My first time to Kentucky was a total trip and I have the crew at Rubicon Waste to thank for rolling out the red carpet. Every detail of the star-studded event surpassed my expectations and today’s post is devoted to the overall hat trends that emerged during race day. An exorbitant amount of time, energy and money was spent on planning, so it’s worth noting the styles that broke the mold, proving there’s no stopping designers when it comes to feathers, sequins, raffia and tulle. Additionally, milliners from around the globe pay close attention to Derby hat trends, as they often predict style and demand for the coming year.
Black + White:
Safe, classy and elegant. The number of hats that were all black, white or a combination of both were a reminder of the consistent popularity of this color scheme. Monochromatic texture combinations made of sequins, ribbons and dyed feathers all added differentiating elements. One woman, when photographed excitedly proclaimed, “my son told me I looked like Cruella Deville this morning!”
Fluid + Wavy:
There was an interesting departure from traditional hat structures. In addition to malleable materials, many of the hats had a transparent quality to them, allowing the feather accent to shine. While difficult to follow the twists and turns that composed the overall structure, each design looked like a small scale Frank Gehry structure. The results were mostly stunning, delicate and a showcase of the hairstyle beneath.
Red + Structured:
It was exciting to see bold dashes of color throughout the crowd, specifically of the red variety. Be it large red brim hats or smaller structures with interesting accents, such as my own contraption (center right photo), luckily I was on target. The accents ranged from albino peacock feathers to white leaves to the traditional flower- giving way to both black, white and red themes as well as red, white and blue Americana (and even Parisian) motifs.
Feathers, a la Patricia Field:
There are so many exquisite feathers on the market today that many hat makers took it upon themselves to delete the “hat” entirely from the equation. For an event that prides its self on “the bigger the better,” it was both surprising and refreshing to see women attach their feather creations to discreet hair pieces and head bands for interesting, minimalist creations.
Everyone’s used to seeing rounded hat tops. The number of women that donned squared edges was astounding. Regardless of the material or the accompanying decoration, a significant portion of the crowd opted for simplistic harder edges.
Below the Brim:
Brims will never go out of style and while most of the focus today hones in on what’s happening above the brim, one of my favorite Derby styles was a refreshing departure from the norm. Worn by fellow New Yorker, Sabrina Sodja, her Pucci hat was both sleek and minimalist, revealing an elaborate silk pattern below the brim.