Margie Trembley is a ladies hat designer and member of The Milliners Guild and The Headwear Association. Her brand is Margie Trembley Chapeaux and she is participating in Omaha Fashion Week for the fourth time this August, showing her collection in conjunction with Fella Vaughn. Her work has been featured in Vogue and two international publications, Hat Talk and The Hat Magazine.
How did you get into fashion? Tell me a little about your background.
I got into fashion by accident. My background is in real estate brokerage and corporate and international relocation. When we moved away to Chicago for 14 years, I was not a working girl so had lots of time to pursue my creative passions. After studying many different art mediums, I focused on working with glass, doing architectural etching and carving and then moved into textiles and surface design. Silk painting and felting were my passion. This led to me learning how to felt a hat and from there I began to study with professional millinery instructors.
Describe your brand and the point of view you wish to convey.
My brand is upscale ladies hats ranging from small fascinators to large special occasion hats for weddings, equestrian events, garden parties, and other events.
What are your personal goals or goals for your brand?
With the guidance of new mentors, I am focusing on promoting and selling my hats in the Omaha marketplace and then I will move on to bigger and better things. I also hope to do more speaking to ladies groups both here and in other communities and eventually do more consulting in branding, marketing, and PR.
Describe your favorite project or projects that you have worked on.
My favorite project has been developing an international hat exhibit. From developing the idea, implementing that idea, and seeing it through to fruition, the whole process was very rewarding. I participated alongside other milliners and got to see how difficult this task was for all of us. The materials were not all millinery materials and it took a lot of creativity to come up with beautiful designs, as every participant discovered. Finding the participants, promoting internationally, and sharing the creations with over 250 people who came to Springfield, NE to view the exhibit, was a real treat. An additional joy was encouraging the participants to reach out in their own countries for press opportunities and to see their success in doing so. This project rekindles my interest in international business, which I had been involved in many years ago.
Where do you look for inspiration?
Everywhere. It may be walking the aisles of a shop in the Garment District in NYC, unusual floral designs that I either created or have seen, new techniques shared by my instructors, a walk in nature, or a special art exhibit. All of these contribute to my inspiration.
Describe some of the specific inspiration for your new collection.
I found inspiration in Parisian fashion shows. They often use simple hats to enhance another designer’s creations.
What kind of materials do you use and why?
I use many kinds of materials. For this collection, I am using velour, wool felt, leather, and possibly sinamay. These are the best materials for the look I desire.
What kind of special processes do you use and what effect does it have on your work?
I use typical professional millinery processes. I block wool, leather, or sinamay on a specific hat block in the shape I need. Using these methods makes your work long-lasting and the finished hat is something that can be passed onto future generations as a family heirloom.
Is this a new approach of you or is it consistent throughout your work?
No it is not new for me. It is consistent throughout most of my work. However, different materials require different processes. I also create freeform hats, which evolve as I work with different materials.
Margie recently participated in a pop-up boutique in Omaha’s Old Market with Fella Vaughn and there is more to come. Learn more at her website and follow along on Instagram and Facebook to see more of her beautiful hats. To see her work in person you can also visit Margie’s retail gallery/boutique, Springfield Artworks/Margie Trembley Chapeaux, located in Springfield, NE.