Sunday, March 4, 2018

Couture Accessory Must: African Crested Porcupine Quills

Okay, okay, so maybe this is not a must for *everyone* but when I saw genuine African crested porcupine quills at the Newark Gem and Mineral Show in San Francisco Bay Area last week, I knew this was a couture moment not to be missed! Yes, real porcupine quills….I had to have them. Five of them, to be precise. At only five dollars per quill, it was an avant-garde couture necessity for this fashionista. And whatever for, you might ask? Just gaze at the model above, who uses the quills to puncture her hair in the most curious and creative way, why that’s what for! How cool is that?!?

And although I am not heavily pierced, the quills can be used as a piercing, shown above, or as a hat pin, or for merely decorative purposes. I got mine through Eidos, a San Rafael, California gem and mineral dealer. Co-owner Marcia Wisniewski tells me that the quills, which are hollow and made out of keratin (the same thing hair and nails are composed of on humans), are shed naturally by the porcupine so it causes no disturbance to the animal.

But be forewarned, the quills are incredibly needle-like sharp, so hugging others while you’re wearing your elaborate updo might be prohibitive. This should keep people at a distance. What a relief. Jajajaja!

Order your African crested porcupine quills through Eidos by calling 415.457.7503.


Monday, February 12, 2018

Trish Raine Hats of Canada, Next Up on Beauty Shall Save the World

Hi guys! I have such a great milliner next on deck as the Hats Heard Round the World Project heads to Canada to meet with artist Trish Hirschkorn. We are going to take a look at her magnificent heart-shaped hat, above, just in time for Valentine’s Day!

I am so obsessed with this hat, modeled by Alina Lee and shot by Shannon Brooke with makeup by Jasmine Cardenas and hair by Tiffany Raelene. You must have an exquisite face for such a dazzling gem of a hat because the face becomes the focal point, surrounded by a constellation of inky sequins. It’s just so cool, and today we are going to get an up-close look of how the hat was created, the dish straight from Trish. You won’t believe what it’s made from! But first, a little background on Trish Hirschkorn.

Trish lives on the East coast of Canada in Fredericton, New Brunswick, and she has a unique perspective of blending the line between feltmaker and milliner. Nuno felting, that is, the fusion of merino wool with silk, is her specialty. Learning her trade with a few weekend courses, Trish developed her own voice in feltmaking and has specialized in millinery. With each piece her hats evolve and pay homage to the designs of the past while using modern techniques with up-cycled materials. She sources her silks from second hand and thrift shops, so that each piece is unique, each of them, one-of-a-kind.

And although she works full-time as an occupational therapist, millinery is her evenings and weekends passion. Her hats have exhibited in Canada, America, London and Australia and won numerous awards in millinery competitions.

The hat in this article is titled “Wicked Love” and is inspired by heartbreak–“the moment in your recovery when you evolve from hurt to empowerment,” Trish stated.

“I am drawn to sculptured form in hats which is why, when I saw a 2-dimensional heart hat by Stephen Jones, I was immediately inspired,” she said. Starting with a heavily-beaded merino wool silk dress, she began designing this 3-dimensional hat. “Although I am typically drawn to color, I wanted to work in all-black, to challenge myself to show dimension, not only in structure but within the color black. The texture of the thousands of sequins speaks volumes to filling up the space that color normally occupies,” she added.

Trish began by sculpting the hat shape out of molding clay. Once dry, she built the skeleton of the hat using a heat gun and thermoplastic. The thermoplastic was lined with black silk. She then wired the base of the thermoplastic, to provide a structured base of the hat. Using the Beth Beede method of felting on a ball, Trish fused the merino wool to the upcycled silk sequined dress. Once felted, she then fulled (rolled, tossed and shaped) the felt to a shape similar to that of the hat.  Rinsed and dried, she then blocked the wool over the thermoplastic. The same process was used for the chin piece, with the thermoplastic, wiring and felting. To finish the hat, she added combs to keep the heart in place.

Trish, pictured above molding a camel-colored cloche, loves to integrate new techniques with her work as a feltmaker. Her goal is to empower women during the long winter months with grace amidst the worst of winter weather.  Not only are her felt hats beautiful and stylish, but also functional and warm.

Check out her wares online at Follow her on Instagram @trishrainefelting and Facebook at Trish Raine Felting with regular updates and new hats.

And Happy Valentine’s Day!

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Welcome to Lallu Chic Couture Millinery of Warsaw, Poland….A Veritable ‘Hat Wonderland’

“I work in my hat wonderland,” said milliner Hania Bulczyńska simply. And it is here, in a tiny little atelier, where the most beautiful hats in Poland are born. Here, amidst a chic clutter of tangled ribbon and trim, opulent fabric and colorful hatboxes, set in decorous display against slate grey walls, with gilded mirrors and antique furniture, is where Hania does her thinking and her work. It’s a cozy, inviting French-style artist’s space, brimming with beauty at every conceivable corner, stuffed with heady candles, pots of flowers….and lined with adorable hats, of course.

Hania’s story as a hat artist began seemingly only a mere five years ago, “and since that time my Lallu Chic Couture Millinery Atelier became well-known here and abroad.” But in reality, Hania has always been mesmerized by high fashion designs. Her mother was one of the best-dressed women in the city where she grew up. “I was raised in a home where there were antiques, vintage clothes, bags, Italian shoes, beautiful old jewelry, jazz music, oil paintings in golden frames. I was influenced by good design and art from the very first days. It is all hidden inside my soul. When I create my hats, it comes out naturally. Just like that. Without much thinking.”

Just as Hania’s hats seem to come to her suddenly and without deliberation, so too came her vision to be a milliner. “It was dreamed about and came to my mind so unexpectedly that now, when I think about it, I was hit from the sky high above. Love at first sight,” she told me. “Extreme happiness, positive madness.”

And so, as a perfectionist, she had to learn how to create hats and all the beautiful headwear professionally. “I came to New York and learned couture millinery.” And now, for the first time, Hania’s work is featured here on BSSTW, and I, as a hat-wearing enthusiast, could not be any more delighted!

Check out this turban, pictured above on model Cyndal McKay and envisioned by the brilliant photographer Shannon Brooke, with makeup by Jasmine Cardenas and hair by Tiffany Raelene.

I love this turban so much! It’s absolutely dreamy! This has got to be the most creative and beautifully-executed turban I have ever seen. Ordinarily, one would expect a turban to be exotic, crafted from ethnic textiles perhaps. And this is an exotic piece, but executed in such an utterly couture and sophisticated way.

The color combination is unexpected and riveting, the flowers are fantastical, the detail is exquisite—note the green pearls dotting the fabric—and the scale, well what can I say? It’s downright impressive. I am crazy about the gently-rouched, puffed bow that tops this topper, and as a quick aside, the turban itself fits like a glove and is extremely comfortable. Its wearability is completely practical. The entire piece is nothing short of a masterpiece, and evokes paintings by Van Gogh or Monet, “my beloved impressionists,” Hania stated.

I styled this turban with a vintage lavender Japanese kimono that is embossed with a honeycomb pattern, which is, remarkably, preserved in pristine condition and comes from my own collection of couture. But I’d love to see this giant pistachio bow with a custom purple and green floral wrap dress or a sheath of rich purple velvet and nothing more. This turban renders other accessories completely unnecessary!

And was it the gorgeous green silk fabric or the iris looking at Hania from the vase on her window which inspired her? “I do not know. The only thing I know was that I wanted to create the biggest turban I have created so far. And my dream came true,” Hania mused.

Hania, pictured above wearing one of her own creations, a whimsical golden gem-encrusted crown, also makes little, glamorous headbands, luxuriant pillboxes, and stunning fur felt hats. But most of all I love her eye-catching, huge hats. “They are such a fantastic means of making each woman a true lady,” she said. All her hats are exceptionally creative and wildly imagined, but simultaneously very wearable. But make no mistake, when you’re wearing Hania’s hat, it will likely take center stage.

“First comes the hat! Then comes the woman, expensive bag, rings and shoes. Every woman should realize that. The hat is the most powerful accessory,” she insisted.

Hania’s hats are created with love, with extreme patience, and handmade of the finest quality fabrics. “If I was to say how all of them and each separately were created, I could not,” she reflected. “The vision of each design comes just like that. Sometimes it is a single bead, sometimes the color of the fabric. Sometimes a Dolce & Gabbana shoe or Balenciaga dress. The inspiration comes out of nowhere.”

And clearly one can only surmise that Hania is very sensitive to the beauty of details, the beauty of nature. And upon awakening, when you open your eyes in the early summer morning and look out of the window, all you can see is a field of beautiful purple flowers, laid on a bed of green leaves. “This is the beauty of nature. The beauty of hat-making. The true art that I am deeply in love with.”

Check out Hania’s website, Lallu Chic, or call Hania for custom orders, +48 505 097 057.

Monday, December 25, 2017

The “Hats Heard Round the World” Project Travels to Russia with Denis & Svetlana Gulyaev: Наслаждайтесь!

Hi guys! I am so excited to sweep you all away to a very different landscape. Last we left off in the lush, verdant, green green groves of Galway, with the delightful Irish milliner Majella Lennon Dalton and her spectacular headwear. But now I’d like to introduce you all to yet another fabulous milliner entity, a husband-wife team who create some of the most glamorous head-turning hats…I’d like you all to meet Denis and Svetlana Gulyaev of Novosibirsk, Russia!

Novosibirsk likes to call itself “The capital of Siberia” Denis tells me, and it is the third largest city in Russia. It’s also very cold there, -22° as we speak, and snows six months out of the year from November to April. Cozily nestled within this white, winter wonderland is a beautiful little secret: Gulyaev Hats. They are the only milliners in all of Siberia, and they create dreamy, magical hats for customers from around the world.

They have no website for their wares, only social media for order placement, but the inconvenience, well, it makes them a bit of a hidden gem. You see, Denis and Svetlana use the utmost creativity and finest materials in their millinery.

“We create unique hats, following the highest standards of couture,” Denis said. “All our hats and headpieces are handmade by ourselves, from the design, to shaping, sewing the hat and adding the finishing details.”

I simply love the shape of the structured beret above, worn on the breathtaking model Cyndal McKay with makeup by Jasmine Cardenas, and shot by the great Shannon Brooke exclusively for the Hats Heard Round the World Project for Beauty Shall Save the World.

Just look at the details on this hat! With equidistant pearl studding along the brim and a white marabou tail, it almost looks like a Dr. Seuss derivative…something one would see on Cindy Lou Who and the other Who’s down in Who-Ville. But make no mistake, this is a serious couture hat that may be at once playful and girlish, yet remains totally sophisticated. “We called it Adieu les Armes,” Denis stated. He and Svetlana connected a military beret with the flame of Вечный огонь, or “Eternal flame”–a monument dedicated to the Russians fallen during the second world war–“and we made it in an absolutely NOT military color. It is the symbol of the peace,” Denis told me. It’s the ultimate in jewelry-meets-sculpture for fantastic headwear. I love it with a ponytail. Thanks to hair virtuoso Tiffany Raelene for the perfectly-coiffed pony. Hair is so critical when you’re donning a hat, and Tiffany really nailed it! This look is just so darned chic and ideal for my premonitions of pink, as I’m hoping fashion will blush and bloom when we head into spring.

This hat matches perfectly the magnificent cotton-candy pink vintage coat Cyndal is wearing above. You just don’t see coats like this one any more….the sublime color, the fuzzy texture, with one single, giant upholstered button and a swing silhouette. It’s distinctly 1960s and it made for great styling for this shoot. This coat is from my personal collection of couture, and I wear it every year on Valentine’s Day. And now, thanks to Denis and Svetlana, I have a stunning hat to go with my vintage Valentine, one that really oozes Valentine glamour and represents something so beautiful: peace. I absolutely cherish this hat which was made with great care and attention and sent to me from Russia with love…..and I will wear it again and again as a Valentine’s Day reminder to everyone that peace and love and beauty are at once eternal and also globally coveted.

It takes a lot of planning to create such an exquisite work of art. “Creating a hat is a complicated process,” Denis explained. “From idea to realization the hat passes a number of stages. It all starts with a sketch. Next, we create a layout, which is used to evaluate all the proportions, the angles, lines and balance. At this point, we select all materials,” he added. “And only then begins the creation of the hat.”

When creating a hat, Denis and Svetlana try to emphasize the natural beauty of the woman and show her personality. The dynamic husband-wife team create seasonal collections; however, “we also create custom-made pieces on request,” Denis told me. “Working on custom orders we strive to design the hat to match not only the customer’s chosen outfit, but, more important, their character,” he said. You can order your favorite model from their collections or discuss with them the possibility of creating a personalized hat just for you. “We always welcome complex and interesting orders,” Denis said. Pictured below, Denis places a hat on a model for a millinery show in Moscow.

full lace wigs

“We believe that a beautiful hat is the top of the image of a woman,” Denis stated. “Created by the hands of a skilled milliner, it becomes a real tool of self-expression, charm, and seduction that is beyond fashion; it becomes a timeless treasure,” he said.

To reach out to Denis and Svetlana for orders or custom work, please visit their instagram catalog, @gulyaev.hatcatalogOr you can follow them on Facebook at, or call them on WhatsApp at +79139000405. And make sure you tell them Shan said Здравствуйте.

Peace. Love. Beauty.




Sunday, July 30, 2017

Meeting Majella: BSSTW Travels to Ireland to Unearth More Divine Millinery Crevations

I’ve deemed hats and headware the most relevant current fashion trend right now, and if you follow my work you know that I have always been mad for hats. I’m also a fan of faux hair and wigs, and as part of my “Hats Heard Round the World” Project, I am featuring milliners from all over the globe who have thrown in their hats for this exciting challenge, plus today were are including tips on how to incorporate synthetic hairpieces and faux buns into the mix.

Last time, we visited Italy to see the beautiful work of Steven’s Hats and I included some makeup styling tips, but now we jaunt over to the U.K. to chat with Galway, Ireland’s very own Majella Lennon Dalton, and in the spirit of Ireland we have two Shannons to model her delightful wares, and both are wearing synthetic hairpieces with the hats we’re modeling!

Ireland boasts a bounty of talented milliners, but Majella’s offerings are quite dramatic and eye-catching, and just in time for the races we are going to examine her unique crevations. “Crevations” is a hybrid word that Majella coined from Creativity and Innovation, and that’s where you can find her on Check out her designs, inspired by the millinery fashions of the 1920s through the 1960s, which are available for rental as well as purchase. This is a great idea if you want to look particularly fetching but don’t want to invest big bucks in a piece that you may only wear once or twice.

Above, Shannon #1 (that’s me!) models a piece by Majella in this shot by the talented Austin Heppler at Meets the Eye Studios in The LightGrid of San Carlos, California. There’s something very mysterious about this hat; the way it covers half the face is so dramatic, flattering and memorable. Makeup artist Lauren Warner chose to do a smoldering eye and a classic red lip. And although you cannot see it in this photo, she also attached a synthetic bun to the nape so that the hair looks as beautifully appropriate as does the hat!

I love Majella’s penchant for drama, and in the top shot you see exactly what I mean. Scale is exaggerated, the silhouette is so flattering, and this saturated rouge saucer of a hat is embellished with more than one giant rose, both on top and, as a beautiful surprise, in the underbelly. I really appreciate how this hat looks ravishing from all angles due to the flourish of flowers. Majella contemplates how her client is going to look from every side, and that’s a sign of a truly great designer.

Majella has an engineering degree from the National University of Ireland Galway and coming from that background, she loves to mix materials and textures–from silks to feathers to thermoplastics. And the trademark of Majella on this stately crown is the thermoplastic ribbon, here in gold, which has become a bit of a signature in her pieces.

“I was aware of thermoplastic through my engineering work but rediscovered their use in millinery during a course with Carole Maher from Sydney, Australia,” Majella stated. Most milliners use the thermoplastic to cover the hat base or shape “but I prefer to use it structurally,” she said. “I just love the freedom and individuality of each design.”


Above, Shannon #2, actress and model Shannon Rebekah, steps in to model another piece by Majella. This hat is perfectly on-trend for the races or a summer wedding or fete, and looks great with black, white or a combination of the two. I love how fresh and frankly feminine this creation is. What a head-turning hat! This hat looks gorgeous from all angles, as a true couture hat should.

Makeup artist Miles Berdache Lynk attached a faux ponytail to Shannon’s hair at the nape of her neck and wrapped it into an elegant chignon. This gives Shannon the length and volume that cannot be achieved with ordinary hair, unless of course you are seriously endowed with a massive mane, in which case, we all hate you! Jajaja!

Remember that you should never let your hair go unattended just because it is mostly covered by a beautiful hat. In fact, the hat will demand that you take the extra time to style your hair so that you look couture, not crazy. There’s something about an unstyled coif that is particularly out of place and inappropriate with a hat, and these clip-on pieces you can find at any local wig shop for as cheap as $10 to $20, or online from and other sources. They make your entire ensemble look classier and more elegant, more polished, and at such low cost and ease of use. Every girl should have a wardrobe of these things! They ensure that you will look as beautiful coming as you do going.

Thanks Majella, for your stunning wares…..And G’day Galway!


Thursday, April 27, 2017

Spinning Straw Into Gold: Steven’s Hats of Italy…Plus a Prelude on Styling a Hat

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This is what you’ve all been waiting for…We are beginning our “Hats Heard Round the World” Tour! Beauty Shall Save the World will be featuring every artist who has contributed to this challenge, and today I’m so excited to present the first milliner in our project.

We are traveling to Cosenza, Italy, where we discover the wares of Stefano Costabile at his atelier, “Steven’s Hats.”

When you enter the lab of Stefano, aka Steven, it’s akin to getting to Alice’s Wonderland, free from time boundaries, in order to express oneself through fantasy. Madness becomes genius and hats become wearable art objects.

Steven, who opened his shop in 2006 from a deep passion for hats, learned felt art from an old craftsman and he inherited what he now defines as alchemy: the mixture of natural and chemical treatments give to felt the distinctive softness that make his hats of prime quality. Steven can make any kind of hat, for men or for women and his hats can be personalized, made to measure with textiles made in Italy from leather to cashmere; or straws such as panama to paper straw, from parasisol to sinamay. But it is his sinamay straw sculpted masterpieces for ladies, featured exclusively in this article, that utterly beguile me.

With this kind of straw Steven has created fascinators covered with silk, satin, lace and macramé. In addition, “sinamay is forged in a personal way and it gives life to real sculptures,” he stated.

In the top photo, I am wearing one of the hats that traveled all the way from Steven’s atelier in Italy to our BSSTW headquarters here in California…..this black-and-white sinamay straw wonder, reminiscent of Audrey Hepburn, that frames the face so very beautifully with a twisted, bustled bow in the back. I absolutely love this hat by Steven. It’s ripe with coquetry and drama…and its scale is undeniably profound. This hat is a real show-stopper!

When I was styling this hat for the photo above, taken by John Kiepke of A Special Touch Photography, I knew I wanted a 1960s black-and-white, elongated Sophia Loren cat-eye, and my makeup artist, Miles Berdache Lynk, was down for the challenge. Just look at Miles’s workmanship, which took him only approximately 45 minutes. If you are a seasoned makeup artist or merely talented in makeup application like a lot of today’s youth, you may be able to stylize your cosmetics to complement the lead garment or accessory, in this case, this stunning hat by Steven. A little black sheath dress with a lethal side slit or an ebony fur shrug is all you need.

The value and versatility of a hat like this cannot be overstated. It is so elegant and timeless, at once ethereal, yet iconic. Perfect for the races, a wedding, a gala or, in this case, a photoshoot!



The piece above, on model Evelyn Lewis and photographed by An La, is yet another example of Steven’s mastery of sinamay straw, in tantalizing turquoise. Yet again, Steven employs the use of impressive scale and in this case an almost liquidic movement due to the voluminous, gathered ruffles he’s finessed from the straw.

Just look at the elements of this photograph, styled by my Australian friend, Lynette Pater and her assistant Anna Capiga. Lynette is a tremendous talent in styling and this is a really beautiful example of how you don’t need much, other than a fabulous hat, to capture the attention of everyone in the room. A romantic, dotted tulle shawl in seafoam by Judith Penak and a chunky pearl necklace from Carole Beros Le Dain Designs complete the breathtaking look. Hair is kept minimal so the hat can shine, and makeup artist Mishel Vounatsos Bratsos focuses on a smokey eye with a ripe melon lip.

Do not allow your hair and makeup to compete with the hat. Instead, they should complement one another, but a couture hat such as this always takes center stage. And remember that the milliner has slaved for countless hours to create a wearable work of art for you, so it must be placed artistically on the head, not merely plonked down thoughtlessly without a care regarding the rest of your ensemble.

You will get more tips from stellar stylist Lynette Pater on BSSTW as we further examine how to properly style a hat, and you will also see another hat from Steven’s Hats when I reveal the second masterpiece he sent me for the “Hats Heard Round the World” Tour, so stay tuned for more mad hattery on the way! And to get in touch with Steven for a custom creation, he can be reached at:

Cappelleria Artigianale Steven’s Hats
Via Panebianco, 350
87100 Cosenza, Italy
Tel: 3381178574

Peace. Love. Beauty.


Sunday, March 26, 2017

How to Style Your Hair When Wearing a Hat

As part of the “Hats Heard Round the World” Project, today we are getting some advice from experts on how to style your hair when wearing a hat! And as a quick aside, I would like to thank all the brilliant milliners who have sent their gorgeous hats so far…..including Maria Curcic and Trish Hirschkorn of Canada; Hania Bulczyńska of Poland; Denis Gulyaev of Russia; Yael Cohen of Israel; Steven’s Hats of Italy; Chris Van de Velde and Naomi Wuyts of Belgium; Majella Lennon of Ireland; and Ana Pribylova and Wendy Scully of Australia. You’ll be reading more about these gifted artists soon on BSSTW, so stay tuned!

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The big question when wearing a hat is how to style one’s hair. This can make or break your look, but oddly, the solution can be very simple. Remember that the hat is taking center stage, so a low bun or chic chignon, with little or no visible hair showing, is almost always a correct option. However, with the headwear craze in full force, I want to examine some other, more creative alternatives for you today.

When donning a hat, remember that you should always show the line of your face, according to Michigan’s Gena Conti of Gena Conti Millinery. “The hat should enhance you, blend with you, become an extension of you,” she says, “as a flattering hairstyle does.”

Just look at this striking hat custom designed by Gena for her favorite client and muse, co-owner of Hair Lab Detroit, Lauren Moser, below, pictured here with her fiancé Rodrick Samuels.


First of all, this is simply an exquisite hat. Furthermore, the structure of the face is clearly visible, enhancing Lauren’s killer cheekbones, and although Lauren is an award-winning hairstylist herself, and can enviably do most anything with the hair that you can imagine, she has opted with her coif for a simple updo. Pure elegance. You cannot go wrong. This is utter perfection.

Remember: simplicity is the key to brilliance. And for a low-down on how to create this look with utmost simplicity, we turn to stellar stylist Edward Tricomi of the perpetually-chic Warren Tricomi Salons.

Please note that you do not have to be an accomplished hairstylist like Lauren or Edward to create this effect. “Pull the hair back into a low ponytail with an elastic rubberband. Braid, twist into a bun and pin with discretion” so that your pins are not visible, Edward advises. Be sure to check the back of your coif in the mirror by holding a hand mirror to head level, while facing away from your full-length mirror. Use your hands to feel that there are no stray bobby pins. Smooth strands gently with a bit of hairspray misted onto your palm. Spraying directly onto the bun may result in an unattractive, lacquered effect.

The Short End of It

If you have short hair, a bun or chignon is not always possible. In these cases, sleek and simple always works. Remember, the hat is the focus. Neatly slick the hair back off the face for a tidy couture look.

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For a medium bob, pull hair back behind the ears if it’s attractive on you, in order to see the line of your jaw and your face, Gena recommends. A short Sassoon cut, like the one below, naturally enhances the bone structure and works fab with a hat, but the bangs can seem problematic until you play with them.

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Sometimes the client loves her bangs and must show them,” Gena states. In this case the hat should be either perched a bit back on the head as seen above, or pulled down low allowing the fringe to circle the face, she says. You can also wear the bangs sideswept, as seen below.

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It’s a Long Story

If you want to wear your hair loose and long, it all depends on the texture and your desired outcome. Curls and waves are more feminine and romantic; straight hair equals severe drama or it can look perfectly casual, and there’s even room for frizz, if done correctly. Let’s take a look.

Curly Cues

Curls or waves can add a distinctly coquettish slant to millinery, especially a summer sundress worn with a floppy semi-translucent hat or a feminine, oversized, floral-embellished straw creation on Easter, for example.

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Above however, the model is sporting soft curls with a masculine fedora, which is a great dichotomy and really works in this case. Very stylish. I love this classic look. It’s sexy as hell. Upon closer inspection it is clear that the model’s hair has been set for these rounded, barrel-style waves.

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The curls above appear to be natural. Millinery, in my opinion, looks better with a light setting. Natural curls often benefit from heat curling, if you have the time and inclination. It might seem odd, redundant and counter-intuitive to curl curly hair, but the outcome is often quite glorious and worth the bother. Your curl pattern and bounce are going to look different than freshly-washed natural curls. They’ll be more polished than a natural curl, which can appear sometimes straggly or fuzzy when topped with a hat, something you might not notice when you’re wearing more casual attire. A hat is usually going to elevate an outfit into a more couture moment. At that point, you will abruptly see that casual curls–aka your normal “street hair”–no longer seems quite appropriate, unless you are wearing a knit cap, baseball hat, or other similarly sporty creation.

Making Waves

Use a bit of heat to set the curl, then let the standing curls cool, after which you gently brush them out section by section with a boar bristle Mason Pearson for incredible shine and a polished look. And always remember, the smaller the set, the tighter the curl obviously.

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Setting the hair in standing pincurls with a setting lotion or lightweight gel mixed with water, spritzed onto the hair for hold, will create picture-perfect waves that look slightly more sophisticated than an untamed mane of feral curls.

Frizz Factor

Sometimes feral works for you, but I must admit this is a hit-or-miss, Grace Coddington-kind of moment that often looks better in a fashion editorial than it does in real life.

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If you’re going to put the forté on the frizz, be sure you style your ensemble appropriately and adjust your makeup so that it looks deliberate, and not like you ran out of product and got caught in a windstorm on the way to the party. It can be tricky to pull off this look, even with a mane like Nicole Kidman’s, below.

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Let’s Get Things Perfectly Straight

When opting for long and straight, it’s important that the hair is perfectly smooth and sleek, not flyaway or straggly or uneven at the ends.

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If your ends are not blunt enough with a sufficient weightline, ie.–if they tend to look a little bit ‘see-through,’ this can be an unattractive menace and you might want to compensate with a synthetic ponytail or 3/4 wig beneath the hat for extra weight and volume, which can result in a truly spectacular, perfect look. There’s plenty of fake hair out there to go around so consult your local wig shop.

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The Power of The Pony

Personally, I adore a chic, low pony, wrapped in its own hair, as seen below with this uber-cool seamless sculpted cap by milliner Yael Cohen. You’ll be seeing more from Yael in our “Hats Heard Round the World” Project by the way, so stay tuned for more about her.


I happen to have this very cap, a cherished gift sent to me from Yael, owner and chief designer at Justine Hats in Tel Aviv, Israel. I wear this constantly–very similar to the model above–with a low pony.

A high, more perky ponytail is also another style to consider but only if the hat rides high on the back of the head. So be sure to experiment, consult your milliner if necessary and ask his or her opinion. Research great-looking shots of chic headwear in the magazines and online. Examine the hairstyles selected for the looks and practice them on yourself. You may even want to take a few selfies to perfect your look when wearing a complicated piece, in particular if you are going to be photographed or it’s a special occasion. In fact, I highly recommend this process, for realistic self-evaluation.

It’s a No-Show

Sometimes the best solution to a hair issue is to ignore it completely. Yes, slick it back or pile it up under the hat for a “No-Show.” You can almost never go wrong.

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Note these examples, where no news is good news, and the hair quietly takes second seat to the hat that adorns it.

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Above, the hair is tucked into the belly of the hat for a dramatic effect. And below, sleek and smooth, the hair again is practically a non-entity with this spotted topper.

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Pass the Accessories, Please…

Finally, you may want to combine accessories when wearing a hat. Use discretion. Below, all the hair is a “No-Show” concealed beneath a stylish scarf worn under that hat.

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And a rakish top hat takes on a dramatic yet feminine appearance when the model’s hair is slicked back and packed inside a snood at Dior. So timeless, so femme fatale!

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No matter your hair length or texture, there’s always a chic solution for every hat you may encounter, and now you know the industry secrets on how to style your hair when wearing a hat. Hats off to you!