Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Westport milliner receives prestigious International Award

Westport based milliner Lina Stein, has been selected as one of the inaugural Hatty Award winners, given each year to designers or companies that have shown leadership and inventiveness in the headwear industry. Lina Stein is one of just 20 people worldwide to receive this prestigious award. The Hatty Awards will be given each year to outstanding talent in the headwear industry.

Hat Life magazine, the awards organiser, is the only headwear publication in the USA and has been publishing since 1872. This years’ winners were chosen by a panel of judges from a large group of nominees. Although creativity is an important ingredient in the Hatty Award mix, it takes more than just a pretty hat to make the grade. It takes a bit of bravado and a lot of dedication to be singled out among your peers.

Hat Life said, “We salute the Hatty Award winners for 2008 and hope that their passion runs as deep as our respect for them. Hat making has an illustrious past that often gets overshadowed by the modernity of our time. At Hat Life we want to bring hat making out of the closet and shine a light on the great talent that exists among us.”

Lina Stein originally hails from Australia but has been based in Rosmoney, near Westport for many years. She has developed a reputation as an up and coming light in the world of Irish millinery through her flamboyant and extravagant creations. Her hats have been exhibited from Stuttgart to Los Angeles, and are always a sensation at racing meetings and special events both in Ireland and abroad. Lina Stein trained under milliners Connie Kerr and Anabell Ingall at the Australian Opera in Sydney and in Stuttgart, Germany. Lina designs and makes hats as private commissions and once off pieces.

She also trains aspiring hat makers in the millinery arts. She is running master classes at Yellow Brick Road in Dublin on 14/15 February (now there’s a Valentine’s present with a difference!), and in Westport in March and April (3 and 5 day courses). See her website for details

Hats are making a big comeback on both fashion catwalks and the high street. Lina Stein was in good company in the Hatty Awards, other winners include Kokin, whose hats are a favourite of Barbra Streisand (who wears them when gardening), Bette Midler (she dons them on bad hair days), Beyonce, Queen Latifah and Julia Roberts. Other winners are Angela Coupe and Carol Robinson who invented a do-it-yourself hat-making kit and Legendary Headwear, the inventor of a ball cap with slide out bottle opener.

Despite the gloomy retail forecast, the hat industry is experiencing a revival not seen since John F. Kennedy took office. Hats and accessories have become material matter that defies the ups and downs of the current economic climate. Some call hats the best way for a quick pick-me-up or mood elevator (think Prozac for your head).

Lina Stein,
Co. Mayo

Tel: 098 28449

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