Hats By Katrinka

Kate Brown Pernia is a Milliner on sabbatical in Switzerland. She has been designing hats and teaching millinery under her Katrinka label since the 1980s. Kate is also the founder of Houston Hat Net. View Katrinka hats and hat patterns at www.hatsbykatrinka.com.

Thursday, September 28, 2006


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Oh la la la la!!! I am just back from a couple of hours at the Textile Museum here to see their part of the four museum-wide SCHNITTPUNKT, Kunst und Kleid (CutStitch, Art and Dress) St. Gallen show. The Textile Museum’s display is Akris, a designer name that I had not known before.

Akris is a St. Gallen family company in its third generation with Albert Kriemler, grandson of founder Alice Kriemler Schoch, as the creative designer. To say the least, I am stunned by the beauty and timelessness of these clothes. Garments displayed range from the 1980s collections through to Fall 2006 designs. The pieces make use of luxurious fabrics such as cashmere, alpaca, softest wool tweeds, perforated nappa leather, silk organza, chiffon, georgette, crepe and a fur- new to me - called chekiang. (This is described as a double faced fur but seems to be lambskin with its curly wool on the other side.) Albert Kriemler works closely with St. Gallen embroidery companies Jakob Schlaepfer, Bischoff Textil and Forster Rohner who create gorgeous embroideries, laser cut fabrics and hologram paillettes interpreting old techniques in new and modern ways. Everywhere in the Museum you get to see how Kriemler utilizes these embroideries. This dress, for example, is made of tiny strips of leather sewn into medallions on to nude organza.

Akris has done an exquisite job of presenting these stunning clothes at the Textile Museum. Not only are the garments displayed close enough to touch throughout the Museum but there are videos (in German) about the fabric companies, the designer’s production process, fashion shows and a video of the 2006 New Year’s Eve concert by the Vienna Philharmonic featuring the Viennese Opera’s ballet ensemble wearing dresses by Albert Kreimler. Above the video presentation the dresses float in the air above the staircase.

There are displays of couture fabrics with signs encouraging one to touch and racks of couture jackets to be tried on by visitors. These were in various sizes and made of perforated nappa leather and double faced cashmere in nearly weightless construction. Gorgeous! I’ve never seen a textile or clothing exhibit that so encouraged its sensual appreciation by visitors. An amusing touch was the display of fashion show shoes that seemed to walk down the wall to the fashion show film.

The Akris exhibit takes over all of the display space in the Textile Museum. It is well worth the 10 CHF entry fee which includes a program booklet available in English. You can also purchase a combination ticket for all four museums at a discount. I have not yet seen the other three exhibits associated with this one so will report later on those. I DO know that I will be going back to this one several times before it closes on January 7, 2007. More details to come.

Kate Q:-)

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Home Again

I’ve been away visiting family and friends in the USA. Almost as soon as I landed I was struck by how spontaneous and friendly Americans are. My sister Gina picked me up at the airport and we dropped in on a jazz festival in Roslyn, Virginia. We knew no one there but it didn’t seem to hamper conversation with kids, grownups and even dogs. Didn’t realize how much I’d missed this easy manner. How much we take for granted!

After visiting with my sisters, nephews and my mother I flew to Texas to take care of a little business and see some good friends. Ray and Beryl spirited me off to Baton Rouge for a few days to see their new house and Garden District neighborhood. They have three of these huge live oaks. What a lovely place with good friends nearby! I know they will enjoy it.

Claremarie hosted a gathering of hat loving pals at her Houston home where we tried on some souvenirs from her world travels.

I believe she said this headdress is a wedding hat from Usbekistan. It's surprisingly comfortable and well balanced.

Marit wowed us all with her fabulous interpretation of the Burberry plaid in silk and Panama straw. I am always pleased and amazed to see my students’ work go far beyond what I have done. It inspires me all over again.

More party pictures can be seen on Houston Hat Net's site at http://www.orgsites.com/tx/houstonhatnet/ and on Jill's blog at http://jillthinksdifferent.blogspot.com/ .

I even fit in a little Fall shopping too. At last, I'm over my jet lag and altitude adjustment. It’s good to be back home with "my old man" in die Schweiz.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Shhhhh! Lawyer at work.

My husband’s colleagues’ son, John Travis Moetteli, is just about 6 weeks old now. Mature enough to go to work with Papa and Mama. Sherman couldn’t resist standing in while they took time off for lunch last Saturday.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Far From Home

The weather was really nice Saturday so I persuaded Sherman to take the afternoon off for a boat trip to Lindau. This was my third trip to the little island in Germany but my Sweetie hadn’t had the opportunity yet. On arrival we were hungry for some lake fish so we made our way to Maximilianstrasse for fresh caught Sonderfilet and half liters of beer. Prices for dining are much lower here than in Switzerland. Jazz discovered she really liked the salmon and indulged in gelato both before and after lunch.

Here’s an interesting oddity. There is a Sequoia Giganta from California planted right here in this little island town - far, far from home! My husband, a biologist before he was a lawyer, says that Redwoods rarely survive being transplanted as they have an intricate shallow root system and are dependent on a particular soil bacteria. He wanted to see it with his own eyes and here it is. This tree appears to be missing it’s top half. Perhaps it had a struggle surviving the move. Clearly, it has been here a long time and it seems to be thriving now. I’m still trying to find out how it got here.