Hats are done differently in Europe, especially in high fashion cities like Paris. They are not just a means of masking a bad hair day or shading your eyes from the sun; hats are genuine pieces of art. I have always been fascinated by the elaborate shapes and color schemes of haute couture hat making, so I couldn’t resist stepping inside Maison Saint-Lager while taking a walk in the 7th arrondissement.
As I perused the impressive collection of hats displayed throughout the boutique, I started to imagine the various circumstances I might wear each handcrafted piece. From a light brimmed hat for a summer wedding, to a big dramatic choice for events like the Grand Steeplechase, I relished the thought of how each hat would add a daring dash to my ensemble. Maison Saint Lager’s hats come in all imaginable shapes, colors, and sizes. No matter how big (sometimes very big) or small, each is a work of immense creativity and skilled craftsmanship. The passion and experience behind the collection ignites a new appreciation for the art of hat-making.
I had the pleasure of meeting boutique owner and hat designer, Hélène de Saint Lager. Although she was busy at work on a new creation, she happily explained her thriving business with well-deserved pride. It wasn’t always Hélène’s dream to become an accessory designer. She studied Art History at the École du Louvre and was pursuing a career in painting restoration. Hélène soon realized she had an undeniable desire to create something entirely on her own, her own piece of art. Hat making became that outlet of creativity and Maison Saint Lager was born.
Hats are crafted at one of the two ateliers and, as the boutique in the 7th is one of them, visitors have the chance to watch the artists in action. Both the current and previous collections are available for order, so if you fall in love with a hat design you find in one of their catalogues it can be made custom for you. If you’re not ready to make the commitment to one of these unique accessories, try one out for the weekend with a rental hat. Hats are rented out Friday to return the following Tuesday and prices range from 50-130 Euros. Whether you opt to simply visit Maison Saint Lager to admire Hélène’s work, dare to sport a piece for the weekend, or purchase one of your own, these hats are a beautiful reminder of the amazing creativity and style found in the city of Paris.
Maison Saint Lager
Atelier Boutique: 29 rue de Bourgogne, 75007 Paris
Telephone: +33 09 83 28 60 28