Forme Millinery

The Forme Millinery Story


Jenny Pfanenstiel, International Award Winning Couture Milliner, "Official Milliner of the Kentucky Derby Museum", and Owner of Formé Millinery, makes handmade hats for women, gentlemen and children.  Her one-of-a-kind hats are created using age old techniques that date back over 100 years that include steaming and blocking over hat blocks, as a true Couture Milliner once did.  In addition to incorporating traditional millinery skills, Jenny has mastered the art of manipulation of traditional and nontraditional millinery materials creating “sculptures” for the head.   


As a Milliner, she has become known for her dedication to quality and using materials from France to Australia and incorporating these pieces to truly make one-of-a-kind pieces.  “As a Couture Milliner, my goal is to make a person feel sensational in my hats.  I want them to look into the mirror and feel transformed, almost as if they are one with the creation of the hat.”  When a client comes into her hat shop for a custom hat, she provides an "experience".  She measures their head; they discuss shapes and styles, and go through the different colors of straw and wool to pick out the appropriate color.  They talk about embellishments and what would work best.  In a couple weeks’ time, the client has a handmade, one-of-a-kind hat made just for them.   


November 2015, Dover Publications published her 1st book, "The Making of a Milliner" about millinery and a "how to" with different hat making projects.  Jenny has also teamed up with Covet Fashion, a style app created by celebrity stylist Rachel Zoe.  Her hats are featured each season on the fashion app that over 10 million people have downloaded and play daily.  Jenny is also a hat designer for McCall Patterns and creates flat pattern hats through the Formé Millinery label.  You can find these flat patterns in your local craft store or on McCall’s website. 


Jenny collaborates with many designers and companies to create hats for their collections and productions.  Some include: Vineyard Vines, The Joffrey Ballet, Goodman Theatre, and Fashion Designer and Project Runway All Star, Gunnar Deatherage. 


Jenny has created hats for some of the world’s most fashionable people, including Former First Lady Michelle Obama, Pence family for the Inauguration, Neil Diamond, Oprah Winfrey, Madonna, Barbara Corcoran from the TV show “Shark Tank”, Nikki Sixx from Mötley Crüe and actress Regina Taylor.  You can find her hat collections in specialty boutiques around the world and in magazines such as, Vogue, Tatler, Country Living, Vigore, and Belle Armoire.  She is also the "Official Milliner of the Kentucky Derby Museum" and has been a featured Milliner on CNN, NBC Sports, FOX News, and The Oprah Show. 


Millinery is a craft that Jenny wants to keep alive.  She teaches Couture Millinery instruction around the world in group and private workshops, including basic blocking on wooden hat blocks, to sculptural hats using Jinsin.  Jenny wants to make Kentucky the hat capital of the United States and is working on opening the “Formé School of Millinery”.  It will be the only year-round school within the United States dedicated to just Millinery instruction.  It will focus on all aspects of hat-making which would include flat pattern hats, to specializing in a specific genre such as Derby, bridal and theatrical hats.   


Jenny has a brick and mortar Hat Shop located at the Mellwood Art Center in Louisville, Kentucky (1860 Mellwood Ave. Suite #111, Louisville, KY 40206).  This hat shop is open year round and houses her permanent hat making studio and store. 


Jenny is a Fashion Group International Rising Star Winner for “Best Accessory” brand, and a two time Winner of the Hatty Award (an International award given to Milliners).  She recently won the “Judges Choice Award” for the 15th Annual Derby Hat Exhibition and has a hat displayed in the Kentucky Derby Museum.  Jenny also enjoys supporting her local community and is a Co-Chair for Art for Animals through the Shamrock Pet Foundation.  She was honored with the 2015 Champion Award from Lung Force, an American Lung Association, in appreciation of service to the community.  She is also a member of the Louisville Convention and Visitors Bureau, Louisville Visual Art, Louisville Independent Business Alliance and Frankfort Avenue Business Association.