Deborah Kase Lillian always loved hats. She played dress up with her mother’s and grandmother’s hats as a child. And she always loved rummaging through thrift stores to find unique hats.
But it was the combination of an earlier move to Paris and her 60th birthday that convinced her to go back to school to learn the amazing craft of hat making (or millinery) late in life. In 2020 in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic, she launched her own hat-making company called “Harris Pat” (which comes from a spoonerism in a Cole Porter song with the line “If a Harris Pat means a Paris Hat, okay.”)
As Deborah shared in this episode: “Elizabeth Zimmermann is a noted knitter and knitting teacher. And I will never forget that she said once, ‘People will put something on their head for, it seems to me, two reasons. Either it keeps them warm or it makes them feel cute.’ And I like my hats to make people feel attractive and pretty and cute and seductive and alluring.”