Toi Ling Yu
Toi Ling is a Hong Kong Multidisciplinary Designer now based in the United Kingdom.
After 10 years as a Theatre Designer I decided to step out of her comfort zone and began working on a huge variety of creative projects in film, TV and music videos. She also worked extensively as a Stylist and Art Director on various concert projects and with it the corresponding promotional materials and album artworks. Combining creative vision with her own craft making skills and calligraphy expertise.
In May 2018 she decided to buy a “one-way” ticket to London with the aim of studying millinery under the tutorage of an English luxurious couture hat maker. In August 2022, she traveled to Florence to study at Schola Academy with SuperDuper Hats. She achieves her ultimate goal, is to launch her own bespoke hat studio “ToiL Handcrafted Hats’ ‘.
What’s your craft?
Hat Making Craftsmanship
What’s peculiar about it?
Headwear is so synonymous with vintage fashion. Hat craftsmanship is a real showcase of understanding and appreciation of this noble craft. What fascinates me is, each new piece is a celebration of what came before.
This is why hat making is so unique. We are still following traditional old methods, tools and knowledge. Mix with modern ideas and design creating nowadays products.
We are lucky to live in a time in which we can express ourselves through style, whether modern or vintage, and everyone can express themselves through their hats.
What do you think about the intelligence of the hands and why is handmade better?
Hat is a very unique personal item, not just an accessory but also serves its practical purpose. So our hands are the bridge of communication with material and wearer.
The most charming of handcrafted hat making is that, every new piece of design. Their silhouettes will be taking form over uniquely hand carved wooden blocks, created by artisan block makers all over the world.
Makers then explore different reactions with organic raw materials through steaming and heating. Fingertips can sense every change of thickness by pulling and stretching.
For me, combining the elegance of millinery with the seemingly straightforward boldness of hat making. Is the most beautiful thing.
Tips for future makers?
Embrace every different method and skill. Share the joy of being a hat lover and hat maker.