Custom Hat For Preakness

Custom Race Wear – Preakness

It all started with a skirt. A really great skirt that’s perfect for a horse race. My customer wanted a hat to go with it that had a touch of whimsy and a lot of impact.

The biggest challenge was to dye the parasisal straw to coordinate with the pretty pear green in the skirt. Through trial and error, I was able to come up with a color that worked great. From there it was a matter of pulling in the other colors of the skirt, including a terra cotta riding pant on the women featured on the skirt. Fortunately, I had a ribbon that was woven with terra cotta one way and green the other for a perfect complement. Dotted netting, black, white and green feathers, a custom made silk and striped band and dotted ribbon finishes the look.

An added bonus: the hat looks great worn as intended with the embellishment on the right as well as turning it around and wearing the embellishment on the left. Such a fun and colorful ensemble!


Vintage Hat Friday

Walter Florell hat front

Walter Florell hat front

Good morning hat enthusiasts!  Our recent cold weather is the source of inspiration for this week’s vintage hat review. This particular piece is wool felt with a ring of feathers around the brim and a luscious wide satin ribbon – an artful combination of grace, elegance and style. Not only does the asymmetrical shape set this hat apart from others, but it imparts a feeling of warmth mixed with a healthy dose of glamour. Here’s to making every Friday a special occasion by wearing a stunning piece like this one!

Walter Florell hat back

Walter Florell hat back

The maker, Walter Florell, (1911-1986) grew up in Berlin and became interested in costume design while dancing professionally with the Berlin Opera Company. He journeyed to the United States in the late 1930s and opened a millinery salon in New York City in 1939. Florell probably created this piece between the 1940s and 1950s, a time when hats were as important to a well-put-together look as the outfit itself. A few of the prominent women who wore his hats include Greta Garbo, Joan Crawford, Bette Davis, and the Duchess of Windsor.

Camel wide satin ribbon3