Denver milliner Susan Dillon makes chapeaus fit for a queen. The Queen.
There are a few places where women without hats would seem dangerously close to naked: a Baptist church, the Kentucky Derby and Queen Elizabeth's Diamond Jubilee celebration. And for a hat to appear in conjunction with the latter -- the Queen, in her sixtieth year of Queendom, is known for her elegant headwear -- is possibly the highest point in the millinery world.
For a lucky few, that would include winning a prize in an international Diamond Jubilee hat-making competition, including a People's Choice award determined by online voting that began last Friday and ends on May 11. All winning entries will be displayed in a Diamond Jubilee Exhibition at London's Hat Works millinery museum; the first-prize winner also gets an all expense-paid five-day millinery masterclass in a French chateau. Ooh la la!
Needless to say, Denver hat-maker (and Westword Best of Denver awardee) Susan Dillon of Kittie Mae Millinery wouldn't mind a bit of that. So Dillon took the leap and entered a Union Jack-inspired fascinator lid of patterned navy blue-and-white silk ikat dupioni with a pale pink-colored silk embellishment and white feathers, all folded and trimmed into echoing diamond shapes.
"The British love their hats, and the Queen is no exception," Dillon says. "But millinery is a relatively unknown and under-appreciated art form and fashion statement here in the United States. Hopefully, competitions like this will give those of us hat makers in areas not known for millinery a chance to have our work seen and appreciated by a worldwide audience."
Dillon is currently doing quite well in the public voting: hovering in the top five. But she needs more votes to keep afloat and is calling on the community to help her put Denver on the millinery map. To place a vote visit Dillon's online entry page -- you can only vote once, so that's easy enough. Hats off to Susan Dillon!
To keep up with the Froyd's eye-view of arts and culture in Denver, "like" my fan page on Facebook.
Get the Arts and Theater Newsletter
Weekly information keeping you in the know when it comes to the art and theater scene. Find out about upcoming performances, exhibitions, openings and special events.