Happy Birthday Madame Chapeau
by Andrea Beaty
illustrated by David Roberts
Abrams Books for Young Readers
Art inspiration by David Roberts
I love hats. I have long admired the fashion editor Isabella Blow, her style and creativity, and the bold and imaginative way she wore hats. Isabella celebrate and inspired designers, and in particular the milliner Philip Treacy, whose amazing creations she wore with finesse.
Having worked as a milliner myself for several years before turning my hand to illustration, I have a particular appreciation for the attention Isabella blow brought to this art form. I decided to base the character of Madame Chapeau on her and feature many of the extraordinary hats created by Philip Treacy that Isabella was photographed wearing. The hats in this book are some of my personal favorites, not only by Philip Treacy but also by other milliners, including Stephen Jones and Elsa Schiaparelli. I've included a few of my own designs as well.
Some of the iconic hats pictured within include the upturned shoe hat designed by Schiaparelli in the 1930's, showing how surrealism influenced fashion; the Philip Treacy hat worn by Princess Beatrice to the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton; the Treacy pink satin headdress worn by Grace Jones; the famous derby worn by Charlie Chaplin; the crumpled top hat worn by the mime artist Marcel Marceau.
Sadly, Isabella blow died in 2007, but her legacy remains in the tremendous influence she had on fashion and in the work she still inspires in designers and artists today. --David Roberts
Story inspiration by Andrea Beaty
I have always loved hats as well. I was raised in a town of 300 people and was known around town as the kid in the hat. When I learned that David Roberts had studied fashion illustration and was a milliner in Hong Kong, I knew I had to write a book for him.
I sent the completed manuscript of Happy Birthday Madame Chapeau in a hatbox to our brilliant editor, Susan Van Metre at Abrams Books for Young Readers. She fell in love with this lonely hat maker and sent the story via the hatbox to David in London.
As I knew he would, David took this simple story and elevated it into something amazing.
This book is dedicated to Susan and David who inspire me.
Author & Illustrator at Chez Snooty Patoot, 2014
Cheese Hat design by Rosie Revere
Isabella Blow & Madame Chapeau
Inspiration by Philip Treacy
> Watch Phillip Treacy create a hat.
Inspiration by Stephen Jones & Elsa Schiaparelli