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  • Writer's pictureParisian Niche

Hats Off to Paris!


image: Christina Consolé

We've definitely explored hats before - like the French symbol, the Phrygian Cap. However, for the First Anniversary of Parisian Niche (Happy Birthday, P'Niche!), we wanted a bit of a chic Parisian indulgence, a little "treat yourself" souvenir / gift. With MiniMe Paris, we were not disappointed. Let's take a P'Niche peek to see the inside of Lady Gaga's milliner's studio and workshop...


image: Christina Consolé

MiniMe Paris is a most unique chapellerie. From the outside, you could walk by it if you were not paying attention.


However, once inside the MiniMe studio / boutique / workshop, you will feel as if you have taken a trippy tumble down Alice's Rabbit Hole into a world of boho-hip, edgy, vintage meets modern cool.


It is its own creative world. After all, the tag line reads "come make your creative dreams come true."



image: Christina Consolé

The space is chock full of a wide assortment of items - all unique, handmade, and up for sale.


From truly original and inspired handbags, to wild, bedecked, and bedazzled headwear creations, to truly funky footwear (if my super sleuthing served me correctly), if it can be creatively created, it can be found at MiniMe.


There is simply no shortage of unique artisanal items within these walls.



image: Christina Consolé

After you let reception know which workshop you are there to participate in (at time of publication, you can make either a hat or handbag), you are ushered to one of two areas.


The first are rows of sewing machines and worktables and the other stations of worktables with wooden hat and head molds, irons and steamers, and boxes of tools that look rather intimidating, but upon clear explanation from the team, were quite easy to use.



image: Christina Consolé

After a brief orientation and introduction, we learned that the prism haired creator before us was none other than Marie - Artistic Director and Lady Gaga's milliner extraordinaire!


At first, we thought that when they said we'd meet Lady Gaga's hat maker, it was a "schtick" to get us through the door, but nothing could be further from the truth. Marie (who is simply delightful) is present from the moment you say bonjour until you place the last feather in your cap (pun entirely intended).


P'Niche admits to being in an absolute fashion fan-girl moment and nearly missing the first part of the demonstration - selecting the color and "shape / style" of that hat you wished to make - choosing and trying from a wall of sizes and options.



image: Christina Consolé

Ok, I caught up - phew!


We were now able to decide between wool, rabbit pelt, and straw options for the actual hat. With a note that the rabbit was a touch extra in the cost department, I simply could not resist the classic look, luxurious feel, and coloration of this shell.


As I said at this event more than one time - "buy once, cry once!"




image: Christina Consolé

The next step was to get individually measured and then to get our very own hat / head mold - top level excitement for P'Niche, who has been hard to fit until now!


Next, you have to reallllllllllllllly stretch the fabric over the mold to ensure a snug fit. You iron and steam it along the way, making many rotations around the wooden mold.


It should be noted how much of a hands on experience this is. You are truly involved with this creation from inception to completion.


Cardio over, we're done stretching. Now, it goes into a large oven for baking / setting. See you soon, little hat...




image: Christina Consolé

After a little snack time, my hat came out of the oven, looking fresh as can be - time to "tack" it with pins and hammer and cord to the mold to ensure an even tighter and more accurate fit.


Marie's charming mom, Geneviève was with us as well, to ensure we were stretched out well, tacked in properly, and helping us iron and steam out any imperfections from the brim.


All of this extra work went on post baking process and at each and every step, Marie, Geneviève, and the entire MimiMe staff of creators were on hand to help us along our hat making journey.


Absolutely hat-tastic! But wait, if you call now...



image: Christina Consolé

It's time to play!


At last, we are able to dream and dive into what type of embellishments we might wish to adorn our cap with.


MiniMe offers an absolutely vast array of items to choose from (at additional cost to the base workshop fee). From 1 Euro beads, buttons, and baubles to luxurious (and pricier, often vintage) silk scarves from names such as (but not limited to): Dior, Hermès, YSL, etc.; if you dream it, it can likely be found here.


It was time for P'Niche to start her accessory forage!


Let me say... in my defense, I was left unattended. "Buy once, cry once!" Ahem, it's an investment!



image: Christina Consolé

Ok, we've got our start...


Yep, I ran (well, ok walked enthusiastically, perhaps even slightly hurdling over Marie's dog/MiniMe mascot, Gigi) to get to the vintage Hermès scarf.


This scarf was my "anchor element" around which other adornments were selected.


This. Process. Was. Fun!



image: Christina Consolé

Soon enough, I was seated back with Marie to select the precise width of the hat brim, and she expertly cut away any excess.

I was then seated back with Geneviève to sew a funky silk lining into the interior of the hat dome part (certainly, there is a technical name I cannot label), but being shown how to use a sewing machine and finish this task was great fun - merci, Geneviève!



image: Christina Consolé

OK, we're back with Marie as she begins to personally, lovingly, and patiently craft the hat.


Again, to note, Marie took her time with every single person at the workshop.


And just when you think you know what you want, Marie reaches into her creative bag of tricks and pulls out the perfect accessory you didn't know your hat desperately needed to be complete.



image: Christina Consolé

Without losing time or artistic focus, Marie told us the history of the workspace, her company, and her current endeavors and clients.


Charmingly humble, Marie has the fashion world at her feet (well, hat).


She described as well how she made all of the clothes she was wearing, the items in the store, along with her team of creatives, as well as how they source vintage fabrics, accessories, etc., all of which make her workshop go 'round.


P'Niche cannot wait to see what future projects are dreamt to life out of this one of a kind and fascinating atelier. And a big merci for my dream hat and for making my creative dreams come true!



image: Christina Consolé

Want to enjoy this experience yourself? Fantastique!


MiniMe Paris

73, boulevard de Sebastopol

75002

Métro: Étienne Marcel (line 4)


Book ahead using this link.


Booking Fees start at 125 Euros for the experience and hat itself, with most adornments at additional costs...


So, what do you think, P'Nicher? Are you ready to make your dream hat - a treasured memento of your Parisian adventures? Let us know in the comments below et à bientôt!


image: Christina Consolé
12 comments

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12 Kommentare


Debbie Kwiecinski
Debbie Kwiecinski
21. Apr. 2023

What an amazing Paris experience and souvenir!

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chrissy
21. Apr. 2023
Antwort an

It was truly a fun and memorable event! 😀

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Sharyn Peterson
Sharyn Peterson
20. Apr. 2023

Hats off to YOU, Chrissy! 😘👒❤️

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chrissy
20. Apr. 2023
Antwort an

And to YOU, my friend! ❤️❤️

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saundra2851
19. Apr. 2023

Oh Chrissy- très chic! I love hats but cannot imagine actually creating a work of art. But I must try. A couple questions- is fluent French necessary? Is this a full day commitment? Appointment required? Thank you🥰

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chrissy
20. Apr. 2023
Antwort an

Thank you and it was GREAT fun. They speak English quite well and I was there for around 5 hours (it is advertised as three on the site, but Marie took time to make sure we all had our perfect hat.). You def need to book an appointment, in my opinion - well worth it!

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Susan Maxheim Carter
Susan Maxheim Carter
19. Apr. 2023

What a fun experience and I do love your hat. Tres chic.

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chrissy
20. Apr. 2023
Antwort an

thank you very much!


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janet
19. Apr. 2023

I had no idea! How fun and trés chic ! Looks beautiful!! Hats off to you (hee hee)! :)

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chrissy
20. Apr. 2023
Antwort an

This was definitely a hidden gem - and thank you!! 😘

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