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Last December, I had an early Christmas present. I found out that my hats would be featured at the Milliner’s Corner at the lovely and historic Keeneland Race Track! My mind then started racing, turning over ideas for my Keeneland Collection, which consists of 45 hats and fascinators. Many are one of a kind designs and are only available at Keeneland.
How do I get my inspiration, you ask? Pinterest is my addiction. I especially love looking at millinery designs that members of the Royal Family wear at Ascot. Princess Sophie of Wessex is a favorite. My newest designs are inspired by Sophie of Wessex
I will be at Keeneland on April 14, 15, 21 and 22nd to help you pick out your own Polly Singer creation . Please stop by and say hello! I am happy to help you pick out the perfect hat or fascinator for the Kentucky Derby!
Fashion Trends and 2016 Kentucky Derby Hats, continued!
Why do women like to be Southern Belles? I think it is the time to be feminine, have fun and turn those male heads! Enter the Kentucky Derby! As a girl born in Kentucky, I can totally understand the Southern Belle mentality. While living in New York City for over 13 years, I was endlessly pursued by men wanting to hear my Southern accent. I have lived in Kentucky for 18 years and am only now getting my Southern accent back.
For the 2016 Kentucky Derby, we pulled together the latest fashion trends, suggestions and combinations, and combined them with beautiful Derby hats.
Picking out a classic dress is the first step on your Kentucky Derby fashion journey, and choosing your Derby hat is a close second.
I think Simply Demure would be perfect with this dress. The flow of this dress lends itself to a relaxed, feminine hat. Wearing a longer dress to the Derby is definitely different. I would personally do something like this. Derby is a very long day. At the end of the day, I could hardly walk. I am drooling over these sandals as I remember women taking off their high heels to walk out of Churchill.
I love the idea of a black and white dress. It is classic and gives a hat designer so much to work with! The black and white hat with a vivid pop of hot pink is classic Polly Singer! So much so, that I designed my hat boxes in the same colors. Better hide the credit card because I would purchase this dress in a heartbeat.
For an elegant vision, I would pair Kathrina with this dress. Perfect for the Kentucky Oaks, it is simple and elegant. Classic Chanel and smooth. I love fashion simplicity because it allows the client to really look amazing. Hats that are over the top take away from the client’s own beauty in my opinion. You will notice that celebrities always tone their outfits, not over do.
This one of my classic hats. Mischa would look amazing with this dress. The structure and angles of the hat complement the geometric design of the dress. As a young designer, I was often baffled working with patterns like those on this dress. A simple, classic hat design is the best remedy.
I hope these ideas have helped, and given you some idea of how to match a hat with this year’s fashion trends, especially as we near one of my favorite events, and I will bet you can guess what that is. Any questions, please contact me and we will help you pick out your special hat, or create a gorgeous custom hat exclusively for you.
But hurry! The Derby is just around the corner!
Contact us now to design a beautiful Kentucky Derby Hat for you.
This is always the time of year that I love, designing for the spring. The hardest thing for me is not coming with new ideas, but having to edit my designs. And of course, I love working with new colors. I thought this chart was interesting in that it highlights the various feelings that color invokes.
Psychology of Color
I love working with color. Anyone who has visited my house will tell that it is filled with color. Each room has a distinct color, whether it is a warm creamy yellow, warm terra cotta to soft ameythst upstairs. I always enjoy the psychology of color too. My design room went to from a blue/gray to Sherwin Williams Youthful Coral.
I have so much more energy now. Color is so important with our feelings. Can’t wait to finish the new hats!
Each season, Pantone releases colors that will appear in clothing designs and accessories. The colors shown above are for Spring 2015.
My personal favorites are the Glacier Gray and Tangerine. We have seen the classic blue for awhile.
How does this all relate to picking your hat?
A safe general bet is to choose a neutral base color and then add the pops of color. As many of you know, everything is sewn on by hand, so hats can be retrimmed later on.
Below are some hats that would work well with the Spring 2015 color palette.
I designed and donated three ladies hats to the Kentucky Equine Humane Center. This worthy organization captured my heart last year when I went to visit. Being a long time champion of animal welfare, I was taken by these lovely horses and the mission the of the KYEHC to rescue, rehabilitate and adopt out these horses who had not had the best of lives thus far.
These three hats are available on ebay. The bidding ends at 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, April 6th.
Any of these hats would be great for Easter, the races, an event or even the Oaks or Derby.
Each year, Kentucky Monthly Magazine does a Derby Issue in April. This year, writer Melissa Burton came to my house and interviewed three different hat designers. It was a sun filled morning with Wales Hunter, the photographer, being the only male present among ten chattering ladies. Melissa brought donuts and we swore off our diets and indulged.
Angie, Tessa and I are very different in our backgrounds and design styles. However we all have the common tie of being designers and business women who love what we do.
The story behind Zola, which was chosen for the cover is unusual. While at FIT, one of my instructors told us to never throw out our scraps because you just never know when you may need something to finish a hat. I had dyed the fabric used in the Zola headpiece back in 2003 and just never found the right use for it. My husband and I moved to a new home back in December. While unpacking boxes, I found this material. I twisted and sculpted it, puttng it on a hat base. Then I added a few flowers and it was done. I almost did not take it to the photo shoot, but since it was little, I did.
Kentucky Monthly is a nice magazine. Even though I grew up in Kentucky, I constantly learn new things about my state from the magazine. It features wonderful recipes as well, so I walk away learning many things.
The most exciting 2 minutes in sports brings with it the most exciting and trying 2 months in millinery. I’m happy to say, thanks to you all, we not only survived the Derby season but profited in so many ways.
This year we worked with charming people and beautiful dresses. Those of you who appreciate elegant head wear tend to be interesting; even so, this year brought a bumper crop of fascinating customers and enlightening design challenges.
As ever, there were good stories. We helped the sweetest of husbands who surprised his wife with an entire Derby Day ensemble. We had a last minute consultation with the owner of a Derby contender. An avowed Barn Girl, she disliked hats but needed a little something to wear in the winners circle — you know, just in case… Our horsewoman left looking divine with a hat she loved. Three sisters who were coming back to Lexington after having been gone since childhood made their walk down memory lane in Singer originals. Our favorite governor’s wife did the green thing, both in her choice of colors and her thrifty decision to re-trim a hat from an earlier Derby. So many stories, so much fun.
“I wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed my “Portrait of a Lady” hat at the Oaks! My husband and I met another very nice couple thanks to your hat styling…at the last race of the day, we decided to go down to the rail and there I saw a woman with a hat that looked like mine! I had to ask if it was a Polly Singer and she said YES!”
The aesthetic challenges were many. As you all know, we design by phone, by email, even by text message. We rely on photos, paint chips and the spoken word and always call heavily on imagination. In the hat studio it’s not unusual to hear peculiar dialogue as we try to pin down a color,
“Now when you say celery, do you mean the leaves, or more toward the stalk…?) or “A yellow, slightly warmer than a taxicab but no where near school bus…” Peach-ish tipping toward coral-ish, right?”
Not only do these trials keep the eye and vocabulary sharp, they often result in combination of colors and textures that a designer would never have come up with alone. The process of meeting very specific design criteria, as usual, has influenced new designs on our site. You will see new designs and colors, thanks in part to feedback from our clients.
Stay tuned for more photos on Friday.