Jane Ryder Millinery RIP

To the family and loved ones of Jane Ryder we are so sorry for the loss of your beautiful talented friend.

With love, Anna Mott, Racing Fashion.

Viktoria Novak, BRIDAL ACCESSORIES DESIGNER OF THE YEAR 2015

AUSTRALIAN BRIDAL INDUSTRY ACADEMY (ABIA) AWARDS

"BRIDAL ACCESSORIES DESIGNER OF THE YEAR 2015" 

VIKTORIA NOVAK was honoured last night to be awarded for the third consecutive year “Bridal Accessories Designer of the Year” at the annual gala Australian Bridal Industry Academy (ABIA) Awards.

Novak, who’s inspiring speech explained that it’s been an extremely tough, yet busy and rewarding year for the 'Viktoria Novak' brand, overcoming obstacles which for whatever reason destiny decided to throw Novak’s way.

On June 7, 2015, Novak and her husband were the victims of a near fatal and horrific car accident which involved a speeding driver.  Ms Novak explained to the industry that she laid in hospital thinking why did we survive? Why did this happen? And at the time it made no sense.

All Novak could think about was getting back to work and creating for her brides. “It's this drive, passion and love for what I do that gave me the determination to get back to it! We may doubt some of our actions and decisions as small business owners, and obstacles will always arise, but what I've learnt is to use those obstacles and turn them into fire in your belly”.

Novak concluded her speech by sending an important and inspiring message,“Work hard, stay humble but most importantly love what you do! There's a lot of energy in the room tonight and whatever your chosen profession is, support each other, be good to one another, help each other along the way.  It's not a competition at the end of the day.  So with much gratitude and honour, I accept this award not because I feel like I've won, but because it reminds me why I do what I do, and why I'm still on this earth”!

Racing Fashion Love Philip Treacy 2016

Racing Fashion Loves Steven's Hats

Racing Fashion loves seeing something unique and Steven's Hats has delivered.  Although by some standards, this sinemay may be nonchalant and not your perfect structured hat, Steven's Hats has worked with the medium bringing a new created beauty.  In this case, working with the depth of colour and beauty of the weave has produced this stunning collection.  Click Here for more on Steven's Hats. 

Centuries of Hats By GINANNE BROWNELL MITIC

Andrew Testa for The New York Times

LONDON — The back room on the ground floor of Lock & Co. Hatters is something of a tiny museum of the company’s 340-year history.

In a glass case is a large ledger listing orders from customers like Oscar Wilde and Winston Churchill, who wore a Lock silk top hat for his wedding in 1908. There is a reproduction of the bicorne worn by Nelson during the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805; the company still has the bill of sale. And there is a thank-you note from Charlie Chaplin, who helped make famous the Lock-designed Coke hat (pronounced “cook”) — known colloquially as the bowler, after Thomas Bowler, the shop’s chief hatter at its creation in 1849.

Framed and hanging on a wall are a number of autographed patterns, one-sixth scale patterns of customers’ heads, including Laurence Olivier, Jacqueline Kennedy and Emperor Akihito of Japan.

“The heritage is incredibly important,” said Sue Simpson, Lock’s director. “But what is really important as well is the quality of product and the service.” Achieving all three has been the business’s cornerstone, along with satisfying customers.

While the Coke hat was part of the unofficial uniform of city bankers in the mid-20th century, today its trilby hats and flat caps are worn by the likes of David Beckham and Johnny Depp. Prince Charles dons Lock top hats for many official events (the company holds royal warrants for both the prince and his father, Prince Philip), and his daughter-in-law, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, has worn a number of its ladies’ hats, including a red maple leaf-decorated hat during her 2011 official tour of Canada.

As the British summer social season kicks off, with events ranging from the Chelsea Flower Show to Wimbledon, Lock is at its busiest with custom orders. To celebrate the anniversary, it has introduced a new range of flat caps and panamas for children, and has redesigned its website, which now includes videos on hat maintenance. Later this year, it intends to add a blog.

“They are the ultimate authority on hats in Britain,” said Ailsa Miller, fashion associate with the British society magazine Tatler. “Having a hat from there is not a status symbol, like an ‘It’ bag or a flashy thing. It is more just being in the know and you knew to go to the right place.”

Lock was founded by Robert Davis across the street from its current location at 6 St. James’s St., which the company says is the oldest hat shop in the world. And it still is family owned.

While men’s hats are now made off-site (though ribbon replacements and brim trimming still happen in the shop), the ladies’ hats are all created on the premises, and ready-made hats are available. Sylvia Fletcher, who started designing the Lock women’s collection in 1993, still introduces about 15 new styles each season.

But, the company says, a large number of its female customers prefer bespoke creations, which can take four to five weeks to make.

During an initial consultation, a sales staff member and one of the hatmakers discuss everything from hair color to face shape with the client. (If the hat is being made for an event like Ascot, it will be noted in the order so two women will not end up wearing the same style of hat to the same occasion.)

The customer is then measured, and, if the hat must be dyed to match an outfit, she is asked to either leave a fabric swatch for matching or the entire outfit.

Dyeing, said Ruth Ravenscroft, the company’s creative director, is an art in itself; it can take anywhere from a few hours to several days to get the color right. Depending on the hat’s materials — usually banana plant fiber, felt or silk — the color produced by one vat of dye can look very different.

“We always go the extra mile,” said Ms. Ravenscroft. “If we have a color we are not sure of and we have worked and worked, occasionally we make up two hats so we give the client a choice. We ask them which direction they think looks best in a shot fabric, because if they turn one way you get one color and another way, another color.”

After measurements are taken, the block to shape the hat is taken out, the fabric is cut (the long rolls like banana plant fiber come in varying colors from rich blues to light pinks) and the crown and brim are sewn together.

Variations to the hat are made during this process; for example, if a client wants to add a veil or have a ribbon affixed to the back rather than the front.

“We have kept photos of everything since ladies’ hats was launched,” said Hannah Rigby, the company’s head of marketing and public relations. “So if they like the look of something and we still have the block, we can make it.”

While the heritage and quality of the hats are important, many customers say it is the service that keeps them returning.

 

The hats “are beautifully made, first-class craftsmanship,” said Deanna Maria Peters, a longtime client who has about 60 of the company’s ladies’ hats. “It is like going home. They are just so helpful; they make you feel so welcome.”

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