It started out as a plain straw hat. Long ago it belonged to another milliner, Marina Killeroy, who left England after a well regarded career with a following including Princess Diana. A New York woman sold many of Marina’s old stock on eBay. It made the trip from Skokie, IL to Muskegon, MI the end of April, 2011. On May 1, 2011 it faced close inspection by Raymond Hudd. It met his approval, including a momentary try on.
Bringing millinery goodies for the fourth time in a year was just a part of another fun afternoon.
There were many millinery goodies to consider for this hat. The black ostrich plumes from another eBay seller in Warwick, RI faced close inspection. There were many lilac and purple items and fabrics, but it was the sinamay with a gold thread that caught his eye. That had been from a Wilmette, IL floral emporium, Chalet. Some manipulation created the rolled accent. A few pieces of odds and ends of jewelry had been purchased that morning in Grand Haven at an antique mall. The string of gold beads with pearls was added to the narrow velvet ribbon. Clearly this hat was destined to be adorned with these key elements. But this hat has a secret addition tucked under the outer FrouFrou. There is a single earring that was from a pair with some stones missing. Atop that is a tiny pair of gold scissors from the legendary bead supplier in Chicago, International Bead and Novelty. Raymond had been a customer for years, and it is only fit to add a little something to this hat from them. Raymond had actually made the wedding hat for Ron Klein’s fiancé for their wedding 30 some years ago.
The day before the BIG hat consultation, the millinery goodies we looked at included lots of lilac things, and rolls of pink and lilac netting. Raymond wished he had a roll in every color. At one point he probably did have every color. Using that netting on the edge of the hat seemed right. One might say it has an unfinished look. So be it. This hat is made in Chicago, tho it is not an Eia hat, or a Laurie Kennard hat, nor an Angela Morano hat, all of whose works warrant acclaim. It is just a small tribute to a great master from a milliner wannabe.
It is with much sadness to hear today from Ivan, Raymond’s brother, that Raymond has passed on. Many of us are honored to have known him, even if for only a year, and to have appreciated what he shared so graciously in this life.