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How to get the perfect hat for Dubai World Cup



It’s not like we need an excuse in Dubai to get dressed up and have a nice day out. But the Dubai World Cup is as good as any excuse we can think up for doing just that. In fact, it’s the one day of the year, for ladies that is, that a hot frock and heels just aren’t enough. No, this event demands that we step into the territory of hats and fascinators – ground that has seen even the most polished fashionistas fall flat. No pressure, then.

Choosing the right chapeau to suit your outfit and stay on all day without giving you a migraine can be a minefield. ShortList turned to three international milliners for advice on selecting headgear that’ll have you turning heads for all the right reasons. Abu Dhabi-based Tori Single, of Vivienne Morgan Millinery, Karen Hamilton of Karen Hamilton Millinery and Rachel Trevor Morgan of Rachel Trevor Morgan Millinery all offer their invaluable guides to hats.

Tori Single, Vivienne Morgan Millinery

Tori is not only a world-class milliner but an expert in World Cup attire; in fact, she launched her label following style success at the 2013 World Cup. Three race goers wearing Vivienne Morgan Millinery have made it to the final of the Best Dressed Lady category in the annual Jaguar Style Stakes awards.

Her hats take from six to 24 hours to perfect and Tori believes dramatic, yet elegant and timeless designs can inject any woman with the right level of confidence.

She says: “When thinking about your outfit either buy the hat first and match your outfit to it or buy the outfit and then ask the milliner to make a hat to go with the outfit. It just depends what catches your eye first. I love the challenge of designing a hat to coordinate with a client’s chosen outfit while complementing their face shape and personal style.

“Don’t be afraid to go wild and pick a really fun hat. You do need confidence to carry off a quirky hat, so make sure you feel good in your outfit before the big day. My advice is to choose a hat which first and foremost suits your face.”

Karen Hamilton Millinery

She’s an Australian milliner from Melbourne and a Dubai World Cup regular who has been producing bespoke hat designs for more than a decade. She also won first prize for best hat at last year’s Jaguar Style Stakes at Meydan.

She says: “Long, loose hair should be tied back to the opposite side of the hat tilt or into an ‘updo’. Wearing a hat is such a rare occasion, why not show it off and let your hair be the accompaniment for a change?”

Hats and headpieces that sit in the middle of your head, that are “perched” on your forehead with wire frames, do not suit everyone. One big trend last year was laser cut “crowns”, headpieces made from stiffened lace and also tight face veiling attached to small simple headpieces. Save themed hats for a costume party!

There’s nothing elegant about them and the World Cup is meant to be an international race meeting, not a costume party. A simple, well-cut dress made from beautiful fabric with an elegant complementing hat or headpiece is always a winner in my book. Too much going on with colour or style or fuss just looks a big mess to me.”

Rachel Trevor Morgan Millinery

Award winning milliner Rachel Trevor Morgan is Queen Elizabeth’s official hat maker and is based in a studio St James’s, London. The designer marks her 25th anniversary by celebrating the botanical beauty that has influenced her collections throughout her career and create her signature feminine, tailored style.

She says: “There are no hard and fast rules when pairing an outfit to a hat or vice versa. “It might just be that you are breaking up a block of colour with some contrast; for instance, if you have a very bright block colour throughout your outfit, then the same colour might just look too much for your hat and you would want something to offset it. But, then, with a patterned outfit you might want to pick out one of the colours to use.

“Personally, I like nothing more than seeing a really well-dressed woman looking elegant and beautiful, but hats are fun and should reflect your personality. If you want to stand out… go ahead. Our large brimmed hats are stunning for racing. Lots of sweeping brims and large discs with dipped two-tone feathers. Soft and feminine.”

Ticket info
General admission
What: Access to part of the Meydan Grandstand and several food areas.
Price: AED25

Sky Bubble
What: An enclosed lounge area in the Grandstand with additional access to Apron Views, Bubble Lounge and Barasti.
Price: AED1,400

The Gallery
What: Near the finish line with access to Apron Views, Parade Ring Lawns and post-race concerts.
Price: AED1,500

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