Tribute to Van Alen with Chrysler hat

on January 27 | in Culture, Vintage | by | with 1 Comment

A tribute has been made to William Van Alen’s masterpiece, the Chrysler Building – in the shape of a hat.

Paper-cutting artist Boo Paterson approached renowned British millinery company, Lilly Lewis, with the idea of creating a collection of hats based on iconic New York buildings, starting with her favorite, the Chrysler.

These beautiful pieces are wearable works of art, with subtle architectural cues cut into the designs, such as the Chrysler’s iconic triangular window pattern.

SKETCH...the original drawing of the Chrysler hat, by Boo Paterson

SKETCH…the original drawing of the Chrysler hat, by Boo Paterson

Paterson said: “I’m a big fan of Art Deco in general, and have loved the Chrysler since I was a little girl.  To me it represents everything that was great about the Jazz Age: hope, optimism, and exceptional style.

“I’ve done many artworks of the Chrysler over the years, most recently a three-layer papercut, but I wanted to be able to carry a little bit of it around with me – and that’s when I thought a hat would be the perfect way to do this.”

Paterson then drew the design and sent this to Jen Lewis – Lilly Lewis’s founder – to make into a hat. Paterson was then sent the hat to make the cut-outs in the brim and crown, before sending it back to Lewis for finishing and fixing.

The duo are using the title Manhattan Millinery for their collaborative project and are currently working on the rest of the vintage-style hats for the collection, which also includes Grand Central Station, the Woolworth Building, the Empire State Building and the Radiator Building.

CONSTRUCTION...the hat as brim cutting progresses

CONSTRUCTION…the hat as brim cutting progresses

Lewis gained widespread recognition in 2008, when Top Shop approached her to make hundreds of hats exclusively for their UK and international stores. In 2012, her range of Jubilee and Olympics-themed hats for the firm – including teacup fascinators and high-glitter Union Jacks – were a huge hit with the media and frequently appeared on ‘Best Buy’ lists.

Her sought-after creations are worn by UK celebrities, such as TV personality Fearne Cotton and opera singer Katherine Jenkins.

SUNBURST...the Chrysler's famous motif is cut into the crown

SUNBURST…the Chrysler’s famous motif is cut into the crown

She said: “I love to combine different art forms with millinery design to create something new and exciting, and when I first saw Boo’s paper cutting I knew it would be fabulous on a hat! Being able to combine both our skills with other joint passions has been great fun.”

Paterson added: “It seemed natural for Jen and I to collaborate on this project, as we both love architecture, vintage and New York. Our plan is to make Manhattan Millinery into a long-term partnership.”

*The hats are made to order and each one will be made in a limited edition of just 15. To reserve yours, click here.


HOMAGE...the finished Chrysler hat. Photo

HOMAGE…the finished Chrysler hat. Photo

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One Response

  1. Debra says:

    I love the hat!! I was at the NY NOW show and she was wearing the Chrysler Hat. Just Fabulous!!

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