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  About Ellen Christine  
   
  The hats in this impressive collection have been created by Ellen Christine Colon-Lugo. Earning a devoted East Coast following, Ellen Christine hand-constructs hats that have unique appeal. She mixed antique textiles and trims to capture the fanciful nature of the modern woman. As Ellen Christine sculpts velvet roses or an organza brim, each hat seems to take on a life of its own. She imagines each hat "starring in a little movie." These movies are often interrupted by some matchmaking, as the milliner becomes stylist, transforming a browser into a buyer. "These are hats that are meant to be worn, not kept on a shelf. There's a dramatic character inside every person waiting to be dressed."
   
  Ellen Christine brings more than a good imagination and a selective eye to her specialty. Hats became part of Ellen Christine's life ever since her grandmother let her select a pink straw hat for Easter. She began gathering practical design experience in her hometown, Philadelphia, where she apprenticed herself to an Italian tailor with main line clients, and in Boston, where she helped put together a costume shop for Strutters, the trendsetting antique clothiers. Her prize find was a wealthy socialite's hoard of hats. It was an opportunity of a lifetime. "Those hats were my school," says Ellen Christine, who perfected her craft by taking apart and reconstructing those 350 crushed beauties.

Moving to New York over a decade ago, she relied on her hat-making talents while pursuing her masters and doctorate in costume history at New York University. She continued to sharpen her skills by freelancing as a stylist and costumer. One of her projects for theatrical costume-maker Barbara Matera was Beauty and the Beast. Her sense of style and history also make her a favorite with brides-to-be hoping to restore their mothers' wedding dresses or coordinate a fanciful headpiece.

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