This year my bookings for Ascot filled up in March. Royal Ascot kicks off on Tuesday 20th June. Lots of my customers are going several days and of course Ladies Day is popular. The trains arriving from all over the UK, and the Ascot flyer (which is fill of London ladies) make it a UK wide event. At the moment my bespoke bookings are full, but all going well, I may open a few extra booking slots mid-May. It is the most hectic time of year for an Ascot Milliner, but also an exciting time as customers want innovative and exciting headwear.
The dye pot has been in full swing. This year we have had rich Vermillion tones, the most beautiful salmon coloured coral (or as one of my customers described as 'flamingo pink') and a lovely bright blue. Hand dying offers a very different look to the bulk standard colours available, as you can change the depth and concentration of colour. It all begins with the dye pot, then there is the drying and in the case of my silk below, the stiffening and drying. Feathers have to be dried as well and I use a micro drill to attach them to my hats with wire. Below I show a few pictures of dying and making hats and a finished floating feather hat which is now sold and off to Royal Ascot.
I don't release too many pictures of my bespoke creations until after Ascot as I know my customers want the surprise factor. But I do let out a few creations which I am wearing myself or with my client's knowledge. Below is a lovely big black hat I will probably wear. It is in the Audrey style, a shape that is so beautiful on most people and features hand cut blossoms and hand beading. A labour of love. I hope you like it.