If you wanted to be a hat maker, you couldn?t have a much better pedigree than Leah Chalfen of Leah C. Couture Millinery. Armed with a degree from Temple University, Leah completed the millinery program at the Fashion Institute of Technology and went on to work at renowned British hat designer Patricia Underwood's studio. Before striking out on her own, Chalfen even worked in the remarkable millinery department of the Metropolitan Opera House (which, as she notes, gave her insight into the world of theatrical styles -- sometimes veritably jaw-dropping styles, indeed).
Her elegant and flattering headpieces are worn by "distinctive brides who want to walk down the aisle with pride and confidence -- not the 'classic' tiara woman," she says jokingly. "And I'm known for the graceful use of feathers, too." Her headpieces embody the infinite possibilities that feathers, flowers, veiling, pearls, and a gifted hand and creative eye can bring to them -- and editors of major bridal magazines agree, as her headpieces are regularly published in national periodicals, including top-tier magazines like Town & Country and InStyle. "I love to make the most flattering veils and headpieces for my brides -- things that are contemporary and stylish," she notes. Veils start at $125 and headpieces range from about $275 to $425. 124 W. 30th St. btw. Sixth & Seventh Aves., Suite 203, 212-947-3505; www.leahc.net (This article originally appeared in the 4/06 issue of Manhattan Living.)