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Hat and Fascinator Designer Rachelle Marie Willnus Interview

Hat and Fascinator Designer Rachelle Marie Willnus Interview

2016 Spring petite fashion street style yellow derby hat + black studded leather jacket + WHBM blush full skirt + Yellow studded heels + yellow studded small leather cross body bag
2016 Spring petite fashion street style yellow derby hat + black studded leather jacket + WHBM blush full skirt + Yellow studded heels + yellow studded small leather cross body bag

Derby Hats by Rachelle/ Black studded jacket/ Loft graphic sweater/WHBM BLUSH FULL SKIRT/NINE WEST STUDDED HEELS/YELLOW STUDDED CROSS BODY BAG

I had never heard about the Kentucky Derby when I lived in China. The first time these words appeared in my life was 3 years after I moved to America. There was a local design competition and the theme was the Kentucky Derby. My husband/English teacher gave me a mini lesson about the meaning and basic cultural concept. When he started to pull up some photos online, I was like, come on, of course I know this. At least I know about these fabulous hats! I mean who cares if there are horses running around if there are beautiful and colorful accessories in the area? I have seen this type of head covering many times; from Queen Elizabeth to Hollywood. They’ve had supporting roles in many movies. The best one for me has to be Pride and Prejudice. I’ve always thought I wouldn’t mind living in that time period. Well that is if the women’s rights condition had been a bit better. πŸ˜‰ But still, that was really a golden time of women’s fashion in my mind. Those dresses were so figure flattering and the hats were just amazing.

2016 Spring petite fashion street style yellow derby hat + black studded leather jacket + WHBM blush full skirt + Yellow studded heels + yellow studded small leather cross body bag
2016 Spring petite fashion street style yellow derby hat + black studded leather jacket + WHBM blush full skirt + Yellow studded heels + yellow studded small leather cross body bag

Derby Hats by Rachelle/ Black studded jacket/ Loft graphic sweater/WHBM BLUSH FULL SKIRT/NINE WEST STUDDED HEELS/YELLOW STUDDED CROSS BODY BAG

I first met Rachelle Marie Willnus, a local hat and fascinator designer, last fall at a fashion show. I have to say, her Derby style designs instantly caught my eye. We chatted a bit and exchanged contact info. I had already decided my blog needed one of her hats! After that first show, we have bumped into each other quite often. And every single time, her designs impress me more and more. I love how she added a fun and modern vibe to her hats but still managed to keep the posh and elegant soul. Don’t you love these beautiful pieces of art?

Hat and Fascinator Designer Rachelle Marie Willnus Interview
Hat and Fascinator Designer Rachelle Marie Willnus Interview

And it’s not just me that is sitting up and taking notice. This piece below is in the Detroit Historical Museum in their FASHION D.FINED Show. On Exhibit from September 2015 – Fall/Winter 2016, this collection features local designers who represent the past, present and future of Detroit Fashion.

Hat and Fascinator Designer Rachelle Marie Willnus Interview
Hat and Fascinator Designer Rachelle Marie Willnus Interview

Hat and Fascinator Designer Rachelle Marie Willnus Interview
Hat and Fascinator Designer Rachelle Marie Willnus Interview

And Rachelle is also keeping the movie connection alive with her hats as well. These were two crowns she made for the feature film Crowning Jules. This Lucas Miles Film was made in Michigan and Indiana. The film stars local and national actresses Jacqueline and Elizabeth Labadie and is set to be released in summer, 2016

Hat and Fascinator Designer Rachelle Marie Willnus Interview
Hat and Fascinator Designer Rachelle Marie Willnus Interview
Hat and Fascinator Designer Rachelle Marie Willnus Interview
Hat and Fascinator Designer Rachelle Marie Willnus Interview

But you don’t have to work in show business. Real people are wearing her Derby hats too.

Hat and Fascinator Designer Rachelle Marie Willnus Interview
Hat and Fascinator Designer Rachelle Marie Willnus Interview

I had the chance to interview Rachelle last week and I have to say, I respect her as a professional and expert even more. Not to mention her honest, caring personality. I’ve said before that one of the best things about having my blog is the incredible people I’ve met because of it and Rachelle is definitely one of them. She is a great person to have in your life. πŸ™‚

Hat and Fascinator Designer Rachelle Marie Willnus Interview
Hat and Fascinator Designer Rachelle Marie Willnus Interview

Q#1: What made you quit your day job and become a hat designer?

I became a stay-at home mom with my girls. They both became involved with the Farmington Hills Youth Theatre…As with any parent, I supported my girls in their activities. One way I did that was by making costumes for their shows. I did this for several shows and realized I had God given talent…not in a vain way…but the fact that I had never taken a sewing class and could make costume pieces was amazing to me and to my family, quite frankly. In 2009, I attended my first Kentucky Derby. I decided to make my own hat. Well…as they say…the rest is history…Friends asked me to make headpieces for them…their friends asked and so on….With the love and support of my husband and parents, I bought supplies and started a business. Each year I am blessed to say that my business has grown thanks to great friends and amazing clients. I owe so much to them! I have a master’s degree in Instructional Systems Design (designing manufacturing training programs for engineers). I never would have seen this in my future. I suppose it’s my understanding of form-fit-function that makes my designs a hit with clients.My mother and grandmother both were exceptional seamstresses, I suppose I was paying attention more than I realized. πŸ˜‰

Hat and Fascinator Designer Rachelle Marie Willnus Interview
Hat and Fascinator Designer Rachelle Marie Willnus Interview

Q#2: What are your inspirations for your designs?

The inspiration for my designs comes from nature and the design of the human face. I take colors that exist naturally in nature and I build on them. There are hundreds of colors and undertones in a peacock feather…from coppers and golds to shimmering brights and bolds. All of these colors play off of each other to create a symphony of color. Balancing those colors evenly with human skin tone is where the magic happens. The human face shape inspires me to shape the sinamay into the right size and angle for each head and face shape. Anyone can wear a fascinator. It’s about designing the correct style for each person. Note: Sinamay is the material I use. Sinamay is an organic material made from an abaca plant which is similar to a banana plant. It is lightweight and comfortable for all day wear at events like the Kentucky Derby. All of my sinamay is from England and Australia and each piece is sewn and handshaped by me. Each piece is couture; I never make the same piece twice.

Hat and Fascinator Designer Rachelle Marie Willnus Interview
Hat and Fascinator Designer Rachelle Marie Willnus Interview

Q#3: What is your plan for the next 5 years?

In the next five years it is my goal to open my own hat shop. I enjoy collaboration and I would like to sell my designer friends’ clothing in my store as well. A woman could come in and buy it all from one store. Something for him; something for her. I know menswear designers too.

Hat and Fascinator Designer Rachelle Marie Willnus Interview
Hat and Fascinator Designer Rachelle Marie Willnus Interview

Q#4: What is your suggestion for anybody who wants to become a fashion/ accessory designer?

My advice for an aspiring designer would be: first…you must LOVE fashion…everything about it. Passion for dressing and accessorizing has to be a part of your natural being. Second: Stay true to your craft. If you believe in your creations, others will too. Part of selling your product is your belief in your brand. Belief in oneself will sell your pieces. Third: Stay at it…You will have good days and you’ll have the worst days ever. Stay the course and people will follow. Fourth: Have a plan…market yourself…make friends with other fashion compadres. No one understands better than another fashion person. Lastly: Never give up. You set the trends, you build the product that others will wear…own that…and take pride in yourself.

2016 Spring petite fashion street style yellow derby hat + black studded leather jacket + WHBM blush full skirt + Yellow studded heels + yellow studded small leather cross body bag
2016 Spring petite fashion street style yellow derby hat + black studded leather jacket + WHBM blush full skirt + Yellow studded heels + yellow studded small leather cross body bag

Derby Hats by Rachelle/ Black studded jacket/ Loft graphic sweater/WHBM BLUSH FULL SKIRT/NINE WEST STUDDED HEELS/YELLOW STUDDED CROSS BODY BAG

For my outfit today, I wanted to try something new, something we can wear more often than one weekend every May with my fabulous yellow hat. So I built this outfit from a punk style leather jacket. The day I was taking the photos, it was cold and snowing. We call that springtime in Michigan. So first I added on a casual graphic sweater. Then I picked this blush full skirt to bring the spring theme. Finally, I added on my yellow cross body bag and heels. I like that there’s just enough balance of the girlieness and toughness. Those studs on my jacket, bag and heels also bring a more youthful and fun vibe. Do you think this outfit is a Yea or Nay? Or I guess at the Kentucky Derby that would be “neigh”! πŸ™‚ Please let me know your thoughts by comment below!

2016 Spring petite fashion street style yellow derby hat + black studded leather jacket + WHBM blush full skirt + Yellow studded heels + yellow studded small leather cross body bag
2016 Spring petite fashion street style yellow derby hat + black studded leather jacket + WHBM blush full skirt + Yellow studded heels + yellow studded small leather cross body bag

Derby Hats by Rachelle/ Black studded jacket/ Loft graphic sweater/WHBM BLUSH FULL SKIRT/NINE WEST STUDDED HEELS/YELLOW STUDDED CROSS BODY BAG

I know what you are thinking right now. You too need a custom made hat from Rachelle. πŸ˜‰ As your full service blogger, I’ve got you covered! Appointments are available by calling 810.623.4926 cell (for Rachelle) or email: rachellewillnus@sbcglobal.net
Rachel can be found on Facebook. I can’t wait to see how you are rocking your Derby Hat! πŸ™‚

2016 Spring petite fashion street style yellow derby hat + black studded leather jacket + WHBM blush full skirt + Yellow studded heels + yellow studded small leather cross body bag
2016 Spring petite fashion street style yellow derby hat + black studded leather jacket + WHBM blush full skirt + Yellow studded heels + yellow studded small leather cross body bag

Derby Hats by Rachelle/ Black studded jacket/ Loft graphic sweater/WHBM BLUSH FULL SKIRT/NINE WEST STUDDED HEELS/YELLOW STUDDED CROSS BODY BAG

2016 Spring petite fashion street style yellow derby hat + black studded leather jacket + WHBM blush full skirt + Yellow studded heels + yellow studded small leather cross body bag
2016 Spring petite fashion street style yellow derby hat + black studded leather jacket + WHBM blush full skirt + Yellow studded heels + yellow studded small leather cross body bag

Derby Hats by Rachelle/ Black studded jacket/ Loft graphic sweater/WHBM BLUSH FULL SKIRT/NINE WEST STUDDED HEELS/YELLOW STUDDED CROSS BODY BAG

2016 Spring petite fashion street style yellow derby hat + black studded leather jacket + WHBM blush full skirt + Yellow studded heels + yellow studded small leather cross body bag
2016 Spring petite fashion street style yellow derby hat + black studded leather jacket + WHBM blush full skirt + Yellow studded heels + yellow studded small leather cross body bag

Derby Hats by Rachelle/ Black studded jacket/ Loft graphic sweater/WHBM BLUSH FULL SKIRT/NINE WEST STUDDED HEELS/YELLOW STUDDED CROSS BODY BAG

2016 Spring petite fashion street style yellow derby hat + black studded leather jacket + WHBM blush full skirt + Yellow studded heels + yellow studded small leather cross body bag
2016 Spring petite fashion street style yellow derby hat + black studded leather jacket + WHBM blush full skirt + Yellow studded heels + yellow studded small leather cross body bag

Derby Hats by Rachelle/ Black studded jacket/ Loft graphic sweater/WHBM BLUSH FULL SKIRT/NINE WEST STUDDED HEELS/YELLOW STUDDED CROSS BODY BAG

C’est Mode Chic is giving out $100 gift card to one lucky winner! You can read the post about their super chic accessories here. You just need to leave a comment below; repost on your FB/IG or retweet on your Twitter; follow me on IG, follow C’est Mode Chic’s IG. It is just that easy!

Giveaway Terms and Conditions:
Winner is selected by Rafflecopter automatically and will be contacted via email, you must enter a valid email and must confirm receipt within 48 hours from the time and date emailed. This event is in no way administered, sponsored or endorsed by, or associated with Twitter, Facebook, Google, Pinterest or any other Social Media platform. No purchase is necessary to enter. Odds of winning are contingent on the number of entries received. You will have 48 hours to respond or prize is forfeited and a new winner will be selected. Void where prohibited by law. The SPONSER is responsible for shipping and delivery of the prize unless otherwise stated and the owners of Colorandgrace.com are not liable for prize delivery or receipt. You will hold colorandgrace.com harmless of all claims. All entries will be verified before winner is notified and any invalid entries will be disqualified.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you for reading, and if you like what you read, please comment below or share it with your friends. Follow me on FB and IG for daily updates!:) Have a great day and see you soon!

|TODAY’S LINKUP PARTY:|


http://www.themummychronicles.com

what i wore

Mid Week Muse is a linkup party

www.sydneyfashionhunter.com

WIWW: LINK UP

http://www.cappuccinoandfashion.com

http://www.pumpsandpushups.com

http://www.classyyettrendy.com

Cheers!

Grace

http://colorandgrace.com occasionally receives vendor/ brand sponsorships for mentioning their products and services.

DGG The force behind Michigan Fashion industry

DGG The force behind Michigan Fashion industry

2016 spring casual fashion petite street style White jacket+ Express striped shirt +  black faux leather leggings + Nine West burgundy booties + red Louis Vuitton  bag
2016 spring casual fashion petite street style White jacket+ Express striped shirt + black faux leather leggings + Nine West burgundy booties + red Louis Vuitton bag

Last Friday, I got the chance to interview DGG (Detroit Garment Group) President Karen Buscemi. Whew! I’m still out of breath trying to keep up with her! She is one driven woman and just so happens to be gorgeous too! But she’s so much more than just a pretty face. In the past 4 years, she has also established a great platform for everybody who wants to gain fashion and business knowledge and skills in the Michigan area. She is even working on her dream of building a true garment district here! After talking with her for just a short time I know better to stand in her way when she has her mind set on something.

Interview with DGG (Detroit Garment Group) President Karen Buscemi
Interview with DGG (Detroit Garment Group) President Karen Buscemi

Karen worked at The Style Line magazine as an editor for many years. During this time period she realized that there are so many talented people in Michigan but they have to move out due to lacking a support system. That is why she started the Detroit Garment Group in 2012, a non profit organization with the lofty goal of trying to fill the need for business education for Michigan’s fashion community. I can’t imagine how hard that must be to get all the funding to start up this organization. But she did. The first program they created (in 2013) to address this need was FashionSpeak, a one-day conference of networking and education that focused on the business of fashion. How was it received? Apparently quite well, in fact it’s still around so you can find out for yourself if you’re interested. FashionSpeak 2016 is back on October 13. Click here for tickets info.

The second program (in 2014) is the Industrial Sewing Certificate Program at Henry Ford College, targeting the unemployed and underemployed to provide a skilled trade that pays a living wage. (Funding is available to those who qualify via Michigan Works.) For more info please click here.

DGG The force behind Michigan Fashion industry photo is from DGG website
DGG The force behind Michigan Fashion industry photo is from DGG website

The DGG Fashion incubator, the third program, launched at TechTown in Detroit (in 2015), providing the designers-in-residence workspace, access to industrial sewing machines and high-end software/technology, plus business mentorship and monthly business-education workshops. For more info please click here.

DGG Fashion incubator program photo is from DGG website
DGG Fashion incubator program photo is from DGG website
DGG Fashion incubator program photo is from DGG website
DGG Fashion incubator program photo is from DGG website

DGG also has its own blog called Style Factory. On every Thursday it will post all the fashion related events in and around the D. I check on their post regularly for all the insight, news and resources.

DGG The force behind Michigan Fashion industry
DGG The force behind Michigan Fashion industry

Can you see how it’s difficult trying to keep up with Karen? Did you notice the pattern above? Karen has lazer focus and the ability to deal with the big problems one by one. Every year she targeted one major obstacle to her plan and created a solution to it. I think it’s her kind of superpower. I don’t know about you, but for me, Karen and DGG are the unsung heroes for so many positive things happening in the local fashion industry. The glory days of Motown and the Motor City may be over but with women like Karen around who have a dream and the courage and ability to make it real, the future of the D looks bright and wide open. I know I won’t be getting in the way!

2016 spring casual fashion petite street style White jacket+ Express striped shirt +  black faux leather leggings + Nine West burgundy booties + red Louis Vuitton  bag
2016 spring casual fashion petite street style White jacket+ Express striped shirt + black faux leather leggings + Nine West burgundy booties + red Louis Vuitton bag
2016 spring casual fashion petite street style White jacket+ Express striped shirt +  black faux leather leggings + Nine West burgundy booties + red Louis Vuitton  bag
2016 spring casual fashion petite street style White jacket+ Express striped shirt + black faux leather leggings + Nine West burgundy booties + red Louis Vuitton bag
2016 spring casual fashion petite street style White jacket+ Express striped shirt +  black faux leather leggings + Nine West burgundy booties + red Louis Vuitton  bag
2016 spring casual fashion petite street style White jacket+ Express striped shirt + black faux leather leggings + Nine West burgundy booties + red Louis Vuitton bag
2016 spring casual fashion petite street style White jacket+ Express striped shirt +  black faux leather leggings + Nine West burgundy booties + red Louis Vuitton  bag
2016 spring casual fashion petite street style White jacket+ Express striped shirt + black faux leather leggings + Nine West burgundy booties + red Louis Vuitton bag
2016 spring casual fashion petite street style White jacket+ Express striped shirt +  black faux leather leggings + Nine West burgundy booties + red Louis Vuitton  bag
2016 spring casual fashion petite street style White jacket+ Express striped shirt + black faux leather leggings + Nine West burgundy booties + red Louis Vuitton bag
2016 spring casual fashion petite street style White jacket+ Express striped shirt +  black faux leather leggings + Nine West burgundy booties + red Louis Vuitton  bag
2016 spring casual fashion petite street style White jacket+ Express striped shirt + black faux leather leggings + Nine West burgundy booties + red Louis Vuitton bag

C’est Mode Chic is giving out $100 gift card to one lucky winner! You can read the post about their super chic accessories here. You just need to leave a comment below; repost on your FB/IG or retweet on your Twitter; follow me on IG, follow C’est Mode Chic’s IG. It is just that easy!

Giveaway Terms and Conditions:
Winner is selected by Rafflecopter automatically and will be contacted via email, you must enter a valid email and must confirm receipt within 48 hours from the time and date emailed. This event is in no way administered, sponsored or endorsed by, or associated with Twitter, Facebook, Google, Pinterest or any other Social Media platform. No purchase is necessary to enter. Odds of winning are contingent on the number of entries received. You will have 48 hours to respond or prize is forfeited and a new winner will be selected. Void where prohibited by law. The SPONSER is responsible for shipping and delivery of the prize unless otherwise stated and the owners of Colorandgrace.com are not liable for prize delivery or receipt. You will hold colorandgrace.com harmless of all claims. All entries will be verified before winner is notified and any invalid entries will be disqualified.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you for reading, and if you like what you read, please comment below or share it with your friends. Follow me on FB and IG for daily updates!:) Have a great day and see you soon!

|Β Outfit Details |Β Β Β 

Jacket:: LYUDVIGA COUTURE [ Similar here. ]
Shirt:: Express [Similar here.]
Pants:: Nordstrom [Similar here.]
Shoes:: Nine West [Similar here.]
Bag::Louis Vuitton [ Similar here. ]

|TODAY’S LINKUP PARTY:|


http://stylediarybyosy.blogspot.com

http://www.foragefashion.com

CASUAL FRIDAY LINK UP

http://www.xoxorebecca.com

http://www.theclosetbychristie.com

http://stylelixir.com

Fun Fashion Friday Link Up!

PASSION FOR FASHION

Fashion Friday

Friday Favorites Link-up

http://farmerbell.blogspot.com

http://pennilesssocialite.blogspot.com

http://www.jeansandateacup.com/

http://lifestylebyjoules.com/

Cheers!

Grace

http://colorandgrace.com occasionally receives vendor/ brand sponsorships for mentioning their products and services.

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