I really enjoy listening to millinery and fashion-related podcasts while I sew in the studio. I find it's much easier to listen than to watch, although occasionally I will tune in to Netflix as well. But I work much more slowly when my eyes are on the screen! So most days, it's music or podcasts.
Here is a short list of podcasts I've found through online searches. If you know of others, please add a link in the comments.
A hatty podcast based in Australia and centered around interviews with successful milliners. Hosted by Louise MacDonald and Lauren J. Ritchie. In addition to the audio interviews, there are numerous transcribed conversations dating back to 2003. Millinery.info recently organized the successful #millinerymaker campaign on Instagram.
Although there are several episodes documenting this British milliner's travels and visits with both hat makers and block makers, the most recent recording is from 2015. Leanne's blog is current, however, so definitely read as well as listen.
Episode 5 is an interview with theatrical milliner Jane Smith, who is an absolute gem with an incredible resume. You have definitely seen her hats on screen! I had the pleasure of taking a class with Jane last summer in Fullerton, CA and learned her techniques for millinery wire frames.
This episode was fantastic, as it details the rather bloody history of the feather trade and the millinery industry between the 1870's and 1920's, when feathered hats were highly fashionable and bird populations were unfortunately being hunted to the point of extinction. At the height of the trend, some prized plumes, like those of the snowy egret, were worth $32 an ounce -- twice the price of gold! The 1918 Migratory Bird Treaty Act was enacted to protect endangered bird species and made future trade in those feathers illegal.
Dressed: The History of Fashion is probably my all-around favorite podcast right now. I've listened to all of the episodes and find the series to be thoroughly researched and always interesting. Hats off to fashion historians and hosts April Callahan and Cassidy Zachary!
Victorian Photograph of Young Woman in Plumed Hat
This UK podcast focuses on men's style and grooming but episode 20 entitled "Who Wants to be a Milliner?" is a worthwhile listen. It features interviews with Laird & Co Hatters, The Season Hats and Alec the Hatmaker.
Released in July 2018, this episode of the popular BBC series is more about the person, Philip Treacy, than his career. He shares his favorite workroom music (house and edm) and which albums and items he would most like to have with him on a desert island. It's a charming 45 minute interview with one of the world's most-acclaimed milliners.
NYC-based hat designer, Satya Twena, shares her story, from taking evening millinery classes at FIT to purchasing - and saving - the Makins hat factory after a successful Kickstarter campaign in 2013 that raised $172,000. She now operates the factory and designs hats under her own label, Satya Twena.
This episode is subtitled "From club kid to Christian Dior" and the conversation with milliner Stephen Jones covers his early influences, the Blitz Kids, his couture work for Dior, and the place of applied arts like fashion within a museum context. The interview took place at the National Gallery of Victoria in August 2017, on the eve of the opening of the exhibition, The House of Dior: Seventy Years of Haute Couture, for which he restored and created 160 archival and new headpieces.
Short 7 minute interview conducted upon the release of the book Philip Treacy by photographer Kevin Davies. As always, Treacy shares lovely and witty insights about the art of millinery including this quote:
"When people come and visit me and have a hat made, it's a little bit like visiting a psychiatrist, but they don't actually realize that."
A podcast series by The Guardian (UK) that pairs a successful entrepreneur with a budding one, in this case Jo Fairley of Green & Black organic chocolate and milliner Sahar Freemantle of Sahar Millinery and Ugly Lovely.
2015 interview with milliner Christine Waring who describes her love of hats, learning and teaching millinery, and working in Australia and overseas.
Local NPR station WABE interviews Atlanta-native Elisabeth Koch, who launched a hat business after moving to China in 2007 . She is one of the only milliners in mainland China and has steadily carved out a reputation as the "Milliner of Beijing" creating hats for Chinese movie stars, models and millionaires.
Short 15 minute interview with Australian milliner Ilana Meilak of The House of Hats. She discusses her love of vintage and antiques and her vintage-inspired designs.
Bonus! Here are a few more of my favorite fashion history and industry podcasts:
3. SHOWStudio by Nick Knight (Ep. 55 is an interview with Stephen Jones)