Want to meet the summer sun in proper style? Wear a hat. In the beginning, it needs some boldness to walk around with a headdress, and it might be a challenge to find the model that matches your type. But once you’ve found it you will not leave the house without it. A hat makes you feel taller and somehow more individual, plus it nicely prevents you from squinting your eyes and getting wrinkles. A decent hat might be your company for many years. Just as it needs a lot of time, knowledge and dedication to make it. Millenery is an old craft with a long tradition, and even in Palma it’s not easy to find a genuine hatter. Like Marta Ortega and her Marat Atelier.
The small store hides in a quiet side street of La Lonja but it’s easy to find when you know the address. Just looking at the selection of Marat’s extraordinary designs makes you wonder: Would this fancy model suit me? Or rather that one? Hoping that it makes you a little more extravagant, more mysterious, or more cheeky… Ana Siles runs the shop, as a fashion designer she knows everything about types and styles. And she can tell you a story to every hat. While different kinds of sisal or straw come from faraway places like Ecuador or Mexiko, the hats and caps are designed and handmade by Marta in her narrow workshop upstairs. And if you already have something in mind, just let her know – she takes special orders.
Recently, I took the chance to visit and watch her and her intern working on a few new models. Her atelier was full of prototypes, samples, and hats already halfway finished. I was intrigued by a rack where Marta kept all kinds of moldings, accessories like feathers, perls, silk flowers and other trimmings, and a beautiful selection of fabrics she uses for headbands – found in weaving mills on the island or brought back from trips abroad. Too bad she hadn’t yet finished the beautiful dark fifties-style straw hat with the wide brim. So instead I got a cool blue linen cap with a brown leather visor for my sweetheart. Actually, I might borrow it every once in a while and wear it – boyfriend style.