I often ruminate that millinery is one of those art forms that people (wrongly) think must be a lot easier than it really is. The skill required to craft a hat, fascinator or cap that looks perfect in its beauty and lasts well is immense, which is why I’m continually grateful for the day that I discovered Belbeina Lee. A one-woman business, it functions solely through the love, skill and craftsmanship of designer and maker Katie, a New Zealander mum who, as far as I’m concerned, is incapable of producing anything other than the most beautiful headpieces of the highest quality. Today, I’m thrilled to share with you one of her more recent pieces, the Ella Leaf Cap.
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I have incredibly low patience as a person. When I go shopping I prefer to go alone so that I can walk fast, duck in and out of shops quickly without having to wait for the person I’m shopping with, and leave as soon as I’ve got what I need. It is no surprise, then, that I’ve never got the hang of vintage shopping. I live in a tiny village tucked away in the English countryside, so shopping for vintage in person would mean driving all the way out to larger towns I’m not super familiar with, and thus, journeys that would fill me with anxiety. Add in the fact that my size means finding good quality vintage clothing in my size and within my budget is unlikely and that effort just doesn’t seem worth it.
Vintage accessories, at least, are something I could likely have more success with, but once you consider that low patience level, the potential high travel anxiety level, and my overall lack of true vintage knowledge, once more the trips just don’t seem worth it. Searching out accessories online at least eliminates one of those factors, but still, it takes a lot of time and more than some savvy to find what you need or want in the pages and pages and pages of vaguely related results produced from every search term. This, folks, is why I am so ecstatically pleased that I stumbled upon Belbeina Lee a few months back. Never again do I need to search, research, ponder, wonder or worry–Katie can handmake items just as beautiful and high quality as true vintage, but with no effort required on my part. Literally, take my money!
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