Magic and finesse. A visit to Beata Kołodziejska’s headwear studio
I started with small forms – toques. As my studio grew, I added berets, and hats: casual, occasional, evening hats, cocktail hats, or wedding hats – says Beata Kołodziejska, designer of original headwear, owner of Misstery studio in Gdynia.
-I’ve always enjoyed original accessories. My headgear collection was quite large and colourful. My first design – that of a birthday toque – was born on Halloween in 2010. Unfortunately, it was difficult for me to find a milliner who would take up the challenge of making it. I didn’t fully understand back then what this job was all about, and since I had great need for artistic expression, I decided to dive into the secrets of the trade. Which wasn’t simple either – milliners (both male and female) closed their last workshops and weren’t interested in passing the knowledge along – says Beata Kołodziejska.
Throughout the years, she has developed her own style. She describes it as a combination of tradition and modernity, simplicity, but also reshaping current patterns. – I treat headgear as sculpture. Form, colour and proportions need to go well together, and need to depict client’s character - says the owner of Misstery.
How are toques and hats made? Frist, there’s always an idea. Afterwards, the idea is brought to life. A proper material needs to be selected, and the design needs to be adjusted to the occasion and, of course, the client’s looks.
-And then… lots of patience and meticulousness – says Beata Kołodziejska. – I work using traditional methods. In case of traditional hats, I put the material on the go onto a wooden form, making sure that it fits perfectly. It’s hard work, and my hands are unaccustomed to physical work, so I sometimes ask for help one of my male friends. After the material has set for about a day, and taking it off the form, it’s time for finishing touches, and selecting proper ornamentation. I sew many elements by hand, and this requires focus and a bit more work to be put into the process.
Materials used by the designer come from many different places. Summer headgear is made of straw of different kinds, lace, or fine silk. They come from shops both in Poland and abroad.
-Especially when it comes to felt, the finest ones are made from animal hair. I try to keep that in mind and remake old hats – quality of the material is still superior! I buy felt from Polish and Czech producers. Other materials, such as straw, veils, or feathers I usually import from Great Britain – says Beata Kołodziejska.
Where does she draw inspiration from? – I need nature in order to live and create. I am really glad of living in Gdynia, where we have beaches, stormy sea, trees, seagulls. On the other hand, I similarly use urban scenery, and people. Very often my clients are my greatest inspiration: their lifestyles, the way they move. Sometimes single gestures, seemingly unimportant, can spark a creative fire that leads to creating an astonishing toque. Arts, of course, is another major source of inspiration: painting, music, film. It would take some time to list everything, as I keenly go to painting vernissages, music theatres, or concerts. Such experiences are extraordinary inspiration.
Misstery studio offers headgear for every occasion. Each design reflects the artist’s soul, the magical, creative spark that leads her hands in every little creation.
-I enjoy making people happy, giving them aesthetical pleasure, add emotion and colour to their lives. In a sense, I am part of their important events, happy as well as tragic ones – says Beata Kołodziejska.
Zdjęcia: Łukasz Stafiej (www.lukaszstafiej.pl)
ul. Kilińskiego 8, Gdynia
tel. 790 690 011