Jan Ali is a private designer-haute couture milliner in Washington, D.C. She is a member of the Headwear Information Bureau in New York City under the directorship of Casey Bush. This organization works closely with the fashion world to promote the wearing of hats throughout the country. Ms. Ali's hats are informally modeled at the world-renowned Tavern on the Green Restaurant in New York City, as well as other fashionable New York City restaurants. Photographs of her hats are shown on the worldwide web at various sites, one being the trendy fashion Internet magazine, "Totally Cool.net."
Her hats are also featured in New York's "Fashion Mannuscript" magazine . Jan Ali has won awards for her hats at Tavern on the Green Restaurant's annual Easter hat contests held in years 2001 and 2002. She was awarded prizes for "Most Outstanding in Best of Show" in 2001 and for "Most Beautiful Easter Hat" in 2002. Ms. Ali has donated hats and contributed her time by participating in celebrity fashion shows for such charities as the Alzheimer's Association of the National Capital Area in Washington, D.C. and the SIDS Foundation in New York City. She is also active in charity events sponsored by the international polo community.
Ms. Ali has resided in Washington, D.C. for over 25 years.
Her formal education includes a B.S. degree, with honors,
in the Administration of Justice from the American University
in Washington, D.C. Even though her education and career training
was in the legal arena, Ms. Ali put her energies and skills
into learning the millinery trade. She acquired a passion
for beautiful hats while growing up in her hometown of Jeannette,
Pennsylvania. As a young lady, she admired the lovely hats
she saw in church on Sunday mornings.
Over the years Ms. Ali began to cultivate her talent for
hat making by using her artistic wizardry in the trimming
of plain, inexpensive, machine-made hats. Her creative flair
for the use of netting, veils, feathers, flowers, and ribbons
gives her hats an elegant look that transforms them into glamorous
hat designs of a bygone era. Ms. Ali also developed a skill
for working with gorgeous, couture fabrics that she measures,
cuts, and drapes softly over a hat to give it a one of a kind
appearance. Fabric draping gives a touch of class to the hat
wearer’s ensemble. One only has to look at the Royals
in England to see this beautiful matching of hat and outfit.
After spending some time on learning about hat trimming,
Ms. Ali attended classes where she was trained in the ancient
art of hand blocking straw and wool felts by steaming and
then shaping the fabric over wooden blocks that are carved
into various shapes and sizes to form the hat crown and brim.
This hand blocking method gives the hat a softer and more
comfortable fit. Ms. Ali was now ready to follow her passion
for creating vintage hat designs with a look of the early
1900s, 20s, 30s, and 40s. These designs are fun for wearing
by today’s modern woman.
Ms. Ali consults with each individual client to determine
their expectations and desires for a particular hat and then
designs, manufactures, and sells the hat directly to the client.
She prefers this old fashion method of selling directly to
the consumer rather than wholesaling to the stores. In this
way, she can create an individual style designed for the particular
needs of the buyer. The completed hat is then unique to that
customer. She uses only the finest velour wool and lightweight
parisisol and parisinamy straws. Most of her fabrics and trimmings
are imported from Europe and are of the highest quality, e.g,
French brocade ribbons and fine Swiss Organdy material. She
shops both locally in the Washington, D.C. area and in New
York City for the most elegant fabrics and trimmings. Her
costs and labor time will determine her charge on a particular