What’s Going on This Winter?

It’s that time of the year again – short days of sunshine and the start of the winter chill. On the bright side, it is also just six weekends away and it’ll be one of the most festive seasons of the year. Like many shops on the high street, the christmas tunes are on a roll here at the studio, as well as all the pre-christmas preparation with our new collection of winter hats.

I’m sure everyone has been through the usual struggles of, “how should I update this year’s winter wardrobe?” or even worse, “what do I get for so and so this christmas?”, or both. Well, for this month, we have done that part of research for you and have put together a little something to help with that.

Not to go crazy with the Christmas spirit, but we definitely think colour is always a great idea when it comes to the winter season… even if we all tend to wake up in the morning and just feel like grabbing that safe coloured grey beanie. Hats are great additions to style and colour up the wet, gloomy season. They also make great, thoughtful gifts.

A classic Fedora is almost a necessity in the wardrobe. Not only will they be a lifesaver on the bad-hair mornings of the winter days, they will keep you warm and add a little mystery to the look. From Phillip Plein’s fall 2016 RTW collection to Ralph Lauren, the oversized fedora is back.

Black is always a great classic colour that will go with anything. Particularly if you’re into bright, festive christmas jumpers, a black fedora will be a perfect, subtle complement. Bottle green and raspberry are the two other colours we have got in mind for this fall.

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(Boots: Kurt Geiger, Coat: Rag & Bone | Hats: Style SUN2037 in Green, SUN2035 in Sand, Sun2035 in Black)

Alternatively, plum is another great classic colour that will fit in subtly with the festive season. We loved Keira Knightley’s casual and grunge look with a leather jacket, and a touch of plum in the hat to keep it classy and feminine. All well dressed, and warm for the winter!

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(Leather jacket: All Saints, Jeans: Rag & Bone, Boots: Kurt Geiger | Hats from left to right: Style 231 FCH, JES0116, SUN 2029)

Shop the looks here.

Speaking of the cold winter, it’s not just the wardrobe that needs an update, but don’t forget the home too! We’re picturing warm cosy fireplaces, fleece blankets, decorated and a lit christmas tree, as well as a little lovely addition… a scotty dog.

Coming in a range of colours, our favourite for this christmas season is definitely the grey thompson.

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To see more colours, or to pick one up, click here.

NEW Collection Launched at Scottish Wedding Show 2016

Just a week ago was the Scottish Wedding Show 2016 that was held at the SECC in Glasgow. Needless to say, it was a busy weekend particularly with setting up on Friday, followed by the two days after. It was great to see, meet and hear from all the lovely responses from the visitors to our stand as well as the catwalk show where we presented our brand new collection of hats.

It was a great collaboration with Italian designer Rinaldo Girasoli as the simple, effortless georgette dresses, as well as one sided wraps and knots of the scarves complemented the theme of the hats perfectly.

“We had such good feedback from the public, many people told us that the hats were outstanding, as well as  great it was to see something different on the catwalk for a change” – Ana Maria Ortega

A Peak into Behind the Scenes

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We have introduced the use of buntal into our hats for the new season. Originating from the unopened leaves of palm trees in the Philippines, they are fine white fibres that are used for hat making. Each piece is then carefully hand dyed before its transformation from fibres into a work of art. The idea of buntal this season is to bring a new element and material to the UK, as well as an experimentation with design.

Inspired by the structure of the buntal material and its ability to be moulded into any form easily, the designs were a play on the lines and circles that formed when bending the fibres. Raspberry and gold were the dominant colours for this collection to bring out a strong contrast with the softness and lightness of the scarves and two toned georgette dresses on the models.

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Kate Middleton Vogue Shot + Summer Fedora Hats!!

The Duchess of Cambridge is on the June cover shoot of the British Vogue! She’s rocking the felt Fedora hat in a muted dark green; in an overall relaxed, country-inspired style.Kate-Middleton-Vogue-UK-June-2016-Cover-Photoshoot01.jpg

A Fedora hat is the big trend on this season for the women who enjoy a bold, fearless and dynamic style! It is a very versatile accessory, giving an edgy touch even to a simple outfit.

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Follow our style guide below to achieve Kate’s effortless chic:

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Fedora Hat: ultimatedesignhats.com, Shirt: Bernard Lafond, Camel Coat: Frame Denim, Onyx Ring:  jianlondon.com, Jeans: Yves Saint Laurent, Suede Belt: Once Upon a Belt, Boots: Tendezias

 

Catwalk at The Scottish Wedding Show 2016

After a resounding success at the Scottish Wedding Show we are delighted to share the video from the Catwalk. A collaboration with the Italian designer Rinaldo Girasoli for our latest Bespoke Spring/Summer 2016 Collection.

We hope you enjoy it as much as we did creating it!

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Get the Look ‘Cloche’

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Period films have always inspired us for a look more feminine and elegant. With this year’s Suffragette proving a big success, naturally retro styles are in demand… Our take is inspired by Angelina Jolie’s role in Changeling: With the accessories in warm burgundy tones, the timeless camel trench coat and the nude dress balancing it, we guarantee you will be feeling like a real lady this winter!

The Art of Millinery

We’ve been asked a lot of times to give a glimpse of how I make my hats and so we decided to record some stages of the creation process. I am proud of continuing an age-old tradition, using old techniques creating each hat and I thought this was a good opportunity to do so.

There was a very exclusive wedding going on in the USA, the gorgeous sun-ridden Napa Valley the previous month. One extremely loyal customer of ours attending this wedding ordered a hat for this special occasion.

A long-distance customer consultation is no easy venture; We used FaceTime and had an hour-long video call which gave me the opportunity to study her features, understand her style and personality.

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First, I design a piece based on a specific idea or atmosphere I have in mind which is suitable with my customer’s personality.

Then I gather all the necessary materials to bring that design to life.

The beginning is otherwise known between professional milliners as “blocking”. The process of moulding the sinamay, by wetting and steaming it to create the shape of the specific hat block.  Once all of the pleats and bumps are removed, it is nailed and roped down.

Then the drying process begins.  Once dry, the excess sinamay is removed from the crown and brim blocks. Then I begin to hand sew the crown and brim together.

In this occasion I didn’t require a crown and brim because the design was an abstract high bow created with lots of strips of sinamay and I only blocked a small base. I am cutting and sewing constantly, until I have the desired outcome.

Afterwards there’s the adding of the details that give to our hat its personality called “dressing” the hat, such as different kinds of materials, shapes of sinamay etc. Could also be feathers or flowers.

I assemble all of the “magic ingredients” together and try to find the balance. Hmm… (Usually it takes some time to decide on final touches of the composition) Almost finished! Always trying the hat on the milliner’s mannequin in order to see if everything is balanced and looks right.

IMG_2814_edited-1 IMG_2831Once everything looks perfect. Viola!!!

After that, I put the headpiece on its box ready for delivery and, in this particular case, on a package to be send via International post and said

Bon voyage!

We can gladly say that this piece  arrived safely to its destination and our lovely customer was delighted with it, to say the least!

IMG_2833The event took place in a vineyard inside a large mansion in Napa Valley. The dress code for guests was white which was perfectly adequate for the outdoor event and setting, being warm and sunny.

So I found that this lady suited strong colours like Royal blue, Red, Purple and decided to go for Red with White and a touch of Navy.

She wanted something quirky, fun, young, different — we definitely achieved that, besides
the feedback from her is that the hat was ‘the talk of the party’ and she felt like a million dollars! We cannot ask for any happier customers, that’s what makes this job worth it!

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‘Get the look’ Michelle Obama

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Michelle Obama is very fond of Preen and has wore other creations of the label in numerous times in the past. This particular dress is outstanding as it catches the hottest trends of the season, lace and bright neon pastel hues, extremely flattering for your post-holiday tan.

Created by hand, Hat Style No. 202 is the perfect accessory to accompany the dress in an impeccable style. Its base consisting of natural sinamay fan in navy blue, embellished with so en vogue lime yellow goose feathers that catch the eye and give a fresh, playful touch. The details, silk flowers and coque feathers in vibrant greek blue complete the dazzling ensemble. Perfect for an outgoing, sanguine character, someone who desires to channel their courteous and gracious mindset into the world!

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