Sunday, May 3, 2009

Kentucky Derby Hats

How many of you attended a Kentucky Derby event? Or were lucky enough to actually go? I made quite a few hats that were worn at Churchill Downs and about as many that went to Derby events--both public and private.

In Wilmington there were at least two public events to attend--the Junior League of Wilmington sponsored an event at Poplar Grove Plantation and there was another at our historic Thalian Hall. I attended the Jr. League event as I had made several hats for that event and besides, it was also a charity event. Having fun, dressing up, and contributing to a special cause...can't beat that.

That's my handsome husband Michael and me in our Derby attire. I not only made my own hat (of course) but Michael's fedora as well. It was a surprise! He has been after me for months to make him a hat. I always say I don't make men's hat. Well, I don't really, but I have just been given (given!) about 16 vintage hatblocks and the vast majority of them are these variations on a pinched crown. So I used one to make Michael's hat and surprised him the day before the Derby!

The lady on the left looked killer in her outfit! She wore this fabulous buttery yellow linen dress and one of the new huge wired brimmed hats I'm seeing everywhere. The cool thing about these hats is that you can bend and bend and re-bend the brims to all kinds of shapes. She has her's pulled up tight in front with a huge lovely burgandy rose. Everyone was telling her how great she looked!

This is one of my customers--Katharine--in her double brimmed parisisal. The bottom brim, and crown, are a rich tobacco and the upper brim is a soft blush tone. I've randomly stitched them together with black thread and fringed the edges. The embellishments were distressed black horsehair, emu feathers, and a sweep of bleached peacock feathers off the back. Huge brim full of goodies.

Another of the hats I made for my friend and customer--Virginia. Her black broad brimmed parisisal was trimmed with a tutu of red tulle (blown all over here) and a knot of handmade white silk roses and buds. Wish I had a better picture of the tutu of tulle as it reached to the edge of the brim and made a very pretty little skirt for the hat.

That's my friend Gloria on the left and Style Girl (and friend) Jess James on the right. Jess was there making pictures for the press. She had on a beautiful vintage lace dress and one of the most spectacular vintage hats I've ever seen of pleated petersham over a buckram base. You can't see it but the entire hat is covered with intricate pleating. Something to aspire to learning.

Katharine and me bumping brims! I'll see if I can find a better picture of my hat. It was a HUGE brimmed sisal straw, of hot pink, with a HUGE bow of heavily veined yellow Russian veiling and and even bigger (9" across) handmade yellow rose. The brim was pulled up on the right back and a drape of the vintage veiling off the left edge of the my shoulder.

Crowd shot. Really liked the black and white on the left. And isn't the parasol a nice touch?

OK. Here was the winner of the Best Hat Contest.
I hope YOU are finding hat wearing events this Spring. Have a blast!

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