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Saturday
May142016

The Mill District Milliner: Celina Kane

Story by Julie Craven

This story started with a dilemma, and the dilemma was my big head.

I have the unfortunate combination of a large head and Irish skin. Graduation mortar boards popped off my head. Hard hats for plant tours had to be adjusted and cute sun hats looked ridiculous on me. So after another failed attempt to find a hat for some summer sun protection, Maggie said, “Mom, you're just going to have to see if Celina can make you a hat that fits.”

Hat Make

Hat Make

Celina Kane is Hat Make. The milliner lives and works in the A-Mill Artist Lofts. Celina’s creative and entrepreneurial leanings come naturally - her mother Brenda Langton of Spoonriver restaurant is a Mill District icon. But after a triple major at the University of Minnesota in Art History, Political Science and French Studies, Celina found herself drawn to how the elements of design connected with the historical and cultural significance of hats.

“There’s a myth that I studied millinery in Paris, which isn't quite the case," Celina shared. "I did study in Paris, but the interest in hat making came after graduation.” One of her first classes was with Duluth milliner Emily Moe. Since then, she has studied with couture milliners, artists who create totally handmade hats. Anya Caliendo is one of her mentors. The New York based milliner has created hats for celebrities including Lady Gaga. Closer to home, Karen Morris, a St. Paul milliner, known for her occasion and Derby hats, has helped Celina continue to develop her craft.

The shelves that line the studio wall are filled with carved wooden hat blocks. There are piles and baskets of fabrics, ribbon and trim sheets of sinamay, a woven straw hat material. A steamer and a sewing machine take up the center of the room and it was fascinating to hear Celina describe the variety of processes involved - steaming, blocking, trimming - for a variety of hats; cloches, turbans, fedoras, boaters.

Hat Make

Hat Make

Hat Make

So what's on trend in the hat world? Her first collection included 17 hat styles and the new collection has 15. Her personal favorite is the Ojo Crow, a wide floppy brimmed hat that was the most popular item in her winter collection. The Quadratto is another favorite, her own block design, with color and fabric variations that make it a year round choice.

Hat Make

Hat Make

Hat Make

Hat Make

Hat Make

Hat Make will be among over 100 artists at the A-Mill Artist Lofts open during Art-A-Whirl this year (May 20-22). Trolleys will run from the heart of the Northeast Minneapolis Arts District to the A-Mill location. Artist demonstrations, live entertainment, book signings and food offerings will make it a riverfront destination for the annual arts celebration.

Since restaurants are my regular beat, I asked her about her favorite (I actually asked her for her two favorite restaurants!) “Spoonriver, of course, and my other favorite is Shuang Chengin Dinkytown. It's amazing!”

And my new hat? Like all of Celina’s designs, it has a name and this one is called The Fold.  There’s a vertical fold, shaped with a hat pin created by concrete artist Beau Sinchai of Koonyai Studio. Bring on the sunshine!

Hat Make

Hat Make

Hat Make

Hat Make

Website: hatmake.com

Julie Craven can be reached at julie@millcitymedia.org

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Editor's note - The A-Mill building has been transformed into a work of art.  If you haven't yet had a chance to experience it, Art-A-Whirl is the perfect opportunity to do so!

Hat Make

Hat Make

Hat Make

Hat Make

Hat Make

Hat Make

Hat Make

Hat Make

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