Learn more about the local Chicago milliners who craft their own Crowns every day.
Chapeau is Amy Stirk, Laurie Kennard and Marjorie Marshall, three Chicago milliners who came together in celebration of the hat. The artists are separate and unique in their designs, but are united in their ability to create millinery that is art in itself.
Trained at the Art Institute of Chicago, College of Dupage, the Academy of Merchandising and Design and various millinery workshops, Chapeau’s designers create each hat individually using traditional millinery techniques. Fine felts, hand-woven straws, silks, vintage ribbons, beading and handcrafted trims are just some of the fine materials used for their headwear. Hats are hand-blocked, hand-sewn and always one of a kind.
Founded in 2004, Chapeau promotes the hat through events like teas and parties, as well as tributes to legendary milliners. Chapeau’s fun events have been covered in the Chicago Tribune, Chicago magazine and Time Out Chicago. With a philosophy of fellowship among artists, Chapeau events frequently feature other talented local milliners.
Joy Scott is an award-winning British milliner with a passion for the unique, and the premier milliner for the Drake Hotel fashion events. She creates one-of-a-kind headwear for people not afraid to stand out. Joy earned a C&G in millinery design and then went on to further study for an HNC in millinery design at the Kensington and Chelsea College in London. She lso studied special millinery techniques with Marie O’Reagan, Royal Milliner to the Queen.
Joy finds inspiration everywhere and sees hats in nearly everything—from the architectural silhouettes of buildings to modern furniture designs and sculptural shapes. Each Joy Scott creation is meticulously crafted using the finest felts, straws and other materials. Always experimenting with different materials, Joy is able to create hats that are custom designed to suit your needs, whether it’s to match an outfit or a mood.
Tonya Gross is an award-winning bespoke and couture milliner based in Chicago. In 2006, she shifted her attention from hedge funds to headwear, and to embarked on a more creative life, and turned a life-long passion for hats into a headwear design business. Tonya creates headwear for both men and women; for commercial shoots and the runway; and for her seasonal collections. She carves her own hat blocks, creating sculptural headwear, conceptual pieces, theatrical millinery and traditional "hatty" hats, and engages potential clients via her website, TonyaGrossMillinery.com
|Photo by Detlef Photography
Jenny Pfanenstiel, international award-winning couture milliner and owner of Formé Millinery, makes handmade hats for women, gentlemen and children. Her one-of-a-kind hats are created using age old techniques of steaming and blocking over hat blocks as true couture milliners once did. As a milliner, she has become known for her dedication to quality by incorporating unexpected materials into her designs. “As a couture milliner, my goal is to make a person feel sensational in my hats. I want them to look into the mirror and feel transformed, almost as if they are one with the creation of the hat.”
You can find her collections in shops around the country and in magazines like Vogue, Tatler, Country Living, Mary Janes Farm, Today’s Chicago Woman and Belle Armoire. Her hats have been featured on The Oprah Show and have been worn by First Lady Michelle Obama. She regularly shows her collections at local trunk shows and events, like during Cat Walk Fridays at the Drake Hotel and the Mad Hatter Luncheons with the WAC and the Service Club of Chicago.
Jenny is on the Board of Directors for the Apparel Industry Board in Chicago, is a member of the New York Milliners Guild, and a two time winner of the Hatty Award (an international award given to milliners).
| Photo by James Prinz
Following her career as a professional dancer, award-winning designer Eia Radosavljevic received her millinery certification from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York where she later studied couture millinery under famed Balenciaga milliner Janine Galimard. Eia Millinery Design opened in New York City in 1991 and moved to Chicago to 1995.
As adjunct assistant professor in the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) department of fashion design, she created and teaches five headwear courses during the academic year, helping to launch dozens of ex-students on millinery careers.
Eia’s designs appear in periodicals and shows around the globe, in places as near as the Art Institute of Chicago Modern Shop and as far as Melbourne, Australia. Her work was recently published in the book 500 Felt Objects. Eia also dabbles in photography, and her images are frequently included in the SAIC museum shop’s greeting card collections.