Best Hatmaker - 2009
Those who insist they just aren't "hat people" obviously haven't found the right topper. But German-born hatmaker Jasmin Zorlu, who specializes in elegantly quirky "sculptural headwear for earthlings," is aware that a hat is the perfect crowning touch. Zorlu's distinctive designs are timeless and futuristic all at once, and are inspired by natural textures as well as cheeky pop-culture references (take her Wild Leia helmet, an animal-print felt cloche hat with Princess Leia buns). The more unlikely the material, the better; abalone shells, fishskin, reclaimed cashmere, and fruit bags are just a few of the many items that festoon Zorlu's couture chapeaus, cloches, and caps. All the same, don't expect extraneous trims or added touches like ribbons — this is sculptural headwear, after all, so she is much more interested in form than in distracting embellishments. Whether you're puttering around the neighborhood or enjoying a night at the opera, expect raised eyebrows and murmurs of admiration alike while sporting a Zorlu (which can be custom-ordered or found at a number of local and international boutiques). Erykah Badu is numbered among her many admirers, so as you can guess, it definitely takes a certain kind of fashionista to pull off wearing these signature pieces.