|Image by Eric JW Li|
Now for this article. A few things have changed since our last interview. Hanke continues to grow as a designer and be challenged by the process of building her brand, but she has also increasingly stepped into the role of stylist both for individuals and photoshoots. In a twist of fate, her fashion show at the upcoming Art World Expo 2014 has grown from just a showcase for her current hat collection to a styling challenge.
Hanke has been given the task of creating a collection of looks for the models to wear that will pair
with her hats. The looks must be created from 100% used clothing purchased at thrift stores within a given budget. This includes shoes, accessories - anything outside her Hive Mind Millinery offerings. Something old will walk hand in hand with something new - and the results promise to be surprising. Is she up for the challenge? Absolutely! I will be there excited to see the results and I hope you'll join me.
|Image on Left by Johnny Se, Image on Right by Paul Behm|
Where were you born, where did you grow up?
What were you like as a kid and teen? Any stories that show a hint you would embrace fashion styling and millinery in the future?
Since I was a small child I have had a love of fashion. I would sketch designs for fantastical outfits and spend hours dressing up in my mother fanciest outfits, and yes, hats always featured heavily! As I hit my early teens, the mall quickly became my favourite place to hang out. This wasn't so much to meet boys, as was the case with many of my peers, but to spend hours pacing the aisles looking at the fabrics, cut and design of the latest fashions.
|Left image by Ed NG, Centre image by Eric JW Li, Right image courtesy of Retail Insider|
Which established hat designer do you admire?
Philip Treacy and Stephen Jones - Both of these designers have paved the way for contemporary milliners. They constantly redefine the accepted idea of hats and headwear.
|Photo on far right courtesy of The Social Life|
It was definitely not something I pursued actively, but I've increasingly found that styling goes hand in hand with my job. If ever I put together a shoot or a show for my hats, I have to consider the outfits carefully. I love working with all fashion, not just hats, and relish the chance to create a full composition.
My first styling job outside of my own shoots came when I was asked by a local actress and Leo nominee Sarah Deakins to style her outfit for the Leo Awards. I was happy to take on a new challenge and soon it brought many enquiries and evolved from there. I look at styling as an extension of what I do and a chance to create through a different outlet. I love the shoot I did with photographer Johnny Se, model Karie Holst and MUA Sara Vande Vyver using Sho Sho Esquiro's pieces. The shoot had a kind of sinister feel, yet romantic and whimsical. I loved the contradictions and the team is so much fun!
|Photography by Johnny Se|
I find my inspiration actually in very different ways for both. Often a texture, shape or detail inspires me for my pieces, and that something small becomes the seed for the bigger picture. With styling it is often the overall target feel that provides the starting point. It is almost like deconstructing the desired style and rebuilding it in a unique way.
You were on the slate to show your hats in the fashion show at Art World Expo already, and then I understand a sponsor stepped in to challenge you to create a collection from all used clothing, shoes,etc. as well. How you are approaching this challenge - the combination of new and old.
Due the generosity of an unnamed sponsor, I am able to create a collection using my hats, and in addition create a collection to go with them, created entirely from thrifted garments. I am so excited by this challenge, not only because of the opportunity to bring eco thrifted fashion as a viable option to a more mainstream audience, but also to work thrifted, pre-loved clothing with couture high fashion pieces. My goal is to create two cohesive collections: firstly daywear hats and clothing, and then moving on to a more vibrant/ dramatic second collection featuring the more of my couture hats.
|Photography by Thosh Collins (from lookbook shoot for designer Sho Sho Esquiro's lookbook.|
Is there anything you can share about what will see on the runway? Not a spoiler alert, but an enticing teaser?
The collection is going to be separated into two segments. one more daywear, the other couture. I want all the collections to feel wearable and reach a fashion-focused audience. Both millinery and eco fashion often get lumped into unfair categories - Millinery frumpy and/or exclusive, and thrift fashion hippie, unflattering and unstylish.
As your brand grows, what are your goals for the next 5 years?
I hope to keep being part of the process of building awareness of Millinery, hand-crafted design and the local fashion scene. I have real hopes for Hive Mind stretching its reach across North America and I hope to see it grow into a strong international brand.