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BARCELONA | Last year, on St Catherine’s Day -Patron Saint of Milliners-, Gema Galdón, a milliner from Barcelona, opened her tiny Atelier boutique, Les Catherinettes. In this cozy space she handcrafts the beautiful hats that she later sells to her faithful clientele. Gema personally designs, cuts and sews each and every item, with passion and technique. Every hat is carefully handcrafted.  There is a perfect balance of elegance, seduction and impeccable finishing. She proudly shows me a very pretty hat in green silk: there are no visible stitches.  Like her grandfather Gema is a perfectionist and has great attention to detail. For instance, when creating her lovely veiled hats. She embroiders an almost imperceptible traditional freckle in a way that resembles the veils that ladies used to wear to cover their faces. Gema is a young designer and artisan with a strong academic background in Fine Arts and Interior Design.  She learnt the hat-making technique from her grandfather. He was a self-taught and very perfectionist man who made hats and turbans for popular township celebrations as a hobby. Gema’s first experience as a milliner didn’t arrive until she improvised a head accessory for a wedding she was attending to.  Her creation was such a success that she suddenly got requests for similar headpieces.  That marked an unexpected opportunity that pushed her to turn her intuitive designs into her profession. Large or small, her creations have a variety of shapes:  brimmed hats, pillboxes, turbans or tiaras. They are all made with the best materials and fabrics:  Felt, leather, straw, combined with silk, cotton, voile, ribbons and handmade petals and flowers. Very sophisticated creations. You’ll find small hats embellished with multicolored feathers or feminine and delicate veiled hats. The captivating hues and materials turn them into timeless and versatile pieces that can be worn on special events or just for daywear. At once delicate and sophisticated, a hat is the essential accessory that adds an extra touch to an outfit. At Les Catherinettes you’ll also find PARFAIT AMOUR,  her bridal collection  of tiaras and crowns for brides.  And umbrellas  from the Italian firma PASOTTI, selected scents by Ramón Monegal,  BY NEPAL scarves; and a selection of jewelry. (All the photos courtesy of Les Catherinettes). Address: Riera de Sant Miquel, 17 Barcelona 08006 Tel +34 93 500 89 76 See on Google maps.              

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