zoya egan millinery

13872728_1646970342285287_667649160984061779_n

#DEB16 For sale!

A photo posted by Zoya Egan (@hatsbyzoya) on Aug 7, 2016 at 4:38pm PDT

 

OPENING DISCLAIMER: Zoya  ( @hatsbyzoya  on Instagram and Zoya Egan Millinery is her Facebook business page) has NOT asked me to write this post. When she sees it, it will be a surprise. Zoya is NOT compensating me for this post. There will NOT be free stuff in return.  She deserves the accolades and is a small businesswoman, and well when possible, I like to support my friends. Especially when they are as talented as Zoya, which makes it a pleasure.

So back to it — One of the great things in my life are my super creative friends. Zoya Egan is no exception. Zoya is incredibly talented, smart, and just a genuinely wonderful gal. Now some have just discovered Zoya the past couple of years, and I have had the great privilege of knowing Zoya a few years longer.

She comes by her talent genetically, as her mother is a dressmaker of some renown in her native Russia.

What sets Zoya’s millinery apart from the herd of hat makers are several things:

  • Design – Zoya’s hats, headpieces, and fascinators are beautiful, almost lyrical. They are elegant and very wearable.  Her design sense is self-evident in each piece she makes. A lot of people will plop a Lucite salad bowl on their head with flowers and silk veggies and call it millinery.  Maybe if you are Carmen Miranda that works but on the rare occasions when I will need the right hat, I for one do not want to look like the side show in the circus, and the wrong hat can do that quite quickly.
  • Elegance– Goes hand in hand with design sophistication.  Think Vogue and Women’s Wear Daily. Zoya’s creations give you that certain je ne sais quois. You feel elegant, and you look elegant in her creations.
  • Fit – Not all hats are for all ladies.  Zoya will fit one of her creations to you, to make sure you can wear it and carry it off.  Her custom designs are created especially for the wearer. She measure and crafts the hats, headpieces, and fascinators to her ladies, taking into consideration their outfits as well.  Her hats will suit your outfit and you, not be a detraction and unwelcome distraction.
  • Quality craftsmanship – Zoya’s hats, headpieces, and fascinators are quite reasonably priced and she uses quality goods to create them. The devil is in the details and she has it down.
13876368_1646970428951945_1606687838419785430_n

#DEB16 For sale!

A photo posted by Zoya Egan (@hatsbyzoya) on Aug 7, 2016 at 4:40pm PDT

Zoya’s creations are not for the thundering herd, and I am fine with that. I have other friends who have been in the millinery business in the past and there are a lot of people who call themselves artisan hat makers, but ask my friends who were such artisans and crafts people and they will tell you, not all are.

Whichever En Blanc party suits your fancy (Dîner en Blanc – Philadelphia, Brandywine in White, or WC Summer Soirée, add Zoya to your resource list.

And don’t limit Zoya to her En Blanc/White Party expertise. Whatever the hat / head piece/ fascinator occasion is, check her out – Kentucky Derby events, Radnor Hunt, Devon Horse Show, Polo, weddings, ladies events, black and white tie – she can handle them all. Zoya specializes in designing beautiful, statement headpieces for any event using materials and embellishments of the highest quality.

Find Zoya and her hats on Facebook and Instagram!

13895420_1646970388951949_5535488360009624545_n

#DEB16 For sale!

A photo posted by Zoya Egan (@hatsbyzoya) on Aug 7, 2016 at 4:38pm PDT

13934833_1646970405618614_448490137381114666_n

#DEB16 For sale!

A photo posted by Zoya Egan (@hatsbyzoya) on Aug 7, 2016 at 4:38pm PDT

 

 13882416_1644483089200679_3438708144376329924_n

Look at this beauty! Silk flower, 8×8 inches, would look great on your fascinator for #dinerenblanc 2016

A photo posted by Zoya Egan (@hatsbyzoya) on Aug 2, 2016 at 5:32pm PDT

dueling white events august 27

Brandywine in White 2015, my photo.


Dîner en Blanc in Philadelphia is a lovely idea, but holds no real appeal because it is for me, a zoo. It is well over 4000 people at this point, and that is just too many to picnic/dine with.  Also, if I am going to do head to toe white and put together a tablescape and wine and food, the last thing I want to do is schlep tables and chairs around Center City Philadelphia in the heat of the summer.

Which is why I was so psyched to discover Brandywine in White. It was lovely to attend last summer. The people attending were marvelous as well. Brandywine in White is an elegant, BYO-everything affair where guests clad in all-white bring a magical touch to an end-of-summer picnic dinner. In other words, a beaucolic and lovely Dîner en Blanc without the maddening crowd and smells of a major metropolitan city in the heat of summer.

Brandywine in a White is set to make it’s return August, 27th, 2016. Only this year it has competition out of West Chester. Last year Brandywine in White raised funds for the Sunday Breakfast Mission I. Wilmington, DE.

A new event is debuting the SAME date at Brandywine in White and it is called WC Summer Soirée . It is ALSO August 27, 6:30 pm to 10:30 pm. They also have a Facebook page. They are very clear on who they wish to help, and one of their charities is Chester County Food Bank. Another is a Chester County Family Academy and Saint Agnes Day Room.


Like Brandywine in White, this event provides tables and chairs. Tickets are moderately priced for both events (Brandywine in White and WC Summer Soirée ).

The location for WC Summer Soirée will be released prior to the event and will be within a five mile radius of downtown West Chester the event planners say.

Last year Brandywine in White was at Chadds Peak Farm. It was truly beautiful and a wonderful event. But sigh, the newcomer event is logistically more appealing. 

I can’t be at two places at the same time, so this is going to be a difficult choice!

brandywine in white

DSC_9005This has been the summer of old school fabulous summer parties. The summer began with Natural Lands Trust’s Stardust 2015 at Stroud Preserve and last Saturday it was capped off by the simply brilliant Brandywine in White at Chadds Peak Farm.

DSC_9072Until this summer I thought the time of DSC_9025gracious and beautiful and FUN summer parties were the stuff memories of the past were made of.  Not so! Brandywine in White was so sublimely civilized, we can’t wait for next year!

As opposed to Dîner en Blanc Philadelphia this is a more bucolic and intimate setting of DSC_9359about 200 people as opposed to the 4500 in Philadelphia.

Brandywine in White reminds me of summer picnic dinners in England and Europe. It was just so lovely.

DSC_9510A bunch of us purchased a table and a service table for our food and libations. As opposed to Dîner en Blanc Philadelphia, at Brandywine in White you rent your table and chairs and you can also rent DSC_9184service tables. The tables come with white chairs and the tables have plain white tablecloths.  The guests bring additional white everything and food and wine. In the true en blanc tradition, guests wear all white, but at Brandwine in White you saw more ladylike and beautiful summer hats versus citified high fashion fascinators. I have to be honest I preferred the summer hats.

DSC_9362

DSC_9374Guests traveled down an dirt road/driveway off the main road and as the trees parted to our right were beautiful fields and tables and people all in white.  We were greeted at the entrance and checked in, and were pointed in the direction of a second event hostess who provided us with our table location.

The tables were set up like a giant rectangle, but there was space in between each table for people to be able to move with ease.  Down the center were white poles supporting clear white lights all over the party area.DSC_9298

We set up next to a wonderful group of people and ended up trading some of our cheeses DSC_9258from iGourmet.com for some of their goodies including mushroom pinwheels. We served some luscious white wines and delightful French Rosé Wines with our picnic supper.

DSC_9164We knew know on other than our table and we soon met many people we enjoyed so much.  Brandywine in White guests floated from table to table visiting, snapping photos, and checking out the other white themed tablescapes.  We were “vintage en blanc“.

 

DSC_9276

There was croquet and there was also dancing – and the disc jockey was the best one I had heard in years. no electric slide and overt personal commentary. He just played great music and lots of it!DSC_9387

We are already planning ahead to next year!

Brandywine in White was amazing and they gave donations after expenses to the Sunday Breakfast Mission in Wilmington which really needs a hand up right now.DSC_9465

vintage en blanc

vintage 2

Next week is the En Blanc week in our area.  These all white outdoor picnics for grown-ups start August 20th, when Diner en Blanc hits center city Philadelphia. It’s slightly more laid back Chester County/Brandywine Valley counterpart Brandywine in White is August 22nd. (Yes you need to have registered and paid in advance for both events – both sell out.)

En Blanc events have been all the rage coast to coast in the US, Canada, and Europe for the past few years. I don’t know how long for certain – other than the first one was in Paris over 20 years ago.

These white dinner picnic party organizers are serious about their white…decorations, dishes, attire and even food.

So to me it is a perfect excuse to have fun with vintage finds.  And you don’t have to spend a fortune.  Places like Goodwill, Salvation Army, hospital and church thrift shops, the Smithfield Barn, Consign-It in Kennett, the Habitat for Humanity ReStores in Kennett and Caln, are just a few places you can find fun things at a fraction of the cost. Also don’t forget yard sale groups on Facebook, eBay, Etsy, and the humble garage and yard sale. You don’t have to spend a fortune to get a look.

Now some people prefer Crate and Barrell or say William Sonoma, and that is fine, but how often are you going to do ALL WHITE? So why spend like it is the proverbial last supper? Have fun with it and you can mix and match! Personally, I had the vintage glassware already for years and the napkins and tablecloths.

The glassware had been gifts from friends who were cleaning out their pantry closets and cabinets when I needed stuff. Again,  I have had them for years. The linens came from church sales and the Smithfield Barn.  All stuff I have used before and love.

The tablecloths at the time were like $8 and $12 and the napkins were part of a lot I bought from the Smithfield Barn for under $20 and the plates came from the barn too (recently) and were a big $1 a piece.

vontage 1The mid century funky silverware was a steal of a deal from a thrift shop in Virginia that also sells on eBay. It was truly inexpensive and the silver plate napkin rings are just something I have picked up here and there for at least 25 years. None of the napkin rings match and I never pay more than a couple of dollars an orphaned napkin ring.

Old picnic baskets can be found at a lot of church rummage sales especially.

You have the most fun with these picnic events if you do it with a group of friends. You divvy up the table settings, food, flowers, beverages, and so on.

If you are attending one of these events and still looking for your “look”, seriously try thrift shops and garage sales and whatnot (as mentioned).  You don’t have to spend a lot of money to get a fab and fun tablescape! (You can also get great ideas off of Pinterest!)

Thanks for stopping by!