Welcome to my new blog series, Hat Lovers. This series is all about the amazing women for whom I have the honour of making bespoke hats. Each chapter will focus on one wonderful client: their own personal thoughts, stories and/or experiences with millinery, and some photos of one (or more) of the pieces I have created for them. In my 20 years experience as a milliner I’ve heard many stories about hats…..and everyone has a story to tell.
So now, without further ado, I present my very first chapter of the Hat Lovers series:
Derby Day, 2018
“Like having my hair styled for a wedding or black tie event, I consider head-wear to be a fundamental element of an outfit for the races. I prefer hats to fascinators as they seem far more elegant and traditional.
Melbourne Cup, 2018
I don’t have a long history of beautiful hats as I have a large head, so I haven’t had ready access to them. I went as a member’s guest to Derby Day and Melbourne Cup in 2018 and at the point of accepting the invitation, knew that I would be getting two hats made. My hat for Derby Day was inspired by one that I’ve had my eye on for years, worn by Queen Latizia:
Inspiration: Queen Latizia of Spain
My hat for Melbourne Cup was the result of some ideas by both Johanna and myself. I had so many compliments about it during and after the day and it was an absolutely beautiful hat to wear. My outfit selection is in full swing for the big race week this year so shortly will come the concept discussions for the hats!”
While there is a generic ‘average’ head fitting when buying ‘off the rack’, I can honestly say that no head fitting surprises me, whether it be 55cm or 65cm. My job, my challenge, my passion is to create beautiful hats and fascinators for every size and occasion so when Wendy came to me with her concerns regarding her fitting I was able to confidently meet her brief. With Queen Latizia of Spain as inspiration, and Wendy’s natural ability to style and wear her hats well, this was a perfect combination!
Wendy’s Derby Day hat is a gorgeous 1920’s style cloche. It’s no secret that the cloche is my favourite style. I get so excited when my clients not only appreciate this style but wear it as beautifully as Wendy does here. Made from a black parisisal straw the crown was hand molded over a timber hat block. The brim was created by combining blocking and free form sculpting to achieve the correct angles and up-turn. Spotted netting was used to soften the profile and reflect the polka-dot detail evident in Wendy’s flawless choice of Zimmerman dress. The side trimming consisted of silk flowers and white feathers.
The Melbourne Cup day hat was a classic picture hat in various tones of navy and white. Wendy’s height allowed for the extra width of the brim, as did the width of her palazzo pants – it was the perfect balance. The colour tones worked perfectly with her gingham camisole. The crown was hand blocked while the brim was hand scuptured. By using a mixture of straw and crinoline the width of the brim was made visually ‘lighter’.
While Wendy says she doesn’t have “a long history of beautiful hats” I think she has a bright hat wearing future ahead of her. What do you think?
This concludes chapter 1 of the new Hat Lovers series. My thanks to Wendy and to all of you hat lovers out there. Stay tuned for chapter 2….who will it be???
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