Hattingdon was interviewed by the one and only Sassy Topper for the April 2016 edition of Hatsquisite Magazine*. Here is the interview in full.
ST=Sassy Topper; H=Hattingdon
ST: Good afternoon and welcome to Hatsquisite magazine.
H: Thank you. I am thrilled to be here and talk about hats.
ST: I love your name — Hattingdon. So expressive of who you are. Is that your first name? Last name?
H: I go by Hattingdon. Just Hattingdon.
ST: I see. Who then is, say for example Harper Hattingdon, is she a sister of yours?
H: Oh, no. I have hundreds of hats and the only one who models them. Harper is the design name for that particular hat. It’s how we distinguish our designs from one another.
ST: You say “our designs”. Do you design hats too?
H: No, Vivian designs all the hats. Now, I might see something — an upcoming trend I love or something thrilling on the runway that I want — and Vivian uses them as inspiration for something just for me to wear. But her designs are uniquely hers. She surprises me with designs but it is often a collaborative effort.
ST: Does Vivian — that being Vivian Grant Farrell, the creator of Hattingdon® — have any millinery experience?
H: Only in the graphic arts sense.
ST: I see. I notice there are a couple of Hattingdon horses who look something like you, but . . .
H: Oh, them. The Greys. They are my cousins.
ST: And what do they do? Are they models too?
H: No. I don’t know. Curtis and Marcus live on the West Coast. No one knows quite what they do.
ST: But their last names are Hattingdon, so that indicates to me at least that you are somehow related.
H: I go by Hattingdon just like Usher goes by Usher. Oh. Perhaps I should have said Pharrell who wears such great hats. Anyway, I am a cartoon horse and . . .
ST: So Curtis Hattingdon is not you with your coat changed to grey. He is your cousin. And so is Marcus.
H: Really! No I do not dye my coat. Curtis and Marcus are related to me but separate. Of course I love my dear cousins. We are all very stylish in our own way. And there is certainly some family resemblance. But surely you can see the difference.
ST: Well, you look just alike to me. Let’s move on.
H: Yes, let’s do.
ST: You are a female cartoon horse, right? Though in some designs you look male.
H: (Snorts). My goodness. When you see a horse on the street, do you say, oh look at that beautiful boy horse, or beautiful girl horse? No, you say oh what a beautiful horse. Curtis and Marcus Hattingdon are obviously males.
You can typically judge by the name. Whether or not I am wearing my long eyelashes can also be a clue. But I model male and female hats equally beautifully. Look how gorgeously I model a cowboy hat.
ST: So you are saying that your lashes are extensions or add ons.
H: I am pointing out that my long, luxurious lashes — which are all mine — typically signals a feminine design as opposed to masculine design.
ST: That brings us to you being a cartoon horse. Tell me. What does that mean to you?
H: When I learned I was going to be interviewed and thought that you might ask me this, I wondered about myself for the first time. I am not a philosophical animal so haven’t thought about my specific role in life. I go about being beautiful, modeling hats, having fun and making people around me happy.
So I had Vivian look it up on the internet for me. Here’s the explanation that seems to make the most sense to me:
- “While the specific definition has changed over time, modern usage refers to a typically non-realistic or semi-realistic drawing or painting intended for satire, caricature, or humor, or to the artistic style of such works.” (Wikipedia)
If I take that definition and apply it to myself, I feel it makes me a semi-realistic drawing intended for humor — to make people laugh and smile and to feel good — to delight them with artistic style. That sounds to me like a very worthwhile enterprise.
ST: Speaking of artistic style, why hats?
H: When Vivian began Hattingdon®, she started with Curtis Hattingdon who she created Christmas 2007 and launched in 2008.
When asked to do another cartoon horse, she decided to stay with the horse design she had but add different hats. The second Hattingdon she created is the Harper design, wearing the Chanel pink picture hat, seen earlier. Following that she made a classic shape and designed it in all sorts of colors and varieties of embellishments.
The bottom line for me is, I am all about style. Vivian and I both adore hats. And hats are an accessory that adds style, character and glamour like no other.
ST: I agree. Hats make an unrivaled statement when it comes to fashion and lifestyle. Just look at the royals and leaders in fashion and the arts, even world leaders, and their hats.
How many hats would you say you have?
H: Oh, since 2008 I guess she has done around 300 hat designs. We have retired some over the years as new ones have been created. We couldn’t have 300 out there in the marketplace at one time. We keep it to around 100 to 125 designs out at a time.
ST: Right now, what is your favorite hat?
H: Oh, my. I love so many. Ummmmm. Well.
I love the top hat series that Vivian recently created for me. They are all so delicious, particularly the one called Branwen. It’s purple and cobwebby and has a little spider sitting on the brim called George. Can’t wait to wear that for Halloween.
ST: It has been lovely talking with you. Thank you so much for being here. Do you have any final thoughts to share with our readers?
H: Yes. Yes I do.
“You can never be too rich, too beautiful or have too many hats.”
* NOTE: Hatsquisite™ magazine is not a real magazine. Hatsquisite magazine, Sassy Topper and this interview emerged from the fertile imagination of Hattingdon® creator Vivian Grant Farrell.