Lower East Side
Dina Pisani began studying the craft of millinery in 1994 under the tutelage of the highly regarded milliner, Anne Allbrizzio. After completing the millinery program at FIT she began designing for private clients. She later started collaborating with the East Village designer Mark Montano. With Mark she could stretch her talents and create fantastic pieces for his seasonal fashion shows featured at Seventh on Sixth.
The designer hand blocks each hat on her personal collection of vintage and specially designed blocks using the finest quality straws and felts. She scours local & regional flea markets for antique trimmings and feathers to give her hats their singular quality. Her signature hat the “stingy fedora” is a fabulous example of Thirties inspiration blended with the unique vision of the designer. Other best selling styles include cloches, traditional fedoras and mini cowboy hats. Cha Cha is steadily carving out a niche in the market for hats with style and attitude.
Cha Cha’s hats have attracted the attention of the entertainment industry. She counts several celebrities as devoted clients including Alicia Keyes and Sienna Miller. Her hats have also been purchased by Queen Latifah, Pink, & Sheryl Crowe among others. Bette Midler has also purchased one of her hats, now if she could just get Stevie Nicks in one of her designs her life would be complete.
When Clinton Street was “Millinery Row”
Manhattan’s Clinton Street is going into its second decade as kind of the restaurant row of the Lower East Side. But a hundred years ago, before its slide into a dingy drug bazaar, it courted a different industry: hat makers. Clinton Street of the early 20th century was known as “Millinery Row.” As many as 16 stores were packed into each block from Houston to Grand Street, according toValentine’s City of New York Guidebook, published in 1920. “Every evening the East Side girl promenades with the throngs up and down Millinery Row, indulging in an orgy of window shopping, just like her sister on Fifth Avenue,” the book states.“The millinery shops here are as thick as berries on a bush . . . so close to each other that it seems like a continuous show window.”
Photo: Millinery on the ground floor; hat and bonnet frames on the second level; Clinton and Broome Streets, 1914
Text Source: Ephermal New York
More Hat Makers
Orlando Palacios is a heralded and creative artist based in New York City. Orlando has spent the past 20 years designing and manufacturing the finest handcrafted hats for fashion designers, celebrities, Broadway shows and stylish people from around the world. As the owner and head designer of the venerable New York haberdashery, Worth and Worth, he has grown to be the go-to lid-crafter for musicians ranging from Keith Richards to Elvis Costello and Beyoncé. He often collaborates with fashion designers such as John Varvatos, Thom Browne, Robert Geller and Diane Von Furstenberg for their runway presentations. His passion for the craft enables him to keep the art of hat-making alive by using the same centuries-old techniques while the innovation and style of his designs remains unchallenged.