Please upgrade your browser for the best Refinery29 experience. Read more.
Hats might be one of the hardest accessories to pull off — their trickiness puts, say, watches or necklaces to shame. For starters, we've heard friends bemoan the fact that they don't have the right "heads" for hats — although we're not sure exactly what kind of Michelangelo-esque proportions determines this idea (if any). Not to mention there's the unfortunate issue of hat hair, and if you are lucky enough to have strands that bounce back after being covered and have the elusive "correct" head shape, taking a step outside the realm of standard fedoras, floppy wide-brim numbers, and baseball caps, often requires a lot of guts. But milliner Gigi Burris isn't afraid of creating bold, and even controversial toppers. In fact, her fall collection embraces the kind of dramatic, macabre beauty we expect from an Alexander McQueen show.
Instead of simply using feathers, leather, and lace to create the kinds of dainty and elegant numbers you'd expect to see at the Kentucky Derby, Burris goes all-in by incorporating full bird wings, large pieces of pelts, leather shapes that resemble actual animals. The result has a taxidermic effect that may make some uncomfortable, but it is fascinating because the pieces don't allow you to distance yourself from the living, breathing animals to which these materials once belonged. And while our heads would certainly turn seeing her winged creations walk down the street, we are nevertheless mesmerized by her haunting work and her willingness to embrace the dark side of beauty.
Click through to see more of Burris' headpieces, and tell let us know in the comments: are you into these dark creations, or do they just creep you out?
Photo: Courtesy of Gigi Burris