Sundae Best

VertMasonMaison2_bpspr05_2a by Andi Teran
A David Mason hat not only grabs one's attention, it demands it. From chic fedoras to an explosion of peacock feathers to the sweet illusion of melted ice cream, these one-of-a-kind headpieces beg for a second glance. "You Die!" was the message on one particular chapeau designed for the 2003 Heatherette runway show (blood-red, heart-shaped, flirtatious, and sharp, literally). The hat virtually came to life when model Eva Herzigova bent down to kiss a stylist on the cheek and nearly took the woman's eye out. "It missed her eye by a centimeter!" David recalls.
A graduate of both Cal Arts and the Fashion Institute of Technology and currently based in New York City, Mr. Mason's unique focus on millinery has led to collaborations with various fashion houses. Having designed for Boudicca, Moschino, Heatherette, and Baby Phat to name a few, his whimsical headgear can always be counted on to shake up a runway collection. "I've always found hats to be the interesting part in an ensemble," says Mason. "The hat is the cherry on top of a sundae. Without it the look is often boring. Hair is nothing more than the whipped cream."
That being said, one of the designer's favorite creations is the Ice Cream hat. Part S&M mask, part melted ice cream cone, it's a veritable showstopper in brilliant pink, definitely not for the faint of heart. "My goal is to make every single hat completely different from the next."
Whether it's a cheeky black vinyl beret or an exaggerated plume, Mason's pieces instantly electrify any ensemble. Although not currently available on retail shelves (sigh), Mason will be designing a small collection of custom pieces (still shrouded in secrecy) this fall. Visit for updates on the custom collection and a tour of David Mason's millinery carnival. Ride at your own risk!
Catwalk millinery has caught many a stylish eye in the past, but for David Mason, that's all but an understatement. Here, the eclectic designer shares a few thoughts on getting a head in the fashion world.

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