Gallery Show & Upcoming Presentation

Hats I designed are in the current exhibit at Proteus Gowanus, a gallery in Brooklyn recently named one of the "10 Galleries to visit in Brooklyn and Queens" by The New York Times (16 April, 2015).

Had a conversation with show's curator, Courtney Jordan, when she made a studio visit. She had been to many artist's spaces in preparation for the exhibit. Her perspective on how artists' approach their studio practice was interesting and affirming.

The gallery's press release for the exhibit's opening is below. (It happens to feature my hats!)  Was unable to attend the opening, however, I will be giving a presentation at the gallery. The date and time will be announced soon....

I would love to see you there!

Hats by Sarah Kate Beaumont // Verysweetlife

Please join us for 

Gowanus Marketplace

May 9th - July 11th

Opening Reception: Saturday, May 9th, 6 – 9 pm

The final exhibition of our yearlong COMMERCE theme, Gowanus Marketplace circles back to our beloved Gowanus Canal,  highlighting the uniquely creative, collaborative commerce that has sprung up along the canal’s murky waters.  The exhibition explores the intersection of contemporary artistry and industry along the canal by presenting artist-made functional objects as objets d’art in a re-imagined Old World marketplace.

We invite you to come support these local artists and artisans. The marketplace includes ceramics, retrofitted sleds and lamps, soap, knives, furniture, hats, robots, pickles, terrariums, coffee and more!

 Gowanus Marketplace Participants include:

Amanda Moffat Pottery; Brooklyn Robot Foundry; Chris Hackett; Ehrhardt’s Tempest; Haskieville Apparel; Jake Wright // Stockpile Designs; Lite Brite Neon Studio; May Luk; Melissa Dadourian; MQuan; Pete Raho // Gowanus Furniture Co; Phuong  Nguyen; Pickle Shack // Brooklyn Brine; Sarah Kate Beaumont // Verysweetlife; Soapwalla Inc; Stone Street Coffee; Textile Arts Center // Emma Cleveland + Natalie Phillips; Tony Stanzione; Twig Terrariums

Gallery Hours
Thursday & Friday, 3–6 pm
Saturday & Sunday, 12–6 pm
  Proteus Gowanus | 543 Union Street, #1C | Brooklyn, NY 11215

Always Room for a Hat

Sun Hat
Scalloped Hem Jacket
Pirate Pants
Wrap Belt
Lace-edged Blouse

Photograph: Robert Lucy
Labor Day Weekend. Summer's last hurrah has been a generous wave of heat and humidity.

Autumn is on the way.

A sun hat, sandals and lightweight linen (blouse, pants). A jacket to usher in the season.

A hat hook on the exterior of a building?! (A matter of perspective.)

In a Breeze

Western Hat, Prairie Dress, 2014
Photograph: Robert Lucy

Along came a breeze...

The hat began with a western shape, however, I chose to give it an ultra-wide brim. The only downside to such a generous brim is its tendency to lift in a breeze. It also is impossible to wear on a crowded subway train! That may be why cowboy hats traditionally have radically upturned brims; they are aerodynamic. (Referring to the wind dilemma rather than the crowded subway scenario. Rare is the western hat on the R train.)

The dress is aerodynamic! Have made it in a variety of lightweight fabrics including silk and cotton, varying the sleeve length and its fullness. This dress forms part of what has essentially become a summer uniform.

Fell in love with western hats on a family visit to a working ranch in Wyoming when I was 9 yrs old. Found equally appealing: wide belts with prominent buckles, shirts fastened with metal rimmed opal snaps in lieu of buttons, riding horseback on an open plain to round up cattle and square dancing.

Urban Prairie

Fedora, Prairie Dress, 2014. 
Photo: Robert Lucy

To find a style of one's own... 

Made the fedora a few years ago. I'm also wearing it in the profile on the right. Though it looks faintly blue here it is decidedly dove grey. It has been a canopy in light rain and collected snowflakes on its brim in winter. A well made hat lasts! There is a wonderful story about a man's affection for his hat in I Thought My Father Was God And Other True Tales from NPR's National Story Project, titled "A Felt Fedora".

The dress' fabric is printed with a quaint butterfly motif. The material is so light it sways with every footstep and floats in a gentle breeze like a curtain billowing across a windowsill.

The photograph above was taken by Robert Lucy, an artist who is both an exquisite photographer and a painter.
Fabric detail: butterfly pattern.
Washed, lined dried...
yet to be ironed

Every Day A Hat

Hats for Winter
Just inside the door stands a hall tree with an abundance of hats. Before exchanging the felt hats with straw ones designed for hotter weather, here is the collection I've made for winter. With the exception of the synthetic fur hat (middle left) they are fashioned from felt which is first steamed then molded onto a wooden form called a block and anchored into position to dry. For years I've worn a hat every day, favoring large brims (or enormous ones)! In this walking city, these hats seem to invite conversations with strangers on practically a daily basis. I love it.

Hats (clockwise from top right): Garbo Fedora, Outbacker, Round Crown in ochre, royal blue, pine, (on table: Navy Fedora), Edwardian 'Fur' Hat, Texas by way of Milan.

Ersatz Fur Hat

Ersatz Fur Hat, 2013
Smartphone photo, alas. Hoping graininess works with the Edwardian vibe.
Tend to favor wide brimmed hats. It has been a blustery winter, however, when a strong gust of wind will cause a lightweight wide brimmmed hat to take flight and become an urban tumbleweed rolling along the pavement. Have sprinted! Hat pins? On a windy day the pinned part of the hat remains anchored as the rest bobs up and down. After a truck generously slowed down to avoid the renegade hat that had blown into the street, I bowed to the driver and began designing a winter hat.

Thought about how to engineer the brim while walking home, riding the subway, etc. The material is fairly heavy so it needed to have support. There were experiments (many)! The hat is warm, able to withstand moderate gusts of wind and turns out to be a good meeting hat--folks initiate conversations. I quite like that!

It's an Edwardian hat. Also Cookie Monsterish.

The brim is shaped with a wire (secured by hand). 

Custom Wide Brim Hat

Wide Brim Hat, 2011
Spent the better part of last week making a custom wide brim hat. Part of the time was spent sewing, however, most was devoted to the design process--experimenting with the depth of the crown, altering its curve and adjusting brim width proportionally.
The burgundy material glistens in relation to light, transforming the hat's appearance. A hidden drawstring in the crown lining makes the size adjustable to accommodate wearing one's hair up or down. (Women's hats, unlike those made for men, are often "one size". Before I began making hats for myself the only hats that ever seemed to fit well were men's hats!) With a light twist the brim sweeps up to the left or right.

The woman for whom this hat was designed was wonderful to work with! Love fest.

Flipped Brim


Summer rain hat: waterproof acetate, cotton lining, 2011
We've had some steamy, rainy days as summer ebbs. A rain hat made previously was warm and practical in cold weather, yet was proving mighty hot in summer!

Using material remaining from a raincoat sewn in the spring,  constructed a summer-weight wide brim rain hat with a deep crown (so hair can be worn up underneath).  

Love to be without the extra weight of an umbrella! (Maybe come autumn rain will sew a waterproof bag.)
Shy tilt of the brim

Millinery Aroma

  (Hat; Wool, grosgrain ribbon trim, 2010) 
There's a heady farm scent emitted from dampened wool during the blocking process. Wet sheep. It's appealingly earthy. The wool becomes pliable, prickly and silky with natural lanolin oil. Molding it is phenomenal.

Dressed in a self-designed blouse, skirt, unmentionables, bundled in a homemade hat and scarf. This is my Superman cape, a hidden self-reliance.

Rain Hat for Summer Storms

(Rain hat: cotton with satin lining, 2010)
A commercial in the 1980's for Gorton's fish sticks featured a fisherman at sea wearing a large yellow rain hat. The image became iconic. This could be the modern urban equivalent in sleek cotton duck. To keep the rain off the brim is wider in the back and slopes gracefully. 

Fuchsia satin lining will lift spirits on grey, stormy days at high sea or on subway rides.

(Gorton's fisherman)

Artisanal Millinery

(Hat: Wool felt with band, 2010)
These hats are made with so much attention to detail they ought to be called artisanal. The wool felt, here in a rich marine blue, is softly brushed, with a round crown and a brim able to maintain its flexible shape. Designed to be understated and classic.


(Grey felt fedora with wide brim, 2008)
Hat making is in full swing. Today was the first day working with straw. It's very much a learn-as you go process. Later in the day investigated hats at posh Bergdorf Goodman. Looking carefully at the hats on display realized the millinery techniques that were once a mystery to me are now part of my skill-set.

Made a grey felt fedora with a deep crown reminiscent of a style Garbo might have worn.