Mela Hoyt-Heydon, owner and designer for Atelier Mela, is a union costume designer who has been designing and making hats for the entertainment industry since 1982.


In the past, between designing for the entertainment industry and being the head of the costume department at Fullerton College in California, Mela has only made her hats available to the public at Costume College and a few other select venues. The opening of Atelier Mela allows Mela's creations to be enjoyed by a more diverse clientele while allowing Mela to design and create a much wider range of hats and bonnets. At Atelier Mela, you will be able to select between: vintage inspired hats, historical reproductions, whimsical Disneybound hats, romantic bridal confections, modern fascinators, race hats, floral fantasy wreaths and headpieces, along with a wide range of men's head-wear. The majority of the hats are created in-house, by hand, using traditional techniques. Including hand blocking, hand rolled edges, custom dyed or vintage trimmings and handmade flowers, helping to insure that each hat is one of a kind. 


What We Do

In addition to our ready to wear hats in store, Atelier Mela can create custom pieces both small and large scale. For those in need of a custom designed hat to add the finishing touch to any period gown, themed wedding or a modern racing ensemble, design appointments can be made to discuss your needs.

Atelier Mela continues to service the entertainment industry. Creating hand made, custom hats for TV, film, theatre and theme parks. Atelier Mela hats can be made to design, period accurate, reproductions, or originally designed by our in house designer. Industry only appointments and studio tours are available Monday and Tuesdays.

Please call 714-686-1788 or email



Designer Profile: Miss Mela

Mela's training in millinery started with an apprenticeship during graduate studies at the University of California at Irvine with Los Angeles milliner Lloyd Lambert and continued as she passed on her skills teaching millinery workshops and classes across the United States. While working as an union costume designer, Mela's love of Victorian clothing led her to research historical millinery techniques, pouring over rare manuscripts and vintage teaching manuals. At every opportunity, Mela used these techniques to create period reproductions for theatre, film, theme parks, cruise lines and re-enactors. This, in turn, led to her study bespoke millinery in London, England with Rose Cory, milliner to the late Queen Mum along with assisting London theatrical milliner, Jane Smith.