100 Creatives 2013: Lindsay Halpin, Punk Rock Mad Hatter
What She Does: There is simply no point in trying to look cool without an improbable hat on, and I'll fight any man to the death who disagrees. For the ladies out there, look no further than Lindsay Halpin of Violet Peacock. She's got stylish and avant garde chapeaus a-go-go, each one designed to hang at a jaunty angle for the ultimate in fashion expression. Each one is hand made special to order, ensuring that every hat and hairpiece is a one of a kind artistic creation.
Her grandmother taught her to sew when Halpin was living in the UK, and they would apply those skills to help costume school plays. Halpin discovered a love of vintage looks and fabrics thanks to the experience, though initially she declined to pursue it as a career. In fact, her path was a bio-archeologist, and she holds a degree in that field. Upon moving to Texas in 2006, she switched gears toward her artistic goals, and heads have been much cooler ever since.
Why She Likes It: "True milliners are a skilled, creative and sadly small bunch, and my aim in life is to carry on this art. Being able to create beautiful art, with my own hands gives me the most amazing feeling of achievement. Having an idea, sketching it and seeing it come to life, to me, that's what design is all about. I chose hats and fascinators because they had always been an obsession of mine. I have always been 'that' person guaranteed to wear a hat any opportunity and it's also homage to my British and Scottish heritage."
What Inspires Her: Halpin is a magpie who picks up whatever shiny thing intrigues her and creates around it. She once had an entire collection that was based exclusively off 1930's car hood ornaments, seeking to turn the sleek elegance and raw power the relatively new technology offered into a statement that could be worn. Lately, she's sought inspiration in the night sky, and her "Constellation" line reflects that.
Her pieces remain very British, and she takes cues from the works of Alexander McQueen, Philip Treacy and Stephen Jone as well as more royal recurring motifs such as crowns and masks. Still, she throws a little punk rock in there to lend fierceness to the elegance. Each hat may aspire to upper-class vanity, but she always makes sure to go enough over the line to be called fearless.
If Not This, Then What: Though she no longer pursues the scientific arts as a main occupation, Halpin continues to be fascinated by archeology. She'd love to work in a museum, giving collections an artistic touch to their presentation.
If Not Here, Then Where: "Being a UK transplant in Texas, part of me will always like the idea of going back to the UK and working there for a while, at least. There is nowhere on earth like London for forward thinking creativity in fashion design. New York and Seattle both appeal to me as places that Violet Peacock could work."
What's Next: "I hope to continue to make more of a name for myself in Houston, as well as further afield. As well as working on my next collection and a new fashion show production, Violet Peacock is also working towards being sold in a number of local boutiques. I've been called the "Mad Hatter" and although I am most certainly not Mad, I am considered crazy for hats! I would like to prove to people that anyone can look good in a hat or fascinator, but a Violet Peacock creation can give you real Hatitude!"
More Creatives for 2013 (In order of most recently published; click here for the full page).
Drake Simpson, actor Shelby Carter, Playboy model turned photographer David Matranga, actor Crystal Belcher, pole dancer Daniel Kramer, photographer Blue 130, pin-up explosion art Nina Godiwalla, author and TED speaker David Wilhem, light painter Tom Abrahams, author and newscaster Browncoat, pin-up pop artist Kris Becker, Nu-Classical composer and pianist Vincent Fink, science fashion Stephanie Saint Sanchez, Senorita Cinema founder Ned Gayle, thrift store painting defacer Sameera Faridi, fashion designer Greg Ruhe, The Human Puppet Sophia L. Torres, founder and co-artistic director of Psophonia Dance Company Maggie Lasher, dance professor and artistic director Jordan Jaffe, founder of Black Lab Theatre Outspoken Bean, performance poet Barry Moore, architect Josh Montoute, mobile gaming specialist Ty Doran, young actor Gwen Zepeda, Houston's first Poet Laureate Joseph Walsh, principal dancer at Houston Ballet Justin Garcia, artist Buck Ross, dilettante and director of Moores Opera Center Patrick Renner, sculptor of the abstract and the esoteric Tomas Glass, abstract artist and True Blood musician Ashley Stoker, painter, photographer and Tumblr muse Amy Llanes, artistic airector of Rednerrus Feil Dance Company Bevin Bering Dubrowski, executive director at the Houston Center for Photography Lydia Hance, founder and director of Frame Dance Productions Piyali Sen Dasgupta, mixed media artist and nature lover Dean James, New York Times bestselling mystery novelist Nicola Parente, abstract painter and photographer Cheryl Schulke, handmade leather pursemaker Anthony Rathbun, Alternative Lifestyle Photographer David Salinas, computer-less analog photographer Danielle Burns, art curator Alicia DiRago, Whimseybox founder Katia Zavistovski, contemporary art curator Ashley Horn, choreographer, filmmaker Amanda Stevens, scary book author Peter Lucas, film and video curator, music lover and self-described culture-slinger Ana MarÃa Otamendi, collaborative pianist and vocal coach Billy D. Washington, comedian Michele Brangwen, choreographer and dancer Kristin Warren, actress and choreographer Kelly Sears, animator and film maker Colton Berry, Bayou City Theatrics' artistic director jhon r. stronks,dance-maker Joe Grisaffi, actor, director, writer, cinematographer Jordan "Monster Mac" McMahon, artist, designer
Get the Theater and Arts Newsletter
Exclusive discounts and announcements to Houston theater shows and art events