After putting in a good six hours in the studio here in Dinan as artist-in-residence at La Grande Vigne I need a break. Despite the intermittent rain and hail, I headed off to the old city center to see if the hat maker was in. The boutique caught my eye several days ago but I had yet to find it open. Every store seems to have on its own hours and days and it’s been hit or miss for the most part. I turn right at the clock tower, down a little alleyway and voilà! Danielle – or DD of Dinan – is everything I hoped she would be. A true artiste – quirky, creative, and slightly folle.
Place any scrap of fabric in Danielle’s hands and she will create a chapeau worthy of the Mad Hatter.
Danielle turns vintage hats, scarves, scraps of embroidery and left over fabric and felt from her clothing line into phenomenal creations that are a mix of Doctor Seuss, samurai hairstyles, Napoleonic fashion and medieval head coverings. She also uses meters of fabric in her flowing unstructured coats. I wanted to buy the coat she was wearing but she had just made it that day and she couldn’t give it up. And by the way, Danielle gives all her hats names…
The (reasonable) prices for her creations appear on price tags cut in the shape of a star. She explains that her mother gave birth to her at home in a little town called L’Etoile Plaisante (literally, The Star Jokes!)
We click instantly and spend the next hour talking art and playing dress up with her impossibly imaginative hats. I want one!
You can find Danielle’s boutique at 21 bis passage de la tour de l’horloge, Dinan.