Karen Henriksen, properly stylish head-wear for men

So far on my investigations into improving my wardrobe I’ve covered the most obvious areas, such as shoes, trousers, underwear, shirts and jackets. I’ve briefly touched on the head, but only with regards to making sure you have a decent haircut and keeping your fine head of hair clean and tidy.

Hats and caps are something I’ve really not given much thought to at all. Given that WellDressedGirlfriend has on a few occasions pointed out how my attempts at headgear do not look good at all, I’ve been reduced to wearing items of purely utilitarian value, i.e. to keep my head warm and dry when it’s been cold or wet outside. Imagine my surprise then at discovering the website of Karen Henriksen in London. Karen is a milliner (aka. hat-maker, what a great word!) creating both off the shelf designs and custom work, and from what I can tell she is doing for head-wear what Norwegian Rain are doing for rain-wear, i.e. taking established truths, rethinking them, and adding style and modern twists. The results are really quite remarkable and I can only applaud Karen’s efforts.

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Photo by Tim Scott

I can’t help but be impressed at how Karen has taken styles that seem familiar and traditional, but refined and redefined them, and the quality, type and colours selected are without a doubt sublime. For someone that was resigned to not finding anything suitably stylish to keep my head warm and dry, it is utterly compelling to see the styles on display here.

I will be visiting Karen’s workshop in a couple of weeks and have proposed two challenges to her: The first is to come up with a hat that works for me (WDG things this is an impossible task). The second is a little more long-term, but I’d like to see a design in a similar style, but with a focus on handling wet and cold weather, code-name “The All-Year Cyclist”. It would be wonderful to be able to wear a stylish piece of head-wear instead of the selection of sportshop-attire I have currently been wearing. A ski-hat is rarely a good match for a Harris Tweed jacket.

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Photo by Sussie Ahlburg

There are many more designs on Karen’s website, and I’ll be posting the results of my visit in a month or so. In the meantime, feast your eyes on some teaser photos from Karen’s AW13 collection. Great looking pieces (though a more mature and manly model would have been good!)

Stirling-lowres

Photo by James Champion

Harry-lowres

Photo by James Champion

Chicago-lowres

Photo by James Champion

Finlay-lowres

Photo by James Champion

Portland-lowres

Photo by James Champion

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