Wayne knows women’s hats like no one else! He’s a master milliner with celebrity clients. All of this gorgeous custom work will knock you out if you’re a hat fan. And if you’re not, but you appreciate art and sculpture, then this will still knock you out.
What (or who) inspires his work?
“Leaves, I have an interesting thing for leaves and other natural things like seedpods, feathers, shells. You can see leaves interpreted in many in my hat trims. I have an interesting collection of hat blocks, which inspire me as well. Most of these blocks are quite old and therefore considerably dated for contemporary design work. The inspiration comes with the challenge to use these old and familiar blocks in new and interesting ways. ”
“People or rather personalities interest and inspire me. I have a wonderful client who has rather flamboyant taste. I was inspired to make a hat for her, without discussing it first. I planned to take the hat with me to a trunk show and she would see it there. Well I was a bit dashed as she was not able to make the event. So I called her when I returned and suggested that I send the hat to her on approval. When I mentioned that the hat was red with black trim she said, ‘Oh my dear, I don’t wear red’. I suggested that I send the hat anyway, she could try it on and if she liked the style, I would make it in a color she would wear. The day she received the hat she called me to say, ‘Wayne, This morning, I opened the box and pulled out this beautiful hat thinking, I don’t wear red’. ‘Well my dear, I have tried the hat on and I haven’t taken it off all day, in fact I am calling you on my cell phone from Nordstrom. I’m looking for an outfit to go with it. Everyone has told me that I look wonderful, so I guess do I wear red’”.
“Meeting with a client, seeing the outfit, discussing the events or plans for the wearing of the hat, will generate most of my design direction. Sometimes just the materials I happen to be working with. I rarely draw or sketch preferring to let the materials find their way into a hat. I have come to think of myself as a sculptor. ”
Come see for yourself. Little House galleries are open 62 hours/week, from 8 AM through 9 PM Mon-Thurs, and closing at 5 PM on Fridays.