Chapeau Designs By Arline
When you picture a hat designer, you probably imagine someone from another era, slaving away over hats for proper ladies. And, while Arline Pozzo does design 20s- and 30s-style flapper hats, she's a thoroughly modern business lady.
Pozzo's whimsical fascinator-style hats and flapper chapeaux are inspired by period television shows, including "Downton Abbey." She says: "[The] 18- to 25-year-old girls love them! At each craft show, I sell three or four of them."
Still, those aren't the only type of hats Pozzo makes. "For my hats for hair loss I use beautiful linings, and decorate them with veiling, feathers, or hand-crocheted flowers. I have a special needs daughter and I went to her group home to give her a hat and the staff went nuts for the designs. I made hats and protective clothing for all the people in the home. I used lace and ruffles on the ladies' adult bibs. For the men, I made protective clothing that looked like the front of a tux. For my nursing home and special needs customers I keep my prices reasonable and I use cotton linings for comfort."
For this crowd, she makes ponchos, wheelchair bags and walker bags, crafted from old jeans and swatches of colorful dress fabric. Nothing goes to waste in Pozzo's workroom.
When you step inside her workroom, it feels very homey — which makes sense, because it's actually in her home. The room is filled with seven sewing machines (one for embroidery, three sergers for strengthening hat construction, plus three regular machines), feathers, repurposed and recycled fabrics, beads, ribbons, bows, hand-crocheted flowers and lace.
Pozzo learned to sew in high school, but her mother was her inspiration. "She always told me you can do whatever you love, and I love making my hats."