Welcome back to Hat Lovers,  a series all about the amazing women for whom I have the honour of making bespoke hats.  Chapter 3 is a lovely story of my client’s passion for bees!  

Kate Lyons

Melbourne Cup 2018, Flemington, Australia.

‘For me, hats are something I have usually worn to just keep the sun off. I have that fair skin that burns and freckles easily. I’ve spent a lot of time out in the sun playing tennis and golf, so most of my headwear consists of a variety of caps.   I first saw Johanna’s work 10 years ago when I was living in London. I’d never seen hats like them! They were far more creative than any hats I’d seen before and a level of detail all done by hand that was so creative. It was then that I hoped that one day I’d have a reason for Johanna to make me a hat.

Kate with friends, Melbourne Cup 2018, Flemington, Australia.

That opportunity finally arose in 2018 for the Melbourne Cup. It was my first time to Flemington for the carnival and I remember calling Johanna soon after I found out I was going. Once I knew how much time she needed there wasn’t a lot of time to prepare the brief for her.

One day I scrolled through Johanna’s hats online and chose a style that would work for me, one that wouldn’t require a head measurement. I’m based in Sydney so couldn’t easily pop over to see Johanna at her studio in Toowoomba, QLD!  Then I chose a dress online that sang spring carnival – greens and pink floral.  I then shared a photo of the dress with Johanna. 

The dress!  From Leona Edminston – Perfect for Spring Carnival

Other than a hint that she would try and find little gold bees to include in the hat, I left Johanna to it and eagerly awaited a photo and delivery. The bees were a special touch as my husband and I keep bees in our city backyard.  When the hat arrived at the office, I just loved it and my excitement about the day grew.

Kate and her husband, Alan, Melbourne Cup 2018, Flemington, Australia.

The weather on the day was humid and rainy, the sort of day I usually dread with my long thick hair with frizz tendencies. Johanna’s beautiful hat meant that I could rule out the bad hair day potential, slick my hair back and let the hat take pride of place.  My husband Alan and I had a wonderful day, great company and great compliments on the hat.’

 Kate and her husband, Alan, Melbourne Cup 2018, Flemington, Australia.

Millinery Notes

With such a perfect choice of dress, amazing colour palette and wonderful client to work with, this hat was a joy to create.  I also really enjoyed using such deep colours and strong lines to reflect a spring theme, often depicted in softer tones and edging.

As Kate mentioned above this particular style does not require a head size which reduced turn-around time and the chance of any sizing concerns.  It’s also a very elegant style which, I’m sure you’ll agree, suited Kate’s overall look for the Melbourne cup.

You can also see from Kate’s photos that the scale of the hat was perfect for mingling inside and in crowded areas.  It is also an easy size for travelling with.

Kate’s interest in bees made for a charming influence in the trim.  Along with flowers and butterflies a spring garden them was created, in keeping with the style of Kate’s dress. Ultimately this style of hat met Kate’s brief; enabling ease of fit, ease of travel, complimenting her outfit and reflecting a Spring aesthetic.  My favourite part in all of this is how she positively radiated on the day.  I can’t help but smile back at her in those photos!   Thank you, Kate, for sharing your Melbourne Cup 2018 experience. x 

This concludes chapter 3 of the Hat Lovers series.  My thanks to Kate and to all of you hat lovers out there.  Stay tuned for chapter 4….coming soon!

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If you, or someone you know, would like to feature in the Hat Lovers series please email me at admin@johannaguerin.com

Images: ALL IMAGES SUBJECT TO COPYRIGHT AND NOT TO BE REPRODUCED WITHOUT PERMISSION

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