Céline Robert
Céline RobertMilliner

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How did you become interested in millinery and flower making?

When I was 18 years old, I was always with my grandmother, who was a milliner. She always wore a turban. I asked her to make a hat for me. She did, but she made a horrible one! I told her, “You didn’t understand me, I wanted a beautiful one to wear everyday” as she did. Then she showed me how to make one myself. At first, I made one for me, then one for a friend, then another one, and I became to be so interested that I made hats all the time. At that time I was in Beaux Arts in Paris. After two years, my teacher thought that it was my medium, and he suggested that I research hats in the studio at the Beaux Arts. It was a great opportunity because, there, I had to integrate arts questions with my hats work. I had to reflect about the sense of work, and all the problems of the limits we have in our heads, and how to open the mind… It was my chance.

Where did you learn millinery and flower making?

I didn’t learn millinery! I learn sculpture, art history and sociology. And it is a good way to approach hats, to have a real awareness of these subjects. Why making hats, for who, in what sense, what are the laws of representation… such questions are always to ask. In fact I realized, 2 years ago, how it is a different way to learn: coming from fashion school, or coming from art school. The methodology of work isn’t the same, so creations are not the same.

How long have you been a milliner for? Where else did you work?

I have been a milliner for 16 years and I didn’t do anything else in my life!!!

Where do you get inspiration for your designs?

Creation asks you for a complete investment of your life. Day and night, you are always at work, to keep your direction and the line of research. How I approach my work is different depending on the collection. Sometimes I have a graphic idea, sometimes I just manipulate the different fabrics to find new combinations and new shapes. For me, I create hats for women not depending on their morphology, but on the look of the face.

How would you describe your style of hats?

I work with shape. Like a sculpture. In each position the hat is different. It’s like a movement, just the beginning of a shape. If the shape is too finished, it becomes too independent from the person who wear the hats.

It is a difficult notion but an important one. The hat must be part of the woman who wears it, not just an independent ornament.

Who do you make hats for?

I make hats for women who want to wear hats. Where they wear them isn’t important for me, and I prefer the girls who enjoy mixing different styles of clothes. When the entire suit is matched up, it is like theater costume, but, when you make your own suit composition, sure that it is more interesting.

What materials and techniques do you favor?

I like fabrics, which respond to me! I have no preference for traditional fabrics or otherwise. It doesn’t matter.