Design

THE SCOTTISH WEDDING SHOW / AUTUMN 2017

What a fantastic time we had at the latest Scottish Wedding Show! The atmosphere was sensational, and we met lots of wonderful women there.

Let’s talk about the show and the Collection! The outfits were designed by our dear friend and partner in crime, Rinaldo Girasoli. The collection was inspired by the looks of the 1940’s and finished off with a dash of modern twist made in a turquoise , champagne gold and off-white palette. The skirts ending below the knee , the bodices of the outfits fitted to the figure enhancing the waist made the whole collection very feminine. The faux fur, as the focal fabric of the collection, embellishing the collars and the sleeves added a touch of glamour to the whole range. The finale outfit, which closed the show, both the dress and the coat, were composed of champagne gold tones on the dress and the full length coat in ivory fur, with a deeper contrast colour on the collar gave that final touch of class and opulence.

 

When it came to the hats, I had to make sure that the style of each piece will well complement each outfit, not just in colour but in style as well to finish off the look. Taken into account the style elements of the 1940’s and giving them a modern touch, they resulted in a very fresh and chic collection. I used very wide shallow brims as well as classic shapes such as beret, pillbox and the super chic cloche that was a very common style in that era. I also incorporated the fur altghouh sparingly as I didn’t want the hats to look too heavy.  The use of natural colour pheasant feathers tied in beautifully, quills and also added a little touch of glitz in the focal point to finish off with a large faceted cabochon and surrounded by beading all mounted on a fabric daisy. The use of the spotted veil gave them the delicate and glamourous look. Below some on the hats in progress..

It was a thrill and a privilege to work with Rinaldo again, and very proud of our collections we created.

More views of the Collection on the Catwalk taken by the talented Pamela Gibson.

 

View Ultimate Design Hats Catwalk Autumn Collection here.

 

Our lovely stand was also featured in the highlights of the wedding show as we brought new styles to the show apart from the new collection. See video Our stand on 0:30 here!

 

 

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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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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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Winter 2014 Promotional Video

We recently created a promotional video to show case our beautiful hand crafted winter collection and we have to admit it’s got us feeling pretty festive. The back drop for the shoot was the beautiful Trades Hall located in the heart of Glasgow. Seeped in history, the winding stairs and grand rooms perfectly reflected our desired dramatic vision. The Winter hat collection itself, is bold and exudes sophistication which is beautifully conveyed by our lovely model Christine from The Model Team. The range is complimented by our jewellery collection which is a series of custom designed pieces perfect for wearing to the Christmas party or giving as a gift to a loved one. The shoot would not be complete without our charming tartan Scotty dogs which are available in a range of colours and would complement any festive interior. Overall, it was a wonderful day and our brilliant photographer Stuart McIntyre from Bound By Light and the guys at Make me a film really brought our vision to life.

Ultimate Design Hats in Mexico – Ana Maria’s Mexican connection

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Far away in ‘sunny’ Mexico my home country, lays a Colonial quaint amazingly cozy little town called ‘San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato’, part of what is known as ‘El Bajio’, where I came to visit during the summer in the search of the perfect partnership to expand our company and to introduce our New Winter Collection to this magical place. Largely populated by European and American citizens, this little place exudes design and creativity, from all who live and visit it; and all because of the charisma of this town that attracts people that want to enjoy the simple way of life but still, have all you need at hand and that includes, superb Restaurants, Art Galleries, Theatre, Food Markets, Design Houses and very exclusive Boutiques which is where I was very fortunate to have found a very stylish Hand bag Designer called Maria Colombres, her boutique is located in the main square of the town and is part of a very exquisite little mall where you can find top quality items and this is where I wanted our brand to be placed.


As soon as I met her I knew this was right for both. Maria just loved my designs and also agreed that they were the perfect compliment for her handbags. She also called our NEW Scotty dogs (door stops) ‘adorable’ and wanted to have the exclusive of those in her boutique. Maria’s designs are strong and classy, with very special finishing touches heading for the high end of the market. Made all in 100% leather, she signs every handbag with her name and the phrase ‘Bolsos de Autor’ meaning Handbags by Author.


So this is what attracted me in this collaboration to have our hats to compliment these fantastic bags and finish the ‘Look’ for a proper winter outfit. Our hats are the perfect accessory to the winter look, made from 100% wool felt and finished with either leather, metal findings or wood, the choice is endless and in many exciting colours to suit every personality.
Our bespoke Winter Collection is now available at Maria Colombres in Mexico from the end of October.
In the UK available from our NEW Christmas Shop as well as all the Christmas events starting on 18th October at Merchant City Square Market.
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Contact us by

Phone 07929 052053

Email enquiries@ultimatedesignhats.com
Website http://www.ultimatedesignhats.com
Facebook http://www.facebook.com/ultimatedesignshats

Who doesn’t Love a Bow?

Who doesn’t love a bow right? Some of our latest designs we have been working on in our studio. We love the wide brim hat using bold and statement colours, creating this a charismatic look to compliment a charismatic personality.

 

Style No.147 Front View

 

These colours are perfect for this summer and to create a bright and vibrant look. This is Style No. 147 and is available on our online shop. It is great for a Spring/Summer event either as a guest or as a Mother of the Bride/Mother of the Groom.

Style No.147 Side View

Royal Ascot

Here are a few snaps from our most recent photo shoot with one of our dearest friends and our favourite photographer Michaela Waddell from Verity Productions. Michaela is a fantastic photographer and has created some of the most beautiful images for us and has done it yet again with this recent photo shoot!

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These designs used for the photo shoot were specifically designed for Royal Ascot. These pieces are bold and vibrant with intriguing silhouettes creating eye catching head pieces. All our designs are hand dyed and made. Each made exclusively upon request, which allows our creative juices to flow as each hat we make is never the same. Which is what Royal Ascot is all about; standing out from the crowd and being different to everyone around you, letting your personality shine.

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Our beautiful model Claudia from Model Team looked stunning and really captured the elegance and glamour that we try to portray in our designs. The shoot wouldn’t be complete without the assistance of Caroline Steel for Make up and our Founder & Head Designer Ana Maria who created all the pieces for the photo shoot.

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For more information about Verity Productions please have a look at their website here.

For more designs by Ultimate Design Hats please check out our website here.

For more information about Royal Ascot 2014 please have a look at their website here.