Hats off today to Tel Aviv based costume designer, milliner and educator Maor Zabar!
His head-turning, wildly imaginative, exquisitely crafted couture designs grabbed my attention recently — how could they not?
I confess I’ve always loved hats but rarely wear them. I envy those who can pull them off with aplomb. These days you might catch a cool hat or two in the crowd, but for the most part, they’re no longer considered an essential element to top off an outfit.
The grandson of a tailor, Maor fell in love with theatrical hats and headpieces as a teenager and went on to study fashion and costume design at Shenkar College. He’s been a costume designer for 13 years (dance, theatre, operatic productions) and took private lessons to learn how to make hats professionally.
Since his native Israel isn’t a “hats-y” country, and he doesn’t have access to traditional millinery supplies, he’s had to compensate by scoping out flea markets for interesting vintage odd and ends, and inventing his own techniques to convert non-millinery raw materials into usable fabrics.
His work began to attract international recognition when he and his business partner Tal Markovitch created a collection of Food Hats. When he was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease several years ago, he had to go on a severely restricted diet, and decided to make hats featuring things he couldn’t eat and craved the most (pie, sushi, salad, sunny-side up eggs).
There’s also an interesting story behind his Carnivorous Hats collection. While working on a costume design project, he was browsing a book about plants and loved their interesting shapes and colors. He was fascinated by the idea of carnivorous plants, especially since he and Tal often spar about being a carnivore vs. a vegan. Why not create hats where plants eat meat? 🙂
Maor promises a new collection soon, but meanwhile, do check out more of the one-of-a-kind handmade hats, fascinators, hair combs and headpieces at his Etsy shop. Fun and totally faboo!
Copyright © 2016 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup.