|A day of Haute Couture, high fashion hats, fine cars and France's prestigious horse race.|
The day began with a 'concours d'elegance'. Women were dressed in haute couture. The men came in luxury vintage automobiles in tune with the theme of each year's event. At the base of each car: couture dressed families with their fine linen table settings, porcelain dishes, crystal glasses, silverware, an assortment of picture perfect finger foods complimented with vintage wine and sparkling champagne. One-thousand guests of Hermes were treated to a four-course lunch--wine with each course and champagne with dessert. Afterwards, we watched the horse races with another glass of champagne in hand. At the end of the day, the woman with the most elegant hat was awarded a watch.
Things have changed. Longines now sponsors the event. Publicity hungry guests are known to show up with absurd hats hoping to have their pictures taken on the Chantilly grounds. But memories from those early days of the Prix de Diane Hermes live on. So today we salute the fete which celebrates all things elegant, especially when it comes to le chapeau!!!!!
|A furry brooch is enhanced with feathers for this "Downton Abbey" inspired look|
I'm always on the look out for items that can be transformed into fashion accessories. For this exercise I used one of those little silk jewelry bags, brooches, barrettes and ribbon flowers, all of which can easily be transformed into an elegant hat.
|Velvet flower brooch works well as a hat for madame.|
I love the "fascinator" worn by Princess Catherine Middleton. They require a base. Not having access to raffia to make straw hats, I decided to use my air dry paper clay. Cut off enough to make a 1/2" or so ball. Flatten it by pressing your thumb in the middle to make it concave. I then continue to shape it on the doll's head. (Choose a doll who's hair is uncomplicated and pulled back.) You can make an assortment of them in different sizes and shapes.
|Paper clay hat forms.|
|A cut flower barrette from H&M makes a lovely flower hat.|
|Circle of felt & lace creates the hat below.|
I also like the use of tulle which adds so much drama to a look. The red had begins with one of my bases. I take a wad of red tulle wrapped around my had three times. Tie in the middle with a thin red ribbon and fluff out. You can hot wax it or stitch to the base.
|A few loops of tulle tied with a ribbon atop the base.|
Finally, you can find those tiny silk ribbon flowers. I pinned a bunch to a narrow base. Afterwards I wrapped a bit of red tulle around the whole thing and tied it with ribbon.
|Start with the base. Add flowers, a bit of tulle and tie with ribbon.|
|Paper clay base+chiffon circles in a cluster. Tie the point & add to the base.|
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|Two smaller ribbon roses clipped on to a larger silk rose, pinched in the back.|
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|The same tie-dyed fabric wrapped around her head.|
|Jewelry bags make great whimsical summer hats!!!|