29 March 2019
If Laurence Bossion is not that well known to the public as some other famous designers, her hats are yet among the most famous of paris. When she does not lend her creations for shoots for the biggest fashion magazines (vogue, numéro, etc.), she makes custom hats or designs for fashion “maisons”. La grande boutique is proud to present this designer who has hands of fairies for spring-summer. We met her.
Laurence Bossion. I am a milliner, which means that I make tailor-made hats, not to be confused with a hatter who would be more someone who makes hats in series for example. I practice this profession since 1996, it’s been a while now! The milliner, she spends hours tinkering I would say … I adapt myself to the tools I have and especially to the requests of customers, whom varies a lot. Concretely, it’s like in ready-to-wear, I present two collections a year, during Fashion Week, and above that, I do bespoke.
Laurence Bossion. I studied at the IFM (French Institute of Fashion) in Paris, fashion design and modeling, but when I worked on the volumes of paintings, I always drew hats, bags and shoes. I have always been attracted to accessories. I love working with materials but with a different look than in ready-to-wear, such as straw or felt. With hats, we work like sculptors with a different volume perspective, with the aim that it would get on one’s head and especially that it has to stand up! That’s the number one constraint!
Laurence Bossion. The hat is well known and seen for weddings and horse races, this kind of ceremonies. But for example, I never go out without a hat, so I guess that must be the case for other women. I do not like what we call “étiquette”. I adapt my designs to all desires and that is why I propose a very large choice of hats. Generally speaking, the customers who come to the store are surprised by the range of choices available.
Laurence Bossion. It will depend on the seasons … In winter, I really like caps, which I find very easy. I wear one in cashmere that I particularly like. I like to work the materials in an unexpected way, and I do what is called “upcycling”. For example, I have a large amount of men’s suits, handmade with very beautiful details. I directly cut caps, hat bells or berets with pieces of costume fabrics. Each piece is unique. I like to respect the traditional and artisanal work. The first collection I made in this sense was called “Chosen Pieces” and that’s exactly what it’s all about.
Laurence Bossion. I really like to be in contact with the customers, a little like the hairdressers! For the tailor-made it is a real work of accompaniment for a precise moment in the life of these women, I think it’s important. It’s not always natural for everyone to wear a hat, I guide them to feel comfortable. I love doing that.
Laurence Bossion. Hats don’t fit everyone! I do not know if the expression “head to hat” is true but I do think that there are some women who like to play with it more than others. There are women who are very uncomfortable in front of a mirror with a hat and others who do not. It’s my role to tame them and guide them to the right choice. When they come to my store, they also come for advice, not just for the hat.
Laurence Bossion. I don’t think so … there are two ways to look at things. I think we’re more noticeable when we wear a hat, but we can also consider that we try to hide under a hat, especially if it has wide edges. Maybe it’s both?
Laurence Bossion. I work quite often with fashion houses. I worked with Junko Shimada, or Antonio Ortega and more recently with Hedi Slimane for Celine. He asked me to draw bibi hats, it was very nice. I liked his way of pairing them with rock and destroy looks, I found it very modern. The bibi may look a little outdated, and there was not the case at all. The mashed vintage effect was super interesting and there was some glitter too, it was powerful!