  Well...that hat got all the attention away from my cleavage (which became quite jealous I must say).  So many people asked where I bought the hat and I told them I had made it.  More than one person told me that they would buy hats like that from me if I sold them.  An idea was born. However, being that our little community is so...well...little, people knew me as Dorothy Winterman.  Explaining that my real name is Luisa Fuentes would have taken far too much time and effort and re-calibration (in fact many people still don't know my real name).  When I started making hats, bows, headbands and accessories, I tried to think of a name that would make it clear what my merchandise is and give the buyer some joy when they said it.  The name "Hattitude" came to mind for 3 reasons: 1- it describes me perfectly (attitude-with a hat); 2- it described my business and wares without sounding boring; 3- in some British dialects the sound of the "h" at the beginning of a word is not pronounced so the business name could be said (in an appropriate English accent) as "Attitude".  It was perfect and the rest- as they say- is history.
    • What exactly is Steampunk culture? Please describe a Steampunk event; it's music, style, activities that go on...
    Steampunk is a subculture of people, art, and style that uses victorian age aesthetics, clothing, and building materials and adds a modern twist of technology ideals and tolerance. Steampunks fall into 2 categories: those who role play and those who live it. Those who role play attend events and concerts in costumes. They put on accents and take on identities and occupations that may or may not mirror their daily lives. They can be neo victorians whose costumes are stunningly accurate to the time periods they prefer. Many of these steampunks focus on European dress and accents and prefer upper class clothing and speech. Then you have the day to day steampunks who still wear victorian inspired clothing to work and beyond. Men wear hats daily and tip them as a greeting. Polite, genteel conversation and interactions between people are expected. There is a kindness in the community. Even within the communities you have different groupings: you have people who make their own clothing or accessories and those who purchase clothing and accessories. One of the things that sets steampunks apart from other genres is the desire to create. Whether that is clothing or tesla coils or sonic disruptors, many steampunks LOVE to tinker in and with stuff. I started out buying outfit pieces and accessories. Now I make my own clothing, technical items and most accessories. It gives me a huge sense of pride in my accomplishments. There are steampunk houses like the Modvic House owned by Bruce and Melanie Rosenbaum, and mad scientists like Dr. Grymm and Michael Salerno. We have musicians like The Clockwork Dolls, Eli August and one of my favorite bands ever, Emperor Norton's Stationary Marching Band. The music is so diverse and eclectic that I'm not comfortable pointing to one person or group as THE steampunk musical example. We do have genre specific events and concerts as the culture expands and takes on new members. The Anachronism is an event that takes place every few months in Manhattan at Webster Hall. The next one takes place on December 4th. There are facebook pages specifically for steampunk events and announcements, and meet up groups for activities, art, and maker groups.

    • What are the price points of your hats?
    I price my hats on their sizes and the amount of embellishment that is on them.  
    The tiny hats (3 inches) go for $15 each - that's standard.
    Then I have 4" hats that start at $25 and go up to $45
    and 5" hats that start at $35 and go up to $55
    and 6 3/4 inch hats that start off at $45 and go up to $60
    and full sized male and female hats in small, medium and large that start at $75 and go up to $120

      • Do you custom make hats? If so what are your prices for that (or at least a starting price)?
      I can custom make hats- that depends on what you are looking for. I do not make buckram yet but mostly felt bowlers and top hats in a variety of sizes.  All my hats will be embellished and a person can chose the color of the felt they want along with colors for the embellishments and what type of embellishment (flowers, fake birds or fruit, ribbons, sequins).  Those start at $50 for a 5" hat because they are time consuming.
      I also make bows and headbands and embellished sunglasses and goggles.  Those can be found on my Etsy site.
      • How would one be able to contact you and check out your designs?
      I can be called:  (914) 439-0314
      Facebooked: Profile and Fan Page

      Thanks for reading folks and keep an eye out for interview posts on the rest of the crew throughout the week! To end this post off, after the credits, I leave you with another photo of this darling Hattitude creation in a photo taken by Paul Newland.



      Black & White photos of Ashley LaCamp
      Photographer: Erika Hokanson
      Stylist: Scot Louie
      Assisting Stylist: Publisher
      Make-Up Artist: Kimberly Caudle
      Model: Ashley LaCamp

      Photo by Paul Newland, Make-Up by Lisa Reyes

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