Hi all,

Looking through some of the fabulous photos on here and on various websites. I think I have come to the conclusion a model to show of the head piece is best?

At my early stage in y millinery journey I am currently using a polystyrene swan neck, and it looks ok, for now. But depending on costs I think I'm going to use a model. My friend has two lovely daughters who are happy to oblige, (one dark brown hair the other blonde.) I have a  decent SLR camera so will give it a go.

Just wondered any other thoughts on this view? Do you think it looks more 'professional' on model or mannequin? And of course it takes more time with a model? Sorry loads of question ;-)

Kind regards


Tags: Essential Discussions

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beautiful girl and beautiful picture.

The model every time...Also I think some of the mannequins look a bit 'scary'?? ;-)

I agree Susan!! There are some really ugly mannequins out there, which  is why it took me so long to find one that I thought was beautiful!!  This is "Irene", and I couldn't be happier with her!!!

She is a real gem, Elsie! Not 'scary' at all ;-)

Thanks Susan.  She's worth every penny!!!

Elsie, where did you get "Irene"? 

I found a web site that had that exact style and some similar. And now I can't find it any more! I don't want to get the exact style as yours, but if I could re-find my way to whatever web site it was, I could find one of the mannequin heads I did like.

I see many milliners (on Etsy especially) styling hats on mannequin heads with no hair. Very creepy looking! It would turn me off as a customer.

I agree...some heads are creepy.  Please do not include mine as creepy until you take a look at them.  If you still think that....let me know and I will do them over.  www.crunkleton.com has 21 different heads...there is surely to be one for your taste.  

In defense of the many opinions of bloggers it is all a matter of taste.  I just want you to know there ARE beautiful heads out there and quite reasonable at that.  175.00 each  

I would be glad to tell you which of my 21 heads is the most versitile.  Off the top of my head, it is Cora Art Deco #20  ... she is lovely.  This is my very last reply.  Decide for yourself.

I saw Irene won Judith's Hay Supply prize.  Congratulations!


P.S.  Don't let the fame go to her head.  :)

Beautiful photo and hat.  Great point!  You must use the proper mannequin head.  Go to www.crunkleton.com   ...not to purchase, but just to make a point.  Also, not every mannequin will do the perfect job...just as any live model will not do.

I've been around the block more than a few times with this dilemma.  I think the answer may lie in what purpose the photographs will serve, and where they will be seen.  I for one, am not at the point yet where I can afford to pay a professional photographer AND a model.  I've used my students and friends, but they are not always reliable when you need them.  So, that's a thumbs down for me at the moment. Then there is another thought that there are some potential customers who may be a little uncomfortable with the idea of wearing a hat that has already been on someone elses' head.  I have deemed  this the "yuck factor".  Then, there is the subconscious reaction of human nature to take time away from looking at the hat, to judge and decide if the model is pretty!!  So, I have invested in, and searched out a mannequin that I feel is beautiful, and represents my hats best.  "Irene" was a bit of an investment, but she is the best employee I've ever had; always there when I need her, rocks every hat I put on her lovely head, and brings a consistancy to my Etsy shops.  Thus eliminating the "yuck factor", and the subconscious judging time, when it is the hat that customers should be looking at.  It takes about 3 seconds for a potential customer online, to decide whether or not to read the description of a hat, or move on.  That's about how long it takes to judge, subconsciously, whether or not the model is attractive. So, these are some subtle details to consider.  I recently placed an ad in the March/April issue of Victoria Magazine, and Irene  does a beautiful job in a print ad too!!!  (the bluriness is my fault entirely. Victoria Magazine did a brilliant job!!!)

Elsie, Irene is definitely a gem.  When I first saw her, I had to take a second look to see she was indeed not a human model.  You're definitely a good stylist.  The clothing and accessories Irene wears always complements the hat without being distracting.  

Also very elegant in a 'Downton" sort of way? And I bet her make-up is always perfect! 


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