Jill Courtemanche Millinery

Solana Beach

JCMillinery + YELP

Solana Beach, Collaborations, Horse RacingJill CourtemancheComment

Truth be told, I love hosting parties. The prep and the planning, the details and jushing, it's kind of a happy place for me. So when Yelp North County called and asked if I would like to collaborate with them on a special girls night out in my shop to celebrate the opening of the Del Mar Racetrack (otherwise know as the official start to hat season), I was totally in! 

First, we decided to break the event into two nights so we could create a more intimate setting and give each elite Yelper a chance to work with me and create a fun, feathered headband as a keepsake. Secondly, we called some of my favorite local vendors and asked them if they would like to join in the fun (which thankfully they did)! Last but not least, we called in a photographer to capture all the magic. 

Scroll through the pictures and see how we transformed the Solana Beach JCM shop and parking lot into a fabulous event space. I love how much fun all of these amazing women had playing dress up for the evening, and I think it is safe to say we all had a blast celebrating the racing season here in the Cedros Design District

 

A huge THANK YOU to our friends at Camera Camper for providing the most amazing photo booth experience ever, (I mean oh so SoCal and oh so fabulous), Lockwood Table for providing delectable nibbles for the evening, Bang Pop Shop for blowing my mind with the most couture cake pops ever (I mean those cake pops are wearing fascinators) and of course to the amazing team at Yelp for bringing the whole thing to life! 

Behind the Scenes with KPBS

Solana Beach, PressJill CourtemancheComment

If you have spent 5 minutes chatting with me in the shop, you know I love nothing more than to talk about millinery, it's place in fashion and how passionate I am about being able to do something I love. So you can only imagine how excited I was when the lovely Maya Trabulsi, a reporter for KPBS called me and asked if she could do a story about me and my shop (the answer of course is that I was over the moon)!

Maya had lived in London and developed her own fascination with hats so it was really fun for me to spend time with someone who walked in the door, armed with a vast knowledge and appreciation for the craft. We spent the morning chatting about hats, how they are made, my background and what brought me to millinery. One of the most fun parts for me was personifying all of the noises that go on in my studio on a daily basis since they were not just shooting footage but recording for the radio as well, (seriously cool)!

The original piece aired back in July right before Opening Day at Del Mar Racetrack but it is re-airing nationally this Saturday, September 12th on PBS's Spectrum (check you local listings for the channel and air time). Better yet you can view it on-line here but if you do that you miss the amazing teaser that Maya put together which was my favorite part of the piece!

This was such a memorable experience for me. I have done tv before but it has always been live, in studio news segments. This was the first time I had the opportunity to sit down and watch it as a spectator with my family and friends. It truly has been a milestone for me and my career and as always I am thrilled to have a platform to educate people on how amazing millinery is and what it means to me as an artist!

Update: On June 11, 2016, Maya Trabulsi won an Emmy Award for her work this piece, congratulation Maya!

Here are a few behind the scenes pictures from the shoot:

KPBS00013.JPG

San Diego Polo

Polo, Solana Beach, FashionJill CourtemancheComment

Polo is one of my favorite outdoor events of the season and I am so excited to once again be partnering with the San Diego Polo Club for some fun events!

Jill Courtemanche Millinery will be doing a series of three Pop-Up Shops this summer at the SD Polo fields and the first one is this Sunday, June 28th from 12:00 pm - 5:00 pm! We would love to have you join us as our guest and we are giving away free General Admission tickets (while supplies last). Simply call us at 858.876.6353 or shoot us an email and we will give you all the info!

Not sure what to wear to a day of polo? Check out Zen Fashionista, Sonya Berg's guest post on the SD Polo Blog for the scoop or better yet, hunker down with some popcorn and re-watch the polo scene from Pretty Woman (that's what I would do)!

Additional Pop-Up Shop Dates for SD Polo are July 5th & August 30th, I hope to see you there!

The Money Hat

Collaborations, Solana Beach, CharityJill CourtemancheComment

For the past two years I have had the pleasure of creating what is known as "The Money Hat" for the annual Gold Diggers, Hats Off Luncheon here in San Diego.

This is a wonderful ladies hat luncheon where local nonprofits compete for grants by making hats which represent a yearly theme and their organization.

It's an all around hatty affair so as you can imagine it's right up my alley! 

For my part, the ladies of the Gold Diggers show up with a handful of cash, $500 to be exact and give me free rein to make any hat I wish using the cash as a trim! This hat is used as a door prize for the most fabulous spectator hat at the luncheon, (now that's a reason to get dressed up). It's such a fun project and one that gives me a chance to forget about function and just have fun with the design.

For last years hat, (pictured above) I made roses out of the cash and for this years hat (pictured below) I made butterflies out of $50 bills. 

A Glorious Collaboration

Collaborations, Solana BeachJill CourtemancheComment

"Lynnie's Lace" in process in her studio and the finished product in the shop.

One of the things I love the most about finally having a flagship store for Jill Courtemanche Millinery is that I get to meet the most fantastic people and chat with them about their lives and their passions. One of the fabulous women that I have been lucky enough to cross paths with is Lynnie Diede of Lucky To Be In Love.

Lynnie is an amazingly talented designer, painter and illustrator with a great sense of humor and real zest for life. Like me she is completely willing to jump in head first so I knew we were going to come up with something glorious when she agreed to collaborate with me on a limited edition collection of hand-made and hand-painted Panama hats.

 My daughter Tabitha and Lynnie's son Holden chillin' at the park.

My daughter Tabitha and Lynnie's son Holden chillin' at the park.

If you know me, you know I am obsessed with leopard print (it's a total neutral). So for our first hat I asked Lynnie to create the perfect leopard print on a rich caramel straw and she totally nailed it! The print is so amazing that all I needed to trim it with was a flexible wire and a wide black grosgrain binding from France. The over-sized 8" brim is the most glorious beach hat and the perfect accessory for a black bikini and the 5" brim is my new daily go to chapeau.

For the next hat in the collection, Lynnie recreated one of her delicate lace patterns on a very finely woven Panama straw and the result is breathtaking. So simple and beautiful, I decided to finish it off with a simple black grosgrain ribbon from France, it's truly the perfect hat for a little black dress this summer.

I am so excited about these hats and I am so thrilled that I was able to work with such a talented artist to create them! All of the hats in the collection are signed and numbered and these designs will only be around for this season, so don't miss out!

xo j-co