Isabelle’s Fascinator

Catherine Red Crinoline Black Base Fascinator

Hello! My name is Isabelle Finley. I am an intern with Polly Singer Couture Hats, and have been since January. I am a Senior in the Apparel Design and Merchandising major at Eastern Kentucky University. My internship has been a wonderful experience, and I have truly learned so much about merchandising, marketing, and most recently, hat design! Polly Singer, the owner and designer for Polly Singer Couture Hats gave me the opportunity to not only design but create a fascinator. I was so excited about this opportunity, and quickly began planning out my design. Polly gave me the option between using crinoline or felt for the fascinator. While I liked the look of felt, it had more of a Fall feel to it, so I chose red crinoline.

I had watched Polly work with hats countless times, and I always admired how skillfully she was able to manipulate materials to achieve her desired design. Someone who is as skilled and talented as Polly makes the art of millinery look easy. I am here to tell you that it is not! It requires a great deal of time and patience to create hats and fascinators. I had such a difficult time trying to bend and play with the crinoline. I quickly learned why some hats are one-of-a-kind. It is impossible to accurately replicate a design no matter how much one tries.

 

I chose Catherine the Great as my inspiration. Catherine the Great was the Empress of Russia from 1762 to 1796. Catherine the Great is the longest ruling female in Russian history. I chose red for the fascinator because it represented power, and Catherine the Great was very powerful. 

First off, I gathered all my materials. I got my pins, thread, scissors, and everything I knew I would be needing. After cutting the amount of crinoline that I needed, I pinned my base to the mannequin head that I was using to drape my materials. Then, I wrapped the ends of my crinoline with matching red thread so that it would not fray. Crinoline has a tendency to fray, so I tried to minimize this issue as much as possible. I then began to drape the crinoline on my black sinamay base. I went into this project thinking that I would be able to come up with a design in my head in the moment and create an absolute masterpiece. Little did I know that this was not how it would go at all. Sometimes inspiration is not flowing. I took some time away from my fascinator to see if I would get any ideas. When I came back, I turned some music on, and inspiration struck! I was completely in the design zone, and I had such a fun time draping the materials. I pulled the thread on the side of the crinoline and gathered it to achieve a cloud like look. I pinned this piece on top of the base. Then, I began looping and folding a separate piece of crinoline to create a fun, whimsical design on the top. I would pin each loop to make sure that nothing moved until I was able to sew everything. Perhaps I am guilty of over-pinning, but one can never be too safe. I put a vintage looking button on the fascinator to add some extra glamor and sparkle to the hat. It completely changed the look for the better. After hours and hours of work, I was finally finished. I wanted my fascinator to be a fun statement, but to also appear soft and wearable.

I was thrilled with my design, and I was looking so forward to showing Polly what I came up with. The night before I was supposed to bring my fascinator to Georgetown, I saw a little section of the fascinator that needed fixing. When I went to go fix the fascinator, the crinoline messed up, and I had to completely redo everything. It was around 11:00 pm at this point. One can imagine the type of stress that I was under, but pressure makes diamonds, right? I stayed up far too late that night to get everything fixed, and woke up early the next morning. I live very far from Georgetown, so it is a long drive every week. I sewed the fascinator and made sure that it was sturdy and well put together. Polly was there for guidance and assistance when needed, and I really appreciated this. After I got everything sewn, I chose a black headband for the fascinator to go on.

Catherine Red Crinoline Black Base Fascinator   Catherine Red Crinoline Black Sinamay Base

Sash & Bow

Sash & Bow is a boutique in Lexington, Kentucky that sells women’s clothing and accessories. Recently, we did a little Q/A with the owner, Sasha Bowlby. We asked her what trends she sees for the Summer and Fall, and we paired some of her outfits from the Sash & Bow website with some Polly Singer hats.

  • What trends do you see right now for the Summer season?
Sasha’s Answer:
Tie Dye (Everything): Accessories, Clothing (Tops, Bottoms, Dresses, etc)
Midi Dresses: Longer lengths are trending now (This is great for customers needing great pieces for work and/or work events)
Bright Bold Patterns
Fringe: Tops & Coats
Oversized Earrings/Necklaces 
Off Shoulder Tops/Dresses
  Sarah Jane Oversize Tan Sun Hat
  • What colors are currently popular?
Sasha’s Answer:
Bright Bold Patterns (I’m seeing a lot of patterns being designed off of artwork from different artists which is a great way to make unique pieces)
Tie Dye of all variations
Camouflage of all variations (I’m a camo girl, so I’m loving this!) 
  Helen White Panama Fedora Ladies Hat
  • What ideas do you have for designs for the Fall?
Sasha’s Answer:
Comfortable Clothing/Tracksuits/Sweat suits/ Soft Materials – Thanks to Quarantine and the unknown of the virus for Fall I think a lot of brands will incorporate a more casual/comfortable look in their pieces.
 
  • Do you see people wearing more Summer or Fall inspired looks to the Derby this year since it is in September?
Sasha’s Answer:
Fingers crossed that this will happen with spectators. I think people will trend more towards summer looks over fall. The weather is typically still warm so I think that they will be able to get away with it. I’m sure most boutiques are hoping for this to help move inventory that didn’t sell in the spring due to the shutdown. Maybe instead of hats being the big accessory it may be masks this year to match your dresses/outfits. 
  Marilyn Monroe Cream Feather Fascinator Hat for Ascot
  • What colors do you think will be popular for the Fall?
Sasha’s Answer:
I’m seeing a lot of jewel tones so far for fall. Camo and animal print are everywhere again this year. I have several styles on order in cheetah/snakeskin/cow prints. There are also a few lines carrying some pastel prints in both tops and bottoms to mix and match. 
 

Summer 2020 New Casual Hats

Introducing Polly Singer Couture Hats’ new Summer 2020 Casual Hat Line. These hats are perfect for everyday wear during the Summer, but they can also be dressed up! There is nothing more classic than a straw hat for the Summertime, and Polly Singer has designed a whole new line to provide her clients with the most fashionable summer hats. These hats will make your outfit effortlessly gorgeous. These hats are not only beautiful, but the wider-brimmed ones will also help protect you from the sun. Who says fashion and functionality don’t go together? Whether you choose a more dramatic design like Sarah Jane, or a smaller look like Mona, you are sure to steal the show this summer!

Shelby–Shelby is an over size white travel sun hat with an 8 wide wired brim.
 
Off white, natural (a light tan), dark pink, robins egg blue, azure blue, dark navy (not shown), black and dark pink. See photo at bottom for details.)
Monica–Monica is a sage-colored oversized sun hat. Brown feathers, a brown button, and a gold emblem reading “I Love You to the Moon and Back” adorn this lovely hat.
 
Isabelle–Isabelle is an oversized panama sun hat with an 8 inch brim.
 
Off white, natural (a light tan), dark pink, robins egg blue, azure blue, dark navy (not shown), black and dark pink. See photo at bottom for details.)
Mandy–Mandy is a tan panama straw fedora with macramé trim and clear crystal beads.
 
Sarah Jane–Sarah Jane is oversize tan sun hat with a wired 8 inch wide brim.
   
Off white, natural (a light tan), dark pink, robins egg blue, azure blue, dark navy (not shown), black and dark pink. See photo at bottom for details.)
Fina–Fina is a light tan, high grade, parisisal straw hat with a turquoise-colored howlite stone.
 
Penny–Penny is an oversized navy panama hat with howlite turquoise colored stones.
 
Mona–Mona is a white panama straw fedora with a vegan snakeskin band, a vegan black leather accent, and a silver buckle.
   
Lillith–Lillith is a lovely camel wool fedora with a floppy brim.
 

Pantone Color of the Year: Classic Blue

The Pantone Color Institute has declared that their Pantone Color of the Year for 2020 is “Classic Blue” (19-4052 PCX). This color is a soothing, deep blue with indigo tones. “Classic Blue” was selected as the Pantone Color of the Year because of its calming, confident, and reassuring nature. With the chaos and unpredictability going on in the world, Pantone wanted their Color of the Year to be calming. This motivates the idea of optimism in the coming year, which will expectantly project onto the rest of the decade! This “Classic Blue” is an elegant, yet fun, color that can be worn all year round. Furthermore, it is a very wearable color, as it is very flattering on many skin tones and hair colors. In the following blog post, many blue hat and fascinator selections from Polly Singer Couture Hats have been featured, along with outfit pairing ideas that can give fashion inspiration.

Neiman Marcus–Halston–Cap-Sleeve Asymmetric Flounce Skirt Dress 

 

Neiman Marcus–Kobi Halperin–Maggie Silk Wrap Dress 

 

Nordstrom–St. John Collection–Engineered Lace Jacquard Sweater Dress 

 

Neiman Marcus–Elie Tahari–Geraldine Short-Sleeve Dress 

 

Neiman Marcus–Shoshanna–Trinette Mosaic Lace Handkerchief Midi Dress

 

Neiman Marcus–Roland Mouret–Warren Asymmetric Stretch Viscose Midi Dress 

 

Neiman Marcus– Lafayette 148 New York–Whitby 3/4- Sleeve Classic Stretch Cotton Dress 

 

Neiman Marcus–Black Halo–Audra V-Neck Ruffle-Sleeve Sheath Dress 

 

Neiman Marcus–Shoshanna–Karr Trumpet-Sleeve A-Line Crepe Dress 

 

Great Women & Great Hats

This year, 2020, is the 100th Anniversary of the 19th Amendment which gave women the right to vote. Passed in 1920, the 19th Amendment prohibited the states and the federal government from denying individuals the right to vote on the basis of gender. In light of this monumental anniversary, Polly Singer has designed numerous hats that are each inspired by an inspirational or influential woman. Polly’s hope is to highlight these women and their extraordinary accomplishments. Furthermore, Polly wanted to provide some background information about each woman, so each online description gives a mini history lesson. Our hats are off to these outstanding women!

Vivien

 

Mitchell

Grace

 

Beryl

Jane

 

Hedy

Ann

 

Stephanie

Elizabeth

 

Drina

Rosa

 

Harper

Diana

 

Janis

Temple

 

Phillis

Mary

 

Maria B

Margaret

 

Marilyn

Emmeline

 

Amelia