Tales of the Traveling Hats

My days as a costumer may be over, but one thing from my past career still matters to me: What’s on my head. I’m not necessarily talking about my hair. On National Hat Day, what’s on my mind is the art and craft of millinery. Why hatmaking? For me, hats provide a sense of nostalgia and a chance to travel back to years gone by. Seeing Kate Middleton with a fascinator or Audrey Hepburn’s wide-brimmed hat in Breakfast at Tiffany‘s instills a sense of romanticism in me. The more I travel, the more I find myself looking for hats. Where exactly have I discovered these sophisticated and whimsical accessories? Follow me as I journey back through former travels and see where I’ve found and worn hats!

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Highlights of Northern China

In preparation for my journey to China, my supervisor, Su-Lin, eagerly instructs me on various Mandarin phrases.  Having learned small portions of a Cantonese dialect, my knowledge of Mandarin is limited.

“Brooke, how do you say ‘Hello’?” Su-Lin, my draper, asks.

“Ni Hao,” I reply.

“How do you say ‘My name is Brooke’?” Su-Lin says.

I pull out the only phrase in Mandarin I know: “Pang Yee Tah Mah, Brooke,” I respond with a smile.  Su-Lin laughs at my response, which translates to: “Can I have it cheaper, Brooke.”
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