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Category: Annabel's Blog

  1. Spring is in the air!

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    Our new spring summer hats and fascinators are arriving in the shop for the next summer season.

    We have an exciting range of colours this year including soft blues and pale pinks. Watermelon is one of the big colours for this summer (a soft coral tone).

    Yellows and a deep cobalt blue have been delivered, unpacked and wowed about! The shops going to be lovely and colourful over the summer months.

    This summer many of the more unusual colours will also have matching clutch bags as we hear from our customers how difficult some colours are to get in other accessories.

    The bespoke jobs are starting to build up too, so if you want something unique and individual making for that special ocassion please give us as much time as possible so we have time to order in fabrics, dyes or special feathers.

  2. High Sheriff Hat

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    Today I have just finished making a hat for next years High Sheriff ceremonial role in East Yorkshire which starts in April.

    This is the 4th time I have made a ladies high sheriff hat and am aware of all the traditions and requirements needed for a hat like this.

    We decide on the shape of the crown and brim separately. The colour usually matches/tones with the velvet used in making the skirt suit.

    If the lady is taller, a slightly bigger brim can be used but still not so big that the face is in shade or covered. This means the brim usually turns up at one side. See the couture section in the online shop.

    I cover the crown using the same velvet as the suit and either a single large ostrich feather or a couple of neatly cut ostrich feathers in white to match the lace collar are stitched onto the front of the hat. Sometimes a button identical to the coat or shoe button is stitched onto the front of the feather.

    The high sherrif represents the queen at many civic functions around the county and is often in attendance if royalty do visit throughout their 12 month tenure.

    This hat is worn on many occasions throughout the 12 months so I always ensure it is of the highest quality and structure to withstand repeated wear and still looks as good at the end of their year in term.

  3. Christmas in Beverley

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    Busy, busy, busy the festival of Christmas in the marketplace was wonderful this year again with thousands attending the event.

    All the traders were dressed in Victorian outfits and Santa and his reindeer were a highlight of the day.

    This year was the busiest the shop has ever been since the business opened and the atmosphere was great with everyone having an enjoyable day.

  4. Hats for Royal Ascot

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    In March I was lucky enough to get a place on a week long course with the milliners milliner the delightful Rose Cory (photo of her on my gallery page). Rose used to make hats for the royal family and particularly for the late queen mother. We were also joined by an experienced milliner and haute couture tailor who used to be the fashion design manager for Vivienne Westwood.

    I had a wonderful week in London and learnt many new techniques including the making of silk flowers, felt hats, trims and a fascinator that wouldn't look half bad at Ascot!

    In the run up to Ascot I've used many of the new techniques and ideas I learnt earlier this year and have been pleased with the results. Many of my customers have been delighted with the results and its really gratifying to have so many smiling faces leave the shop.

    I've especially enjoyed working with and adding Swarovski crystals in a myriad of colours to our hats and fascinators on either silver or gold plated wires.

    I'm looking forward to seeing the highlights of Royal Ascot this year and trying to spot our hats, if you see an amazing hat be sure to pop into the shop and check if it's one of ours!

  5. Fabulous New Winter Stock 12/13

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    Most of our new stock for this winter 2012/2013 has arrived over the last couple of weeks. I'm really pleased with our stock this year and its with delight that we have unpacked whilst oohing and ahhing.

    The first to arrive were the everyday wool hats from Symphony. These are made in Scotland using pure new wools, with swirl patterns or buckles. I've ordered brighter colours this winter such as reds and deep purples or royal blues (think we all need cheering up!).

    Next were the winter wedding fascinators in velvets and satins, they're slightly 'heavier' in look compared to our summer stock and come in pure silky blacks and rich chestnut colours.

    The final 2 big deliveries are our most popular item when the snow begins. These are the furry cossack styles of hat in long glamourous fur or in a shorter silky 'mink' look. These all have matching tippets, scarves, muffs or boot-tops and start at £24 for the headband to £39 for the long scarf. These items make wonderful Christmas presents - I've even had a couple of customers buy these as a present to themselves, all wrapped and waiting under the tree for Christmas morning!

    We've already had a couple of frosty mornings, so make sure youre prepared with your new hat, scarf & gloves!