I made it to the USA on Labor Day, dropped my gear off at the hotel, and went off to see Art's hat shop...and lo and behold, it turned into a FL event. After a nice lunch and a couple of drinks with Andykev, jamespowers, wingnut and the man Art himself, we went over to check out his hats.
And oh my, you cannot imagine how many hats the man has! He doesn't even know; he spent the afternoon with us pulling out hats of all varieties, makes and felts: the cool, the funky, and the outrageous--all vintage of course. Vintage ribbons from decades old collections, movie hats, collection of felts, antique top hats, his latest Streamliner and Collegiate designs (wait till you see my moss Collegiate with the vintage ribbon and bound edge in a few weeks). Up in his Hat Shop, he did a bit of work re-blocking my Optimo (in that awesome 40s block he does) and a new ribbon and bow for wingnut's panama, while we chatted more about fedoras than I ever have with anyone in a lifetime. Learned a ton of course, including first hand the process of making and blocking hats. And we didn't get to the suits, the shoes, and accessories.
What fun. It was a great afternoon, and a trip to that incredible Vintage Sillouettes. I fully recommend you stop in when in San Fran. Art, his work, and his passion are everything advertised.
Thanks Art and the three comrades for coming out that day. Made my trip.
Next hat missions: Greeley Hat Works in October, and on to Optimo in perhaps December.