I have a small collection of handmade fashion pieces, and each item has a story. Creative people with amazing hands have made these treasures. Some are heirlooms already, and the rest will take their place in our family history, eventually. I often carry my late mother’s tiny clutch bag, which was made by my great uncle in the 1930s. My mother was delighted to receive such a gift, knowing how long it took him to create this beautiful accessory. Eventually, my daughter will have the purse and then my granddaughter.
Fashion artisans are driven to create, but their hands often feel the adverse effects of their trade. Some will train apprentices to share the work. Some will design for manufacturers, who will replicate their ideas. Many will teach classes, enabling others to dabble in their trade. Most artisans want to live by creating original works.
They must charge enough to support themselves and provide for their futures. There are no medical benefits or pensions for the self-employed. As consumers, we must recognize their work as original art, and pay accordingly. Tragically, society seems to have developed the idea that fashion is disposable. When we purchase original fashion art, we support the artist and create family heirlooms.
In our province, there are many talented, driven artisans working long hours to create beautiful fashion items. Over the decades, I have collected Saskatchewan made hats, boots, purses, dresses, scarves, and jewellery. To me, these pieces are as unique and valuable as a priceless canvas. If you mention my hat or my pin, I hope you have time to hear the story behind the piece. On occasion, I have taken a well-worn fashion piece back to the original artist and paid to have it refreshed. Hats can be reshaped, boots can be resoled, and scarves can be edged again.
My love for handmade fashion pieces has motivated me to create a series of short videos introducing some of Saskatchewan’s artisans. This first video is just over five minutes and features milliner Sherri Hrycay, of Sova Design Millinery. Please take five minutes to watch by clicking HERE. Maybe you will begin saving for a hat made just for you.
One of Sherri’s hats is representing Sova Design Millinery, and our beautiful Saskatoon, at London Hat Week beginning on March 22, 2018.
The Sova hat travelled alone, over the ocean, to make this appearance. I have arranged for British actress Kate Okello to attend the opening party of London Hat Week to take photographs of Sherri’s hat and share the excitement with hat lovers here in Saskatoon.
Sherri is unable to be at London’s 2018 Hat Week, because she will be in Amsterdam and Hague, studying with milliners from around the world and displaying her hats in a show. We can follow her travels on her Facebook page at Sova Designs Millinery.
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