Gold Hat Lifted Millinery


In September 2021, Stuff by Lauren KruchtenLeave a Comment

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Local milliner celebrates the 100th anniversary of The Great Gatsby with a gold hat a la Daisy Buchanan.

Katie Allen Lifted Millinery

“The wear the gold hat, if that will move her…” If the Gatsby era taught us anything, it’s that you can never be too overaccessorized—and the more flashy, the better. Now, as we celebrate the 100th anniversary of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, the sentiment still rings true, as evidenced by local milliner Katie Allen’s Gatsbyhat showcased in the Milliners Guild’s online exhibition, Wear the Gold Hat: American Milliners Reflect on The Great Gatsby and a Golden Age of Fashion Hedonism.

A former costume designer and theater tech, Allen started her Garner-based millinery, Lifted, in 2015 after taking on private commissions in which she would make personal garments in an effort to “keep artistic sanity” while doing elevator sales. She keeps the tradition of millinery (the art and skill of making handcrafted headwear from raw materials by hand and from scratch) alive by using both traditional and contemporary tools and techniques in her work.

“It sort of speaks to the ‘hiding your true self’ aspect of The Great Gatsby story, sort of gilding yourself and nobody knows what’s underneath.”  

—Katie Allen

“The lovely thing about millinery is that it’s ever-evolving, just like the fashion industry,” says Allen. “It is really a heritage craft in that the basic skills haven’t changed for more than 100 years. You still use the same tools and materials and skills, but you add to that new material discoveries and new ways of manipulating that material.”

Also a board member of the guild, Allen took inspiration for her bejeweled headpiece design for the ongoing online exhibition from Fitzgerald’s Gatsby character Daisy Buchanan—namely, her golden hair the hat is reminiscent of. “It’s hair, but it’s really a hat,” explains Allen. On Lifted’s online shop and at Second Skin Vintage in Wilmington and Cocoon Gallery in Apex, Allen sells additional flapper-inspired headpieces (a nod to the fashion a la the Roaring ’20s) and other vintage-style hats for clients going to Gatsby-themed parties (among others—we see you Derby!), as well as modern and casual styles for hat lovers or those just trying to spiff up their everyday wardrobe. So, wear the (gold) hat—you won’t regret it. 


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