Hattingdon was interviewed by the one and only Sassy Topper
for the April 2016 edition of Hatsquisite Magazine*.
ST = Sassy Topper | H = Hattingdon
ST: Good afternoon and welcome to Hatsquisite magazine.
H: Thank you. I am thrilled to be here and talk about hats.
ST: I love your name — Hattingdon. So expressive of who you are. Is that your first name? Last name?
H: I go by Hattingdon. Just Hattingdon.
ST: I see. Who then is, say for example Harper Hattingdon, is she a sister of yours?
H: Oh, no. I have hundreds of hats and the only one who models them. Harper is the design name for that particular hat. It's how we distinguish our designs from one another.
ST: You say “our designs”. Do you design hats too?
H: No, Vivian designs all the hats. Now, I might see something — an upcoming trend I love or something thrilling on the runway that I want — and Vivian uses them as inspiration for something just for me to wear. But her designs are uniquely hers. She surprises me with designs but it is often a collaborative effort.
ST: Does Vivian — that being Vivian Grant Farrell, the creator of Hattingdon Horses — have any millinery experience?
H: Only in the graphic arts sense.
ST: I see. I notice there are a couple of Hattingdon Horses who look something like you, but um . . . .
H: Oh, them. The Grays. They are my cousins.
ST: And what do they do? Are they models too?
H: No. I don't know. Curtis the first one, and Marcus the second one, live on the West Coast. No one knows quite what they do. I think Marcus sings or something.
ST: But their last names are Hattingdon, so that indicates to me at least that you are somehow related.
H: I go by Hattingdon just like Usher goes by Usher. Perhaps I should have said Pharrell who wears such great hats. Mmm, Usher looks good in a hat ... um. Anyway, I am a cartoon horse and . . .
ST: So Curtis Hattingdon is not you with your coat changed to grey. He is your cousin. And so is Marcus.
H: Really! No I do not dye my coat grey. My coat is purely natural. Curtis and Marcus are related to me but separate. Of course I love my dear cousins. We are all very stylish in our own way. And there is certainly some family resemblance besides simply being cartoon horses. But surely you can see the difference.
ST: Well, you look just alike to me. Let's move on.
H: Yes, let's do.
ST: You are a female cartoon horse, right? Though in some designs you look male.
H: (Snorts). My goodness. When you see a horse on the street, do you say, oh look at that beautiful boy horse, or beautiful girl horse? No, you say oh what a beautiful horse. Curtis and Marcus Hattingdon are obviously males.
I model male and female styles equally beautifully. Look how glorious I look in a cowboy hat even without lashes. Do you question whether or not I am a boy or girl here?
ST: So you are saying that your lashes are extensions or add ons.
H: I am pointing out that my long, luxurious lashes — which are all mine — typically signals a feminine design as opposed to masculine design.
ST: That brings us to you being a cartoon horse. Tell me. What does that mean to you?
H: When I learned I was going to be interviewed and thought that you might ask me this, I wondered about myself for the first time.
I am not a philosophical animal so haven't thought about my specific role in life. I go about being beautiful, modeling hats, having fun and making those around me happy.
So I had Vivian look it up on the internet for me. Here's the explanation that seems to make the most sense to me about what it means to be a cartoon:
If I take that definition and apply it to myself, I feel it makes me a semi-realistic drawing intended for humor — to make people laugh and smile and to feel good — to delight them with artistic style. That sounds to me like a very worthwhile enterprise.
ST: Speaking of artistic style, why hats?
H: When Vivian began the Hattingdon® series, she started with Curtis (seen earlier with cousin Marcus) whom she created Christmas 2007 and released to the public in January 2008.
When asked to do another cartoon horse, she decided to stay with the horse design she had but adding different hats. The second Hattingdon she created is the Harper Hattingdon design, wearing the Chanel pink picture hat above. Following that she made a classic shape and designed it in all sorts of colors and varieties of embellishments.
The bottom line for me is, I am all about style. Vivian and I both adore hats. And hats are an accessory that adds style, character and glamour like no other.
ST: I agree. Hats make an unrivaled statement when it comes to fashion and lifestyle. Just look at the royals and leaders in fashion and the arts, even world leaders, and their hats.
How many hats would you say you have?
H: Oh, since 2008 I guess Vivian has done around 300 hat designs. We retire designs as new ones are created. We couldn't have 300 out there in the marketplace all at one time. We keep it to around 100 to 125 designs out at a time.
ST: Right now, what is your favorite hat?
H: Oh, my. I love so many. Ummmmm. Well.
I love the top hat series that Vivian recently created for me. They are all so delicious, particularly the one called Branwen. It's a top hat all purply and cobwebby with a cute little spider. Can't wait to wear it for Halloween. I look spookily divine. Don't you think?
* PLEASE NOTE: Hatsquisite magazine is not a real magazine. Hatsquisite magazine, Sassy Topper and this interview were conjured up in the fertile imagination of Hattingdon® creator Vivian Grant Farrell and belong to her and her alone. Thanks!
On the Cover: The Pippa hat.
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