Accessorize This: Let's Go to Cha-Cha's House

Thursday, January 21, 2010



Let’s Go to Cha-Cha’s House
by Denise Grayson

Ask and you shall receive. There were requests for a focus on hats in the comments section of my inaugural post last week and on Twitter (thank you for the suggestions!) and I am only too happy to oblige on this particular subject.

As I previously mentioned, I love hats. I am most certainly a “hat person” and wear them with ease for reasons ranging from style, warmth and covering hideous bed head while running breathlessly out the door to do the school run. It’s great when people see you as super stylish when really your motivation for what you’re wearing is largely to hide the evidence that you left the house without showering! That’s a winning combination.


Me in my beloved Cha-Cha's red felt cloche. This was taken two years ago for a local magazine, so although I still love my Nanette Lepore jacket and top, I would most certainly style this differently now! I guess I'll just have to prove it...

There are many talented milliners taking their craft to beautiful new levels and I decided to focus on one that I know well because I own a few of her hats. I introduce to you Cha-Cha’s House of Ill Repute. If that name doesn’t stick in your head you may want to visit a neurologist. Cha-Cha’s is a New York millinery label run by designer and milliner Dina Pisani. Dina has a distinctive style that is more gritty than pretty (though my choices from her collection tend to gravitate toward the prettier ones). While she can create a perfectly structured cloche or fedora on her vintage and specially designed blocks, her signature technique is deconstruction; asymmetric and slouchy, in dark shades and rich fabrics for easy chic. Dina works mainly in fine felts and straw and offers unique shapes in wool, velvet and snakeskin.

I love a traditional hat but the fun of Cha-Cha’s is the influence of the 1920s and 30s Old World techniques and styling mixed with Dina’s unique vision. And the trims are special. She scours the markets for her vintage and antique ribbon and feathers, the latter which featured heavily in her Spring 2009 collection. Brims are typically piped with lambskin and her adornments cater to the skull and pirate loving set, in the form of crests and trinkets.















It’s no surprise that hats have been a huge trend these past few years and as such hers have been seen on Justin Timberlake, Rihanna, Alicia Keyes and Britney Spears (that was in the Madonna pal years, before she began making dubious fashion choices), and they’ve been used to style dozens of magazine editorial and cover shoots all over the world.

None of that really matters to me. A great hat is a great hat. And Cha-Cha’s House of Ill Repute is in the club. If you’re in New York you can visit Cha-Cha’s in Dumbo at 68 Jay Street, Suite 312, Brooklyn, New York.

Denise Grayson is our hat-lovin' Accessories Editor and also writes about dreamy fashion at The Swelle Life.

29 comments:

selena said...

omgosh. i was trying to pick out a favourite to comment about but they're ALL so amazing. wow!

xx

The Owl's Closet said...

u look great in ur hat:) wow, this collection is fabulous! thank u for sharing:)

TheOwlsCloset.blogspot.com

Vinda Sonata said...

i really love hats. they make great fashion statements. i really like the houndstooth bowler hat and a the classic black with a classic emblem on it. i wish they'd be magically in my closet!

p.s.
i gave you an award in my latest post. check it out :)

Looking Fab in your forties said...

My favourite is the first one. I only have 2 hats, a Missoni baker boy cap which I wear when its very cold and a holiday hat a la SJP in SATC movie when she goes to Mexico!

Polished Sense said...

I love the collection of hats. I think my faves are the first and last one...(in the row) I just have to figure out if they would flatter my face :D

♡,
Jessica

Sher said...

Oh the red cloche on you is gorgeous!!

I love this whole hat collection too:)

xx

Susu Paris Chic said...

I'm a sucker for cutesy headgear like the second and the fifth ones. Glam, chic and ... a pinch precious! Clickety clacking away on the streets of Paris in my high heels... wanna join?

Alana said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
thegoodgirlgoneblog.com said...

I absolutely adore hats. My mom and I always try them on together whenever we go into department stores. We pick the most gaudy, colorful hats and go crazy :)

daisychain said...

I love hats, I should probably wear them more!

The Style Mansion said...

I love wearing hats - this selection is great

Children of the 90s said...

I love these! I wish I looked better in hats, but they never really suited me. The red hat looks great on you!

Anna Jane said...

Hats are so vital in that they can totally make or break an outfit. I've got a real thing for trilbys and berets, although I have yet to find any which fit my pea-sized head. Boo.

- Anna Jane xxx
(PixelatedBlonde.com)

Summer {Bisfor...} said...

those hats! i am dying over them.

hope you are well, hon!

nookie said...

amazings hats! my fav is the first one;x

Marla Singer said...

hats! i'm crazy of hats! i love all you put on <333

The Perfect Stranger said...

I m in Love With The Haats(L)

fabulous finds said...

great job denise! love the pic of you in the hat...that is probably my fave...gotta love color!
i'm thinking i need to venture out more...i used to wear hats a long time ago...and then stopped...my grandpa loved it when i wore them...awwww...

Andy Tan said...

Oh wow I love those hats, i cant even choose!

and you look lovely, dear.

xoxo,
andyquirks.blogspot.com

Taylor said...

loving that hat!!

Maria Confer said...

I adore hats or any hair accessory. Love the houndstooth one.

Lulu Letty

Fashion Chalet said...

Ahhh I know what you mean, a great hat can really make an outfit.

Hope your weekend is off to a great start! *I pretend the weekend starts from Thursday* ;)



xx

The Style Rider said...

That hat looks so adorable on you Denise!
Great collection!

check out my blog!
www.thestylerider.blogspot.com

Alice said...

I love wearing and making hats as well...the Cha-Cha hats are amazing!

Denise @ Swelle said...

Thank you so much, everyone!

There will be many more hat posts in the future - there are far too many talented milliners out there not to share it all with you!

Anna Jane - I have kind of a small head, too. The cloche is quite big for me actually, which you can see. To keep it from slipping over my face when I walk I put a strip of wool over the band inside to make it smaller and grip a bit. I've had no trouble finding smaller berets, though. They're out there! Keep searching, it's worth it!

Denise ♥

WendyB said...

I have a "Yoko Ono at her wedding to John Lennon" style hat from Cha Cha that I've been meaning to photograph forever!

Chessa! said...

fabulous! I can't possibly choose a favorite...

Hanako66 said...

those are absolutely beautiful!

Baby Says Boutique said...

So many good hats!

xo

BSB
www.babysaysboutique.com

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