On a mission to find her own Isabella Blow, milliner Satya Twena's playfully inventive collection of well-crafted hats should attract a suitably mischievous muse soon enough. While the self-proclaimed "design scientist/architect" modestly doesn't compare herself to Philip Treacy beyond a shared desire to take risks, it's impossible not to think of the iconic British designer when it comes to the flirty shapes and exaggerated flips of Twena's toppers.
Her looks, for "confident, risk-taking women," skillfully blend vintage inspiration with modern style for an accessory that will endure for seasons to come. Where the eye-popping aesthetic might fail in less talented hands, Twena's flawless execution makes it hard to believe that this is her first collection.
The Parsons grad spent the past two years honing her technical design skills, taking an expansive approach that included everything from learning letterpress printing to sewing. It's an enthusiasm that comes from a bohemian upbringing—a family of painters, musicians, sculptors, designers and actors—that meant she "grew up thinking that everything and anything can inspire art."
Twena's curiosity funnels directly into her design process, as she explains, "Each skill provided me with a distinctively different way of using and thinking of materials. For example, I don't look at a felt hood and think to just mold it on a block like a traditional milliner. I think about what would physically happen to the felt if I burned or scored it and then tried to block it."
While her online shop just launched today, she's already thinking about the future, "looking to collaborate with interesting people on designing avant-garde headwear."
New pieces are added to the collection every week and sell on a first come, first serve basis online, spanning $110 to $1,200.