A September Kentucky Derby Party! Part 2

HOW TO IMPRESS WITH YOUR VISUAL DISPLAY

Decor wise, I love the idea of finding old trophies and putting roses in them. Filling julep cups with flowers is always a good idea too. I did that for my July wedding.  You can order Derby party supplies from many companies. Party City has some fun items.    https://www.partycity.com/kentucky-derby-party-supplies

Set up your display a few days ahead of time. That way, you can add more if you need to.  

PARTY FAVORS

This is perfect if you are hosting a Derby themed baby, bridal, wedding or birthday party.  You can get julep cups, purchase mini Woodford Reserve bottles, make a bit of simple syrup (it’s SO easy), paper straws and ribbon. Creative and festive.

Mint Julep Favors

Billie Light Tan Fedora

IT’S ALL ABOUT THE HAT

Hat wise, you can go in many directions. Want something casual, wear Billie. This ivory fedora has a white band and gold bridle bit. This handmade hat is classic Kentucky and will go with most everything in your closet. Billie is from our Great Women and Great Hats line.  Named after Jazz legend, Billie Holiday, born Eleanora Fagan in 1915.

 Billie

Mary Navy Hepburn Brim With Green Hydrangeas and White Feathers

Want to be more dressy and go all out? Wear Mary from our Great Women and Great Hats line.  Handmade in our classic Audrey Hepburn, Breakfast at Tiffanys shape, this hat is a winner. Named after Mary Kies, the first female to get a patent.  She wove silk with straw to make hats.

 Mary

Serena Pink Fascinator with Feathers

Loving the idea of a fascinator? We have many options. Serena is new and from our Great Women and Great Hats line.  We named this handmade one of a kind stunner after the legendary tennis player Serena Williams.  Serena was the former world No. 1 in women’s single tennis. The Women’s Tennis Association ranked Serena Williams world No. 1 eight different times between 2002 and 2017. In total, Williams has been No. 1 for 319 weeks. Serena has also won 23 Grand Slam singles titles, 14 women’s doubles, and 2 in mixed doubles, which is the most by anyone in the Open Era. Williams also represented the United States in the Olympics, and brought home 4 gold medals. 

Serena

 

TRY A HAT CONTEST!

Select an impartial attendee to pick his or her favorite!  Nothing spurs people to dress up more than a contest.  Encourage people to have fun with this. Some people have a hat parade. Awards can be for Most Original, Best Couple, Most Winner’s Circle Worthy, etc.  You get the idea.  While this trophy may be a little over the top, you get the idea!  

The most important thing with any party is how your guests feel.  Make them feel:

1. At home

2. Treasured

3. Important

Do those three things and they will remember your party for years. 

Also, take LOTS of pictures!

 

 
     

A September Derby Party? Why not! Part 1

 

Never in a million years would I have thought I would be writing about a Kentucky Derby in September! But the world is full of surprises and things like our present situation force us to think outside the hatbox! 🙂

The Kentucky Derby this year will be run on September 5th, which is Labor Weekend, with limited attendance. What I would suggest is host a blow out Kentucky Derby party at home! We still have many things to celebrate. Getting good friends together is always a win/win. The past year has been extremely challenging for most. Let’s do what we can to lift spirits and make people smile!  

I love to pull out the silver mint julep cups, whether it’s for mint juleps or floral arrangements.  Always a classic!  You can do something simple or go all out.

 

REASONS FOR A KENTUCKY DERBY PARTY

Over the years, many have decided to do bridal showers, birthday parties, galas, teas, baby showers and even weddings with a Kentucky Derby party theme. What’s not to love? Roses, silver, friends, horses and more.  There are endless ways to celebrate.  You can request that your guests dress up or dress down.  You can have a simple spread or do something more lavish.   I love the idea of the gold frame (shown on the left) with a chalk board background.  

 

WANTING TO RAISE MONEY FOR A GOOD CAUSE WHILE YOU CELEBRATE?

Feeling charitable? Maybe do a fundraiser for a charity. Each person who bets can put $10 in the hat.  Instead of the betting pool going to one person, donate the proceeds to charity.  If 15 horses run, that’s a quick way to raise $150 for your favorite charity. Most non-profits have been unable to host events this year and many are struggling.  I like Central Kentucky Riding for Hope.  https://www.ckrh.org/

Another good non profit is Kentucky Equine Adoption Center.  They rescue, rehabilitate and adopt out all breeds. https://www.kyeac.org/

THE GOOD STUFF…WHAT TO SERVE

Food wise, I would stick with Derby favorites. Hot Browns are a must as well as pimento cheese sandwiches, Derby pie, a delicious cheese platter and cheddar chive biscuits with ham is always a favorite.  I came across a recipe for Pimento Cheese Grits, which combine two very Southern foods into one creamy dish.  It’s a Bobby Flay recipe as well.  https://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/pimento-cheese-grits

Drink wise, there is the classic mint julep. However, many people that I know do not prefer them. The Oaks Lilly is a popular alternative. https://www.southernkitchen.com/recipes/drink/oaks-lily-cocktail

You can do wine or prosecco. Of course, sweet tea with Kentucky mint is a must!

 

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

Shelby’s Fascinator

Julia Pink and Blue Fascinator

Hello! My name is Shelby Parrott and I am one of Polly Singer’s interns. I have been since late May for the internship program that my major requires before graduation. I am a senior at Eastern Kentucky University and I major in Apparel Design and Merchandising. My time with Polly Singer Couture Hats has been wonderful and I have learned so much from her! I actually first heard of Polly when she came to a career day conference at our school. We listened to five people who had found success in the fashion industry and they came to give us advice as we approached our senior year. I am, ironically, not a big hat wearer so at first I wasn’t sure how well I would do interning for Polly. But she is so much more than her hats! She is an independent business woman and artist and I truly have learned so much more than I originally anticipated. 

When Polly first suggested the idea of us making our own fascinators I was nervous. The design and sewing aspect of fashion is not really my forte (I’m much more into styling/the marketing side of things) so I was worried that I would not do well. I can sew basic things but I am by no means a seamstress. My mother is incredible at sewing but I guess those skills didn’t pass down to me. I do think of myself as a creative person and an artist as I grew up loving art class and have done many theatre productions, but as anyone in creative field knows, the artist is the most critical of their own art. So I was nervous it would never look as good as anything Polly could make. I think the hardest thing about any sort of art form whether it be hat making, fashion design, painting, etc. is that nothing will ever be “perfect” as I think “perfect” does not exist. All art is art and it’s what you make of it! 

Pink Fascinator

My favorite color is pink so, of course, I went with the pink fascinator base and theme. Polly was kind enough to let us use her supplies. For the first two days that we went over to work on our hats I honestly just spent most of the time just staring at it hoping some vision would come to me. Watching Polly work with the crinoline looked so easy but let me tell you it is not! Obviously, she has been doing this for years and we had never used it before, but it is one tricky sucker. It takes a lot of patience to work with. My mother may not have passed down her incredible sewing skills but one thing she did pass down to me in having little to no patience. When it wouldn’t work the way that I wanted I would just get frustrated. Polly was able to help me get it into this “S” shape and I liked it but there was just something missing. I tired different type of feathers and lace but nothing looked right. 

My mother took me to Hobby Lobby to look for materials that might spark inspiration. My theme of the hat came from the movie Steel Magnolias. The main character, played by Julia Roberts, is named Shelby. She has a close relationship with her mother and as she says in the film, her “signature color” is pink. My mom named me Shelby after this movie and my favorite color is also pink! In the movie Shelby’s mom says that she, “could never leave her Shelby” and my mom always says that to me. So it’s a special movie to me and I wanted to pay homage to it.

At Hobby Lobby we found this beautiful Tiffany blue crinoline that I thought went well with the pink. They also have tons of fake flowers so we found pink magnolia flowers which were just perfect! I decide to make the crinoline into two big bows with the flowers in the middle. I was inspired by the wedding scene in the movie as everything at Shelby’s wedding was the over the top and flowers everywhere. I had to have my mom help me sew on the flowers as they were super hard to work with. I was so nervous in the beginning but once I got started and had my idea I was having so much fun! It really makes me appreciate even more than I did before about what Polly does because it is not as easy as it looks friends! I named the hat “Julia” after Julia Roberts as she played Shelby and I think she’s an incredible actress! 

Julia Pink and Blue FascinatorJulia Pink and Blue Fascinator

I also got to be apart of the photoshoot for our hats too which was amazing! Polly really let me have a say when it came to the photo styling of the hat which was really nice. And Ian, who took the pictures, did an amazing job and the model, Shannon, is beautiful! It’s an amazing feeling seeing something you created finished. I was so nervous that I wouldn’t do well or even like making the hats but it really was an amazing experience. Some time later, my fellow intern, Isabelle, and I went into a coffee shop in Georgetown and we talked with the woman who worked there about how we worked for Polly. She knew her and followed her on Instagram and said, “She just posted one that was pink and blue with flowers. I loved it!” and she was talking about my hat! It was so nice to hear someone say that, made me feel famous! 

It was truly a wonderful experience all around, and I thank Polly for letting us express our own creativity and lending us her tools, knowledge, and time. 

 

Polly’s Vintage Hats

Vintage clothes are always the best and hats are no exception! Here is some historical context behind these incredible vintage pieces! 

This small round cream colored hat is covered in tiny white flowers with flex of yellow-green and purple. This style of hat was called the “pork pie” (or also boater). The style was popular for men and women and is now considered a timeless look. It gets its name after the resemblance to the pork pie which is a traditional English meat pie.

The first known establishment of the pork pie style was sometime during the late 1800s. But it mainly became popular during the 1920s. Many hats of this time were also covered in flowers and flowers were a huge accessory to the hats. The hat style actually became popular in the United States due to silent film star Buster Keaton who worn many of them in his films! The hat went on to go in and out of style and during the 1940s for both men and women. The hat style then became popular in the 1940s within the African American culture usually styled along with the zoot suit! 

 

 

   
     
     
     
This light tan hat has a light pink ribbon tied around it with white Daisy flowers. This style is called a cartwheel hat. This style was popular throughout the 1930s into the 1950s. This style was largely associate with Christian Dior’s “New Look” style. The traditional style consisted of a tight fitting, frame-hugging top and a full skirt with the wide hat. Hats of the 1920s, for example, were smaller and much closer to the face, however, around the late 1930s early 1940s the style began to change to a round and wider shape. The hat size also got wider as women’s hairstyles got bigger.     

Now this style much more 1920s inspired. This cloche style hat can be seen in many different forms during the decades. Felt cloche hats were very common among the women of the 1920s. The cloche style was very popular during the 1920s as it complimented the short bob style haircut that was all the rage of the 1920s. 

 

 

This cute tan hat with a rounded top has a light pink ribbon tied around it. This hat gives an almost bonnet look from the front with the big rounded top. This cloche style hat continued to be popular all throughout the 20th century, but this bonnet inspired look was at its peak of fashion during the 1930s and 1940s.

 

 

 

   

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