Recent magazine article on Davyne :
by Pamela Wright
photos by Maggie West
There is nothing old-fashioned about designer Davyne Dial. Her handmade hats, however, truly capture the lure and glamour of women’s fashions from days gone by. From her North Asheville home studio, Davyne (Day-veen) creates what she calls “wearable sculptures.” Designers of upscale ladies’ hats were first termed milliners after “Milaners” because the residents of Milan, Italy were famous for their hat-making skills. Dial is a self-taught artist of millinery at a time when most American hats are cranked out by machines in Asia. And while the glory of the milliner’s craft is fading in this era of mass-production, Dial draws on modern trends to keep women who wear her hats feeling like the belle of the ball—even if they’re only at Bele Chere.
Click to read more ...
I was the girl in grade
school who decorated the valentine boxes and painted the Christmas
scenes on the windows. I have always been smitten with anything
of beauty and style. My best girlfriend
and I spent our weekends drawing and dreaming of being designers
when we grew up. She went on to be a farmers wife and I evolved
into a milliner. In my studio I am surrounded with beautiful
fabrics, ribbons, laces, exquisite millinery flowers and trims
and a growing collection of vintage millinery tools. I am the
I'm aware that
many of you are searching for special millinery designs that
are extremely hard to find. If you are a lover of fine handmade
millinery, you are probably weary of the mass produced hats available
today in even the finest department stores and hat shops. A hat
lover wants hats that evoke romance, style and panache, but the
hat must also be practical and comfortable to wear. Feedback
from customers and shops I sell to confirm that my hats offer
this reasonable demand. My appreciation of the skill and artistry
that went into the millinery art has led to the development of
my line. I love to work in a field that provides challenge, both
artistic and professional, and millinery offers this realm.
I have studied
from old books and traveled far and wide, in search of inspiration.
From antique shows in Atlanta and through out the South to tiny
shops in New York and Paris, I've searched for examples of the
finest millinery designs done many years ago. Hats created with
style and flair, before the hat industry was taken over by the
mass producers. I've drawn heavily on those treasures from milliners
of the past to create my line of very handmade millinery.
All my designs
are handmade in my studio, My straw and felt pages have links
to articles on how fine straw and felt has been manufactured
for centuries. The straws are hand dyed using colors that I develop
through much experimentation. The silk roses are hand made starting
with white silks in chiffon, satin or organza that I dye and
fabricate into my exceptional roses. There is nothing more thrilling
than to work with wonderful colors, fine textiles, soft silk
ribbons, and vintage trims, turning these textiles, straws and
other treasures into beautiful designs. Thank you for appreciating
and supporting my work.
at Loyola University in New Orleans, La./ Corcoran School of
Art Washington, D. C. Ongoing private studies with various professional
artist at Penland, N.C. Professional designer since 1982.