Sunday, November 23, 2008

Milliner Extraordinaire, Iris Lohninger

Iris is a new friend I met through the Etsy Treasury Street Team we both belong to. I was drawn to her first by her style. Not only are her hats unique and very hip yet timeless, but the way she displays them totally is consonant with her style, I think. You'll see what I mean when you see her work.

I've been thinking about occasnionally featuring other artists and designers here, as I sometimes get tired of talking only about Adorn Me products (much as I love making them!), and wanted to branch out a bit. Iris was the logical choice. A world traveler and very cosmopolitan, Iris is also very friendly and open -- very approachable and kind. I liked her from the start. In inviting her to let Adorn Me feature her, I requested an artist's statement, as well as how she got started in the business. Also, I was interested in what her vision and purpose is for her designs -- basically her process. So now I'll be quiet and let Iris speak for herself, from the unusually snowy climes of Berlin, Germany.

First, take a look at just a few of her designs from her BrownBunnybyIris store.



Iris: I was always fascinated by hats - I remember paging through art and social history books - all these different cultures producing so many interesting designs combining function with lots of....magic! Yes, I really think hats are magical things. Think of the crowns of kings and queens, think of the designs religious ceremony masters came up with, indigenous tribes. Think of the military, or just think of baseball caps! Wearing hats makes oneself feel in a very special way - it's a great way to express oneself by choosing this or that design. Wearing the right hat really is the dot on the i ! In the end my love of designing hats simply comes from my love of wearing them. Graduating from a fashion design school in Vienna gave me the necessary technical know how and background.

I spent quite some time in South America, Spain, Italy, Scandinavia. I lived 2 years in France, 2 years in New Mexico, a full year in New York City and many years in California - all these different cultures have changed my lifestyle and way of thinking. I'm really grateful that I was able to enjoy so many different cultures.

I draw inspiration from everything that surrounds me and makes an impression on me. That can be colors, sounds, textures, music, you name it! Then there's the constant wish to change, to surprise, having fun! Of course finding new pieces of vintage fabric or ribbons inspires me a lot. And not to forget all the people who can't wait to see my next creation. That's a thrill for me!!!

It always starts with vague abstract feelings and a desire to express these feelings and condense them into reality. I pick material that I think fits and surround me with them and then I start working on a kind of a prototype. I do sketches, I cut pieces of paper to make a pattern to get a handle on the 3d space. I stop and go and change and take it all apart again and so on. It's like composing music. I never give up on a new design. If it doesn't totally satisfy me I feel challenged and have to come up with new solutions, and in the end I'm always surprised about the final outcome! I have so many ideas in my head. I only need to see a few buttons and some
fabric and I get the idea!

I also work in the movies, on set, on location and get quite some inspiration from the drama of being there. I'm also selling the majority of my creations during a film shoot. I wear a different hat everyday and there's practically no film shoot where one or the other actress picks one of my designs. So I get paid twice ;-)

AdornMe: Iris, thank you for being so gracious in allowing Adorn Me to feature you. Your hats really stand out in the crowd as being original and timeless.

Now, go take a look at Iris's store... :)


l'actrice said...

Lovely Adorn Me Jewelry Tina, I'm very happy reading the interview you did with me! I want to thank you for giving me the chance to talk about my hats! I really love what you say about me and my creations! I very much love your jewelry store and your blog is outstanding!
You are a wonderful person!
I'm really honored to be featured on your blog!

XOXO, Iris BrownBunnybyIris

For the love of jewelry... said...

Thank you, lovely Iris. :c)

Lynn Hoyt said...

What a great interview Tina! So interesting to read about Iris and her love of creating and of life. Her hats are amazing and totally unique- just like her warm and fun-loving personality! It all shines brightly, even through the computer screen.
lynn (midnightcoiler)

Crickets Creations Handknit Scarves said...

Iris is an AMAZING designer and an even more amazing friend! Such a special person...
Celeste (Crickets)

Waterrose said...

I love hats and these hats are just wonderful. I wish I looked good in hats, but alas I have one of those non-hat head! Great interview!

Anonymous said...

Great interview, Tina! Love Iris' hats, by the way!

l'actrice said...

It's wonderful to read so many positive comments to the interview you did with me, Tina!


About Adorn Me jewelry said...

I'm so glad, Iris. I can't imagine anyone having anything but positive things to say about your work, or you. :)