When was the last time you saw something REALLY innovative and cool? We’re excited to announce we’ve partnered with Mechanical Flipbook to crank out some awesome new hat styles. These bad boys contain an internalized kineograph which rapidly sequences images one after another in order to generate a moving image!
They’ve got a kickstarter campaign going on to fund the project and make these hats available to everyone! Steampunk Hatter and Mechanical Flipbook are going to be at the Maker Faire this weekend so go check them out and get the latest info on these awesome hats! Stay tuned for when these will be available and other insights into the design process!
We’d love to take some time to highlight one of our wonderful hat ambassadors! If the Steampunk world was personified into the body and soul of a single person, that person would be Doc Phineas! There’s hardly a more distinct character than he.
Doc Phineas has an intriguing story for any day of the week! In fact, he’s probably runner-up for Most Interesting Man in the World! Doc is a seasoned world traveler, with experiences in 92 countries around the globe. He is a veteran actor who has starred in 15 Hollywood motion pictures. During his college years in the SF Bay Area he wrote, scored and produced 18 Broadway style shows which were produced at the Grace Church in San Jose, CA where he was Youth Minister. On top of this, he has produced 3 musical CD’s, authored 5 books, and has been teaching for over 45 years.
It seems that since birth, even, Doc Phineas has had an affinity for artistic performance. At the age of 3, he went into full on dance lessons, tap, ballet, gymnastics, singing, violin, piano, and drum lessons. Every weekend his mother took him to do fancy dancing at Buffalo ranch in Akron, Oklahoma. From ages 5 to 8 he appeared as a regular tap dancer on the Pinky Lee Show on television, with appearances on Howdy Doody, the Mickey Mouse Club. He even made guest appearances on The Lone Ranger, Jungle Jim. As he got older his piano skills really developed and he could play old fashioned rinky tink piano tunes. As a young teenager he was dressed up in a bowler and spatz and even a fake moustache, knocking out the tunes at the Long Branch Saloon in Dodge City, Kansas where they filmed Gunsmoke. Doc Phineas claims that he adopted the style known as Steampunk as early as the 1950’s!
He soon landed a full scholarship to attend UC Berkeley and relocated to San Francisco, where he worked 3 jobs and produced broadway style shows for the children at a local church, where he was a youth minister. When he completed his BA degree he got a scholarship to study in India. He then headed off to India where he studied yoga under the tutelage of the great Indian saint Sri Anandamayi Ma. He completed his MCE at Madras University, and headed back to Berkeley to continue work on his Ph.D. He was very thin being 6 ft tall and when he returned from India he weighed only 105 lbs as he had gone through famine there. When he was walking in San Francisco one day in long flowing Indian clothing, the fashion diva Sabina saw him and signed him into her agency as a male model. He became a celebrated male model working for House of Dior in Paris and the house model of I Magnin in San Francisco appearing in GQ magazine and on fashion runways all over the world.
His cousin was on her way to Hollywood to appear on Police Woman and St. Elsewhere so she took him to Hollywood and he ended up with parts on Young and Restless, and was featured in OOKid, Alexa, Out For Blood, Oakbay, Ardvarks, and Batman Forever. He was also working as a set designer and consequently ended up doing designing for Bette Davis, Doris Day, Barbara Streisand, and Michael Jackson for their homes. One night at a party for Wolfgang Puck, he met Tony Curtis. They became such great friends, Tony invited Doc to be on his production team and he worked with him on the last films of his life. He always plays characters that are like Steampunks and old characters in a Western city; the piano player in a bar, the old shop keeper in a western town. Tony asked Doc to move to Las Vegas so they could keep working together . In the year 2000 he had finished his Ph.D. at London University, Shefferton College, so he continued working in productions and teaching in the Las Vegas area. As a member of the Single Action Shooting Society he continued to work on Old Time Movies out at Bonnie Springs Ranch and Calico Ghost Town. Five years ago, he noticed the transformation of some of his students at UNLV to Victorian clothes, top hats, monocles and goggles. He told them he had been wearing that attire since he was a boy. They begged him to sponsor the Steampunk Group at UNLV they told him they couldn’t find one faculty member to back them up, that people laughed at them and they weren’t really welcome at Renaissance Faire…they loved this genre of fiction but they felt sad and alone. He decided it was time to resurrect Dr. Phineas, a character he had once played.
He was named President of the Steampunk Guild and they got organized so that they could have meetings, learn more about garb, enjoy tea and conversation with eachother, work on wonderful inventions, and travel to archeological sites and digs all over the world including Valley of the Kings in Egypt! Without Doc Phineas’ drive and dedication to the fashion subgenre, who knows where the world of Steampunk would be!
As the world’s leading luxury boutique hat brand for over 40 years American Hat Makers prides itself on creating handmade American products. We are THE Premiere cut and sew facility in the world.
Our hats are unique pieces of art and we are constantly expanding the boundaries and challenging our designers to create hats that engage the fantasies of our customers as well as meet – and exceed – their practical needs. One of our most successful examples of this are our “hybrid hats.”
American Hat Makers is the first American hat maker to create felt and leather hats in striking combinations that are both fashionable and fully functional. In order to create our hybrid hats we partnered with Don Rongione from the prestigious Pennsylvania-based Bollman Hat Company for high quality felt products.
Take a moment to learn more about our Ashbury Line which features our hybrid hats:
We call the Ashbury line our Trendsetter Collection because it features some of our most fashion-forward pieces and highlights the playful, artistic marriage of leather and felt.
One of our newest additions to the Ashbury Brand, the Summit hat boasts a timeless, classic style.
Made from luxurious full grain American cowhide leathers and lite felt, this hat will take you from the after-hours jazz club to brunch on the bay in style. Choose one of our traditional colors like Black, Pewter, and Saddle, or give your look a little more pizazz and choose a crown in Blood Orange, Navy or Sage.
Each crushable hat features a 2 ¾” leather brim and a subtle buckle on the band. Details and quality matter and this hat shows you know how to make your look fashion forward with the Summit Hat Hybrid.
Once known as the “rich mans favored hat” the Trilby is a low-profile classic that brings an air of sophistication to any wardrobe or setting.
Now offered in four colors – from timeless Black to eye-catching Blood-Orange, the Trilby will take your look to another level. Choose the subtle brown of Saddle or the comforting, familiar shade of Pewter to project an air of Cary Grant unruffled cool.
With a 4 ¼ inch crown and a leather 1 ½” brim this hat brings an element of style beyond the sum of its parts.
Take your liberty in this revolutionary design of a civil war era cap.
Crafted by hand, this stylish lid brings a leather brim and hat band together with a crown of LiteFelt.
This union creates an everyday and special event option for your head-topping needs.
To order these wonderful hats, call 1-800-642-3428 as they are not yet available online. Head on over to our website to check out our many other high-quality, hand-made hats designed and manufactured in the USA.
Written for American Hat Makers by Jessica Johnson.
Steampunk has elevated past a cultural fad and graduated into a way of life. It’s influence can be seen everywhere when it comes to art, television and cinema. Allowing for the uninhibited creation of beautiful masterpieces, steampunk and its’ subgenres has opened entire worlds of artistic possibility. Harnessing the energy and soul of such a powerful movement would be hard, but not impossible.
Such a daring, unlimited universe would require someone with equal daring and drive! Introducing Kate Lambert, or Kato. Pioneering the steampunk subgenre from the early 2000’s onward, Kato has become one of the biggest faces in the steampunk community. Starting off making post-apocalyptic wear and modelling it on her Myspace page, Kato’s influences drew heavily from Victorian styles mixed with elements from the Mad Max universe and Tank Girl.
In 2005 Kato launched Steampunk Couture. Steampunk Couture was founded as a private couture business producing custom-fit clothing and accessories, and was the first company to cater specifically to the steampunk genre. Focusing on high quality with a hand-made touch, this independent label remains as a one-woman team, adding a personal touch while striving to make each collection exciting and unique. Kato releases seasonal collections of limited edition designs throughout the year, as well as vintage finds and accessories.
Another influential name in the world of steampunk is Katrina Wilkinson, or Rin! Rin is a model and college student based in Las Vegas. Rin never had a big interest in becoming a model until she did her first photo shoot for graduation. After that, she continued doing photo shoots for other students, and from there it developed into a passion!
In 2010, Rin discovered the amazing world of steampunk. Rin’s obsession with clockwork and steam-powered machinery put her right at home in the steampunk world. In 2012, after following Kato for quite some time, Rin entered a “Cosplay Kato” contest. Rin was chosen as the winner and was flown up to Portland, Oregon where she modeled for Kato’s clothing line and website. From then on, Rin and Kato became close friends and business partners. Today, Rin’s modelling is used in and inspires many steampunk works. Her unique look and eye for style has made her one of the most recognizable and in-demand steampunk models. For the latest in amazing, high quality steampunk fashion check out Steampunk Couture and Rin’s Facebook!