Sunday, April 10, 2016

Talking Derby Hats with the Hat Designers

By Jessica Alyea

Part 3 — Sarah Havens

Fascinator by Sarah Havens Millinery, $250


Hat designers from near and far send us their best creations for our Derby issue. We asked these experts the hat questions you need to know to put your best brim forward this Derby season.


The designer: Sarah Havens has been a milliner for more than 22 years and operates a studio and retail hat shop in the Hope Mills building in Louisville’s Germantown. In addition to her Derby creations, she designs hats for professional theater companies ranging from Actors Theatre of Louisville and the Louisville Ballet to the Metropolitan Opera in New York.


What makes your hats different or special?
I make all my own shapes and hand-sew the trim. That way the trim can be replaced on the hat and worn at another event. I also offer the experience in buying a well-fitted hat. I start with a fitting and take into consideration the wearer’s lifestyle as well as taste in fabrics.

Do you have any hair suggestions for certain hats?
Your fascinator should cover your part so it appears to add fullness. If you wear a wide-brimmed hat, you can wear your hair up in a bun and use a hat pin to help hold it on.

Hat by Sarah Havens Millinery, $400

What trends are hot this year?
I have noticed a lot more ‘20s-inspired hats that I think this season’s Downton Abbey has helped inspire. I have also seen men’s hats trending like Johnny Depp’s latest style — a bowler with a wider brim.

How do height and size play into hat choice?
Just like a body type can determine what style of dress or suit is flattering, a hat carries the same concept. A petite woman can wear a wide-brimmed hat, but her hat should be proportional to her stature. The brim shouldn’t be overpowering. A wide-brimmed hat can shorten a person, but if you tilt it up and add tall trim, it will give the illusion of height.

Find more hat advice in Part 1 and Part 2 of this series.

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