Freshest Head and Neck Fruits from my Hand Labor

Last week the gorgeous and talented Pearl ( you’ve seen her beauty here, see her creations here: Pearl Bell ) braved the sweltering climes in my third floor studio along with photographer and all around hottie Jim Coughlin (blog here: Snap Bam Splat and follow him on Instagram too @jimsinspace ) to shoot my latest headgear.  I provided the champagne.

Behold!

The Pearl:

I blocked this green felt hat myself, and named it after Ms. Bell for the simple reason that wide brim hats remind me of her.  There’s a taxidermy wing tucked into the brim and some of the feathers trail off on the side, complimenting the downward swoop of the hat.

I also incorporated a sparkly tennis bracelet from my mother’s collection.

The Pomp:

Comprised of the very same chicken from the Pearl hat, this piece is a taxidermied mount dried to mimic the shape of a swooping pompadour.

The mount itself is affixed to a handmade millinery base that I lined with pink satin and blue lace trim, which serves as a point upon which the hat can be secured on the wearer’s head with bobby pins or elastic.  I like to see it paired with a cage veil but it can also be worn alone.

The Frenchie:

A taxidermied wing is enmeshed into the ruffles of a vintage millinery base, a fun jaunty little number.

Secured to the wearer’s head with an elastic band, it can provide hours of worry free dancing, drinking, laughing, etc.  Worn alone here it’s a flirty little number but can be paired with a white cage veil for a stunning wedding piece.

The Carnival:

Named after a wild night in which this hat remained on my head for 8 straight hours of drinking, dancing, being chased by Mexican gangsters, etc,  this hat takes a licking and keeps….on your head.

Secured to the wearer’s head with an elastic band, the focal point of this piece is a pair of deer antlers embellished with genuine Swarosvki set amethyst crystals that point dangerously close to the eye.  The base is an antique millinery piece upon which I have added a raccoon fur poof and some hand twisted crinoline.

The Bobby:

My obsession with visors is still going strong, this example being in a hand blocked blue felt cap with a taxidermy chicken swirled around to create a bird butt poof at the top.  The chicken is, of course, embellished with crystals.

Along with the practical purpose of visors reflecting glare, the not so secondary mystique element of a slightly veiled face cannot be denied.

Le Roth:

As it took shape, this hat started to channel a sort of David Lee Roth ala “California Girls” energy, but en peu more French.  A taxidermied rooster wing sits atop a vintage millinery base with a yellow visor.  The bird head is hollow, while the exterior is just dripping with crystals.  Take from that whatever symbolism you wish,

The Andrea:

My classic visor hat.  Raccoon fur lined with felt and embellished with a sweet little green velvet ribbon.  Perfect for eye sex across the slopes and a toasty tete.

The Duchess:

This hat is a mashup of several species: the base is an antique rabbit fur pillbox, and I added a yellow poof of gosling down along with assorted chicken, guinea hen and pheasant feathers.

Ideal for a post hunt dinner on the estate, or a stroll down the avenue with you best beagle.

The Ladyship:

I think this piece speaks for itself. I just adore it.  It commands respect and gives the wearer an air of dignified authority. The base itself was so stunning to begin with, all I could do was add to it.  So add I did- a patch of assorted feathers, some gold metal charms from my personal collection and a tassel I made from silk fringe.  For women only, no girls please.

 

 

El Gatador:

A super cute felt number, this is a seriously easy to wear piece that stays on the wearer’s head thanks to an elastic band, and it extremely lightweight.  One of my favorites, it’s made especially special with a swirl of black rooster on top and a repurposed (read: my old earcuff from ’84) alligator charm serving as an anchor for a bouquet of turkey beard hairs.

Perfect for any occasion, in my opinion.

 

The Marie:

Inspired by my Maid of Honor, this is a very proper velvet halo with a taxidermy rooster wing and saddle affixed to one side and a generous amount of Swiss dot veiling.  If only I’d had this on my wedding day; she would’ve worn it perfectly.  It conveys class, stoicism and a tremendous amount of fun just below the surface.  For the gal who can conduct herself properly at an exclusive event and then share a cigarette in the alley with the staff five minutes later.

 

The Shannah:

Not for the faint of heart!  The centerpiece of this headdress is a mummified bunny corpse coated in clear lacquer and covered in gems.  He’s holding chain reins and resting comfortable among the spider-like fur “arms” of this vintage mink millinery piece.  Can be worn alone or paired with a cage veil.

 

The Mearrah:

I was going for a flapper feel with this hat; again the base is a vintage millinery piece and I added a taxidermied wing plus miscellaneous feathers and gems.  Works great with slicked back hair or a curly mane.

 

 

The Isabella:

I wore the unfinished version of this to my opening at La Luz and it was a hit.  Seeing it finished, and on a model, it feels more like a tribute to the late Isabella Blow, hence the title.  It’s a simple piece consisting of a taxidermied rooster dried in a shape which hugs the crown and points out at such an angle so as to keep simpletons at bay.

 

Foxy Fascinator:

A simple little ditty comprised of chicken feathers fanning out from a taxidermied fox nutsack.  Sorry to be crass but I quite enjoy the juxtaposition of something people tend to shy away from serving such a pretty purpose.  An excellent conversation piece.

 

Guinea Hen Necklace:

Taxidermied leg with fox fur poof, gold chains and an old charm from a church in Philadelphia.

Guinea Hen necklace with pearls:

Freak Mutant Rooster Leg Necklace:

That spur says it all.  Ideal for someone who really wants to thin the herd of idiots who talk to them daily. No canvassers will even try to get your attention when you’re wearing this.

 

Jawbone continuous earrings:

Fun to wear, lightweight nad a nonstop conversation piece.

Jaw bone continuous chain earrings:

Same as above; the chain is aluminium so it’s also very lightweight.

 

So that was an eyeful, right?  And there is still more in the works!  Please think in advance about your Fall pieces and order now, folks.

XOXO Diamond Tooth.

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Something Old, Something New,

-Something Taxidermied, and Something Blue!  Perhaps the Blue Quail Fascinator, below?

If you’re in Philly and planning your wedding, perhaps you already have leafed through the pages this most recent issue of Philadelphia Wedding Magazine with a mug under your face to catch the inevitable drool.  There are some gorgeous pieces in there.  Diamond Tooth had the honor of being featured as an Editor’s Pick and they included my treasured Blue Quail Puff Fascinator in their bridal shoot.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I really do have a mega soft spot for weddings sometimes I fantasize about having mine over and over again just so I could wear every type of dress that struck my fancy.  Seeing as that plays out much better in my fantasies where logic need not apply, I’m just as thrilled to work with brides-to-be on their head adornment fantasy.  Just knowing that a piece which I have poured so much love into can be an integral part of someone’s very important day makes my heart swell.

 

In fact, this Blue Quail Puff made an appearance at a real life wedding in Philadelphia recently:

 

Such a handsome couple!

So ladies, if you’re floating down the aisle any tim esoon, please peruse the Diamond Tooth Bridal page for ready-to-wear pieces as well as inspiration for any custom head piece you can dream up.

Thanks to Meredith Communications for bringing the right people to the right place for this shoot!

Art for Animals, pt. 1

I recently made this Starling Fascinator as a donation for an event called “Art for Animals”, a fundraiser for the Pennsylvania SPCA.  It’s a “silent auction of art, design, and offerings from leading cultural institutions (like Diamond Tooth!)”.  It’s tomorrow night and if you’ve got some shekels burning a hole in your Birkin, by all means stop by and place a bid!  The proceeds shall go to the Pennsylvania SPCA in partnership with Michael Garden of CITYSPACE Real Estate.

It might seem odd that a taxidermist would be asked to donate a piece to an SPCA event, but I hope my participation in such things drives home the point that I (like most in my field) have a deep and profound love for animals.   Why not invest the time, blood, sweat and tears into preserving something so beautiful, and celebrating it?

No matter, if you’re reading this I’m most likely preaching to the choir so I’ll just tell you about my piece.  I toned it down a bit (read: no heads or feet) and used several pairs of Starling wings on a vintage fascinator base.

Here is the 3/4 front view:

And turning towards the back:

 

I embellished it with a chunk of antique bracelet from Wilbur Vintage.

The back.  Along with the bracelet I added chains from another antique necklace.  They are attached on either end but can swing a bit with the wearer’s head movements.  Perfect for haughty walking, which is my favorite kind.

 

The back right side. Chains are attached to the bracelet link, which is layered atop a patch of starling feathers.

And here is the right front view.  Pretty nifty, huh?  I think whomever bids on this piece and wins is an individual possessing impeccable taste.  Could it be you?

 

I plan on taking a break from all my Craft Bazaar prep  and stepping out for a bit tomorrow night at this auction.  I’ll post part two on Thursday with some photos from the event as well as what you’ll all be dying to know which is WHO walked away wearing the most stunning head-gear (next to me, of course) of the night.

Until then, xoxoB

No time to say hello goodbye I’M LATE!

I wish I had just listened to this song this morning when I felt so rushed.  I really hate rushing.  It’s  bad for the constitution and just pointless really.  I feel much better when I slow down.

This morning however, I was tired and foolish.  I stayed up until 2am  skinning a cat (that’s another blog post for another time) and got up early enough to set up the backdrop and persuade Jim to shoot this piece before he left for work so I could drop it off at my client’s shop today.  These early and harried morning shoots don’t come with a model so I will happily slap a wig on and try my best.  After seeing these photos, though, I have decided that looking tired and cranky in no way makes a pretty picture.

That said, here is the piece in question:

Behold the White Rabbit from “Alice in Wonderland”.  Oooo, writing that just made me crave those white rabbit licorice treats I used to find in Chinatown.

Anyway, this woman has an event and commissioned me to create a “rabbit mask type of hat” and that was my starting point.  I gave him a monocle, although having just watched a few videos of the rabbit in action, I see he actually wore glasses and carried a pocket watch.  No matter, monocles are cooler and this one s made from a vintage watch face so take that, facts.

As a bonus I threw in the rabbit feet on a chain that can be clipped in the hair…or on a belt, whatever pleases the wearer.

Fuck, I look so angry.  Good thing nobody came up and slapped me on the back.

I’m also annoyed because this could have been styled so much better, with a wicked up-do and some makeup.  Perhaps my client will be willing to sit for me someday.

And now to cleanse your palette:

These shots are actually a reference to some magazine clippings a friend passed onto me when I first started dabbling in taxidermy.  I wish I could remember the stylist/publication but it was an entire spread of adorable animal heads placed atop vases.

Here’s one last shot but Rabbit really has to go because he’s late he’s late he’s late!

xoxoB

Fashion Night Out Quickie

While I wait for the all-clear form a client to post about a recent project, I will toss these out there for anyone interested. Behold the lovely Meredith, who attended a flurry of NY’s Fashion Night Out events  donning two of my creations.  Below is the purple duck wing fascinator:

And another night, another event brings you Meredith in a yamamoto jacket I will steal from her someday , topped off with a masked hen hat.

 

For now, c’est tout.  I have my hands full with more pieces for the 20 for 20 project (speaking of which, it’s driving me batty knowing that two of my pieces have arrived at  Ms. Zoe and Ms. Von D’s respective locations and I have no idea how they were received and may never know  UGH the bain of sending unsolicited gifts), creating a fascinator for this Sunday’s season closer at the Brandywine Polo Club, two more competitions on the horizon, an Alice in Wonderland themed fascinator commissioned by a client,  pieces for a holiday craft show and today I am skinning a cat.

Yes I am aware that there is more than one way but I’ll be happy to master just one for now.

 

 

Felicia’s Fascinator

Such a creative title, hmmmm?  I’m starting to think my wit went on vacation and left the rest of me in this South Philadelphia brick oven.  Alas, there are some wonderful things I’ve been cooking up in said brick oven.

HIYO!  There’s that whip-smart writing style, peeking out through my sleep deprived haze.

I met Felicia recently and was instantly smitten at her zest, pep, zip, and rabid enthusiasm for all things culinary.  Upon being introduced to them Felicia then became somewhat smitten with my pieces, and it was then that we decided she must wear a Diamond Tooth custom crafted fascinator to an upcoming wedding at which she would be a guest.

I met up with her this morning at the Reading Terminal Market and watched her order an assortment of baked goods from Termini Bros with the panache that comes from years of tasty experience.

Yes, this gal knows her sweets.

I could hardly keep up with her, in fact she only slowed down to take her fascinator out of the box and give me the thumbs up.  When she learned that I used the wing from a chicken which had belonged to a dear mutual friend of ours, the approval rating went up.

I need to get a shot of her wearing it; the wing curves around from the back of the head and hugs the side before gently peeking out just a wee bit around the front.  I embellished it with hand curled ostrich feathers and vintage crystal-studded lace patches.

She strikes me as a woman of understated elegance so I wanted to keep it subdued and gentle.  I threw in some pheasant feathers and a chain detail that can dangle from the comb and over her hair, and called it a day.

Hopefully the sun will catch the crystals and make her pretty head sparkle at the wedding.  I hope you enjoy her, Felicia, as much as I enjoyed crafting her.

Twinkle, twinkle, little bat. I wonder what you’re at.

Remember when I mentioned a few months back that somebody was getting married?

Yes, yes…while the nuptials haven’t quite taken place, the party has been presented their headwear for the big day so I am free to share them with you, my little doormice (all 8 of you!)

Birthday?  My dear child, this is NOT a birthday party.

Is this getting curiouser and curiouser?  My apologies, but “Alice through the Looking Glass” is such an irresistibly quotable story.  It’s also the theme of this bride’s wedding.  Without knowing this, I suggested using a petit lapin as the taxidermic element to her fascinator:

This is a detail shot to show just how delicate this little guy is.  I used an antique hand-made glass eye to give the face more expression, depth, and dolliness.  This ain’t your mamma’s March Hare.

For the 5 bridesmaids I made a collection of combs with similar elements/color, but each unique in its own fashion, just like the girls themselves!  Each one is based on a pheasant wing, with a bird (mostly pheasant) talon and then embellished with vintage findings:

Read the directions and directly you will be directed in the right direction…

It would be so nice if something would make sense for a change.

Off with their heads!

And here is the bridal piece, in its full glory.  I’m very proud of this one; the tatted lace base was provided by the bride and blends with the rabbit perfectly.  I am eager to see photos of all the beautiful girls wearing these on the Big Day!


While looking for a fun little video to insert into this post, I found a gem series called “Alice on the Wall.”  Oh boy.