Lines We Love: Maison Michel

– By Nausheen Shah – 

What do you get when you intermingle a 1930’s Parisian Hat Couturier, the head accessories & jewelry designer of Chanel and a look book snapped by the one and only Karl Lagerfeld – just the au courant collection from every editor’s revered accessories brand – Maison Michel.
Couture millinery brand Maison Michel is the cat’s meow in fashion circles.  Do take note.  Renowned for its handcrafted approach to hat design and production, Auguste Michel founded his company at 65 Rue Sainte Anne in Paris in 1936.  His signature large, wide-brimmed hats made their mark and sky rocketed the house into the upper echelon of elite designers.  Maison Michel went on to create hats for the haute couture and prêt-à-porter collections of companies such as Chanel, Givenchy, Nina Ricci, Guy Laroche, Lanvin and Christian Lacroix.  That is until 1996, when Chanel wooed Michel Maison into it’s family and acquired the brand.

Maison Michel Spring/Summer 2012 Collection - Photographed by Karl Lagerfeld

Since then this beloved French label continues to offer the finest chapeux and accessories to damsels all over the world, largely in thanks to Madam Laetitia Crahay, the Artistic Director of Maison Michel.  Laetitia’s coquettish charm puts a fresh and seductive spin on an already avant-garde identity with her chic edit of lace veils, classic berets, floppy fedoras and crystal-strewn hair bands.
Even though her creations have become modern classics, Laetitia Crahay still manages to wow us with reinvention every season.  Her “Class of Spring/Summer 2012” collection plays with the classic but strict headpieces worn by prep school girls against her own notions of whimsy and playfulness, which in turn led to an optimistic and quirky high school rendition.  Fedoras with ink-bled ribbons and paint-splattered hats reminiscent of Pollock’s drip paintings set the tone in colors ranging from pearl grey to navy blue and from cherry red to rose beige.  Wide-brimmed straw trilbys also take center stage alongside pale boaters swathed in sections of stitched grosgrain and destroyed tulle.

Maison Michel Spring/Summer 2012 Collection - Photographed by Karl Lagerfeld

If you are a self-proclaimed madhatter in search of a topper with tad bit more attitude, opt for signature Maison Michel lace ears. They seamlessly marry the cheekiness of a vintage playboy bunny with the elegance of a high fashion sophisticate.  Combine them with tousled locks or a sleek updo and prepare to release your inner 60’s sex-kitten.
In whatever way you choose to wear your crown, Maison Michel has something for everybody.  From Captain to Panama hats, cache-chignons to pillboxes there is almost an endless array of headpieces that would satisfy even the most unique desire.  And if that’s not enough, you can place a custom order.
What more could you ask for…  After all, you had me at Chanel.

Maison Michel Spring/Summer 2012 Collection - Photographed by Karl Lagerfeld

Nausheen Shah is a New York based fashion designer turned stylist/creative consultant who has worked for the likes of Catherine Malandrino and Zac Posen.  In her travels, Nausheen’s love of language, cuisine, art and interior design flourished, informing her unique, distinctive, and global style.  She also runs her own ‘fashion as a lifestyle’ blog – A Shah’s Life and can be followed on Facebook @nausheenshahstylist and Twitter @nausheenshah

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