Fiona Bennett’s Hat Palace

Who: Fiona Bennett – Hat Designer
Where: Berlin

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The 100 square meter showroom at the Potsdamer Straße is a white room that doesn’t distract from the hat creations in his design

What a remarkable, creative job I’m thinking upon entering Fiona Bennett’s hat shop at the Potsdamer Straße in Berlin and am standing in front of her incredibly beautiful creations. One hat is more impressive than the other and if I wouldn’t be looking for a specific occasion – the ‘Wiesn’ in Munich – I would be completely overchallenged.

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Hat designer Fiona Bennett wears a model from her new ‘Black Cherry’-collection: Nice!

Hat designer Fiona Bennett knows the slightly enraptured and enchanted reaction of her customers. With a scrutinizing look into my green eyes she puts a lime green hat decently loaded with a lot of ornaments, starting with feathers to opulent silk flowers and shiny applications from her new garp collection onto my head. I instantaneously feel comfortable, since I like wearing hats. Yes, this could be it.

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Me and a model from the new costume-collection: This hat suits me well, doesn’t it?

For months Fiona Bennett and her team have been working on the completion of the latest collection that includes seven themes and that distinguishes itself completely from the summer collection by the material and color choices. Shaped by noble velvet and patent leather, the collection that will grace the heads of many women this fall and winter is called so adequately ‘Black Cherry’. “It is quite couture-like and therefore suitable for evening occasions”, explains the designer the magnificent headdresses. “This season’s trend is reduced and pure.” Need more color? How about a model in the new powder shades.

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How about a model in the new powder shades? At the atelier there is a buzzing atmosphere …

At the atelier there is a buzzing atmosphere, people steam and sew like crazy, because in two weeks the ‘Oktoberfest’ in Munich is starting: “And that is when the big demand for hats is happening, always shortly before the ‘O’zapft is’ “, smiles Fiona Bennett. She is well prepared. For the new models the milliner – how the hat designer’s job is traditionally called – has rediscovered an old artisanal tradition: creating feathers and other ornaments from the same material like the hat, felted mohair for example.

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At the open show atelier the visitors can watch the hat designer’s assistants while they are working: hats are formed, wrenched and sewed, feathers wound and curled, flowers fixated and modeled

The native Brit Fiona Bennett has been living in Berlin since the 70s. Though born in Brighton, Fiona grew up in Berlin Charlottenburg and even as a little girl already knew that she wanted to do something creative and plastic. 25 years ago she learned the craftsmanship from an old Berlin milliner from scratch. Today Fiona Bennett’s creations are worn by celebrities like Christina Aguilera, Yoko Ono – and thanks to the men’s collection even by superstars Hugh Jackman, or Brad Pitt. “Often black limousines drive up and drop off the prominent clientele”, reveals Fiona Bennett, who never leaves the house without a hat herself.

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Each hat model is developed in pure handiwork within several days. “It is a task full of concentration and meditative calmness”, describes Fiona Bennett her passion. A rare relict in today’s digital age

In her 100 square meter showroom Fiona Bennett also displays her amazingly soft knitting collection ‘Kiss by Fiona Bennett’, which is sold within 60 countries, besides the men and women’s hat collections. Bennett’s couture hats are often custom-made designs, as of recent, when a customer had hair of its own horse incorporated into the hat.

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MyStylery loves the ‘Black Cherry’-collection: soooo beautiful and elegant

„The hat stands in the tradition of surrealism”, describes Bennett her design. “It always has something to do with leading things ad absurdum.” Yet it is important to her that a hat endues – and doesn’t disguise. The hat should reflect its owner’s personality. Back to my own hat concern and the near ‘Oktoberfest’: I decide to go with the lime green creation. The trendy flower wreaths that you can see everywhere these days are very sweet – in my opinion – for young girls. A grown woman rather chooses a suitable hat to go with her dirndl. BvH

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A look into the atelier: The decoration’s stowed into countless boxes. Here the hats are being made …

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… The ideas result from quiet places far away from the hustle though

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In round show windows, which look like bull’s-eyes, Fiona Bennett displays her hats. The round shape pays homage to the head. Here a model from the ‘Nebula’-collection

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My hat it has three corners – some have none: Like this fabulous loop-creation

These hats suit you well

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On white porcelain heads Fiona Bennett displays her creations of felt, straw or mohair. The collection also includes berets, visored caps, headbands and fascinators

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These models also made it into the wardrobes of Brad Pitt and Hugh Jackman

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Still in progress and therefore top secret: Artificial fur is another component of her fall collection: “The idea came from the Steiff-animals”, explains Fiona Bennett. “This fake fur is made from angora and mohair and therefore extremely high quality.”

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“We sell hats for each season”, says Fiona Bennett, who runs the company together with her partner Hans Böhme

Hut Palast – Fiona Bennett
Potsdamer Str. 81

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