We have a NEW Most Expensive Hat in the World Record
The new most expensive hat in the world is priced at 3 Million USD! That’s $300,000 more than the previous record holder! Let’s see what you get for the money and what’s the story behind it!
A collaboration like this does not occur overnight, taking months of planning and careful execution to ensure a flawless union ready for the fashion world. Embodying striking angles, modern millinery and exquisite jewels, creating a magnificent headpiece juxtaposing dramatic leather features with bespoke bijoux.
Both designers elaborated on their inspiration when designing this intricate project together, Milliner Natalie Bikicki explains her inspiration and creative process “When the idea first struck me to design and collaborate on creating the most expensive hat in the world, the sheer possibilities initially overwhelmed me.
Both John and I wanted to create magic — something unique, using luxurious rare materials. Jewels have always fascinated me, they seem to have a pulse, a life. The headpiece itself had to be beautiful and striking, with a confident girl in mind. When I think of The Piece, this is always my first vision”.
“I pictured this girl in both the city and the wilderness, facing opportunities and challenges and started to draw on concepts from fantasy, mythology and modern pop culture. Inspired from reading an excerpt about the Roman Goddess of the Hunt, Diana, I began to wonder what I could design for a modern woman that I would also create for Diana.
The preliminary hat sketches featured animalistic elements, such as antlers, horns and flowing equine manes.
Collaborating with Calleija was a perfect partnership to realise this project. John and I discussed how the jewels could intertwine throughout the headpiece, with budding branches weaving organically from within”, said Ms Bikicki.
Recently a worldwide finalist in the highly prestigious Vogue Muuse Accessories Design Awards 2014, Natalie’s clientele include Australia’s largest department store group Myer, luxury Melbourne boutique Cose Ipamena, as well as international customers desiring bespoke pieces.
With a background in fine art and degree in fashion design, she utilises both natural and non-organic fibres to create wearable pieces of art, as seen in The World’s Most Expensive Hat. Ms Bikicki continues, “The final hat design was chosen after months of conceptual focus, with dozens of designs culled in the creative process.
The prototype was hand carved in natural leather and used as the template for the finished crown. Laser cut, wet moulded then dyed and sealed, the leather headpiece was completed with woven latex ribbon. It was then handed over to Calleija for the final phase of our collaboration”.
“Latex and leather are two of my favourite materials. I feel that their sleek, black textures embody the modern woman, while the structure’s shape is reminiscent of the natural, earthy qualities of the equine form”. I often use these materials as key elements in my millinery range — they really lend themselves to movement, fluid lines and structurally allow other elements to be pinned and wrapped with adornments for dramatic purpose – and this is where the diamonds really come into play”, Ms Bikicki added.
The incredible gemstones and design work that John Calleija has provided to make this creation a stunning success were crafted in the Calleija workshop by his Master Jewellers. Well-known as an International De Beers Diamond Award Winner, John and his design team spent over eighty hours sketching dozens of diamond designs before the final creation evolved.
An intertwining of Calleija brilliance and Bikicki design excellence has resulted in a breathtaking piece of millinery. “I had to take into consideration the flexibility of the leather and weight of Calleija’s exceptionally high quality gold and jewels whilst all the while maintaining an undeniably fashion-forward momentum.
Scrolling detail of White Gold integrating hundreds of White Diamonds, and five spectacular, yet delicately pale, Green Beryl gemstones resulted in a breathtaking creation of finesse and impeccable craftsmanship — the centerpiece being a magnificent 37.53 carat Green Beryl jewel, surrounded by three, four and five carat Dcoloured diamonds, the highest quality colour available”, Mr Calleija said.
The use of Green Beryl creates a distinctive presence, epitomising a refined, yet organic nature to the woven leather details. Each precious White Diamond is perfectly facetted, beautifully matched and set with surgical precision into polished White Gold. John has designed the diamonds to wrap and weave through the leather strapping, producing an incredibly glamorous statement piece.
The diamond setting alone includes 1264 diamonds and took over 150 hours to ensure the exactitude of such a worthy, international design. A combined team of six highly skilled artisans, with a combined experience of 180 years, worked solidly on the hat for two months.
Calleija takes great pride in John’s exquisite designs, always with an ode to the sustainability efforts that the brand stands for. Calleija states, “Only the highest quality, ethically sourced White Diamonds and Gemstones were used in this collaborative piece.
I wanted to craft the most stunning jewels into a unique, sustainable, yet accessible design that would appeal to the racing community: wearable, fashionable and iconic.” Natalie Bikicki and John Calleija agree that the journey from the initial concept to the completed design was a tremendous adventure of imagination and craftsmanship, ultimately creating a beautiful, unique work of art, guaranteed to make this a statement piece.
The World’s Most Expensive Hat recently debuted at Melbourne’s AAMI Derby Day in early November 2014 where it was worn by Myer Ambassador and International model Kate Peck. The piece is now set to be showcased shortly at Calleija’s 30th Anniversary at the Sydney Museum of Contemporary Art and the Magic Millions Carnival on the Gold Coast in January 2015.