Vintage Ring Blocks for Haute Headwear
August 27 - August 29
What is a ring block? It’s a small to medium circular wooden block used to create headpieces and occasionally brims. Most date from the 1930s to 1950s. They are NOT flange brims, as those have an oval profile and are true to headsize.
Instructor Laura Del Villaggio will bring her collection of rare vintage ring blocks and teach two techniques for working with them to create modern designs for the races and other special occasions. First, students will learn how to block and finish a rear-facing donut headpiece using sinamay straw. This retro style is similar to an open-crown pillbox and is the hottest millinery trend in Australia for SS20.
Next, students will learn how to block and finish a spiraling headpiece using a Paris net foundation covered with fashion fabric, resulting in a unique and versatile take on the classic turban. Laura used a ring block and this technique to create her award-winning feathered ouroboros headpiece in 2019.
Depending on the complexity of the design and the pace of work, students can expect to finish 1-2 pieces in this 3-day course.
Instructor: Laura Del Villaggio, Milli Starr, Austin, TX
Laura Del Villaggio earned a Certificate in Millinery from the Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC in 1999 and her millinery business, Milli Starr, was established in 2004. Milli Starr is known for exquisite craftsmanship and a vintage-inspired elegance that complements a modern wardrobe. Original hats have been spotted in print publications, on the runway, stage, and screen, and at horse races around the world. HATalk magazine (UK) awarded Laura 2nd place and 3rd place prizes in their international millinery competition in 2019 and 2105. Both years, she was the only participating American milliner to be recognized.
Laura possesses over 25 years experience in fashion history, design, and construction and has worked as a milliner, but also as a clothing and textile consultant and conservator, vintage dealer, retail manager, and theater costume designer. Millinery has been her full-time focus since 2012 and she enjoys making hats for clients, as well as teaching both group and private millinery classes. In teaching, Laura aims to preserve couture millinery traditions and ensure a high standard of craftsmanship continues as new milliners join the industry.