Creating hats since 2008, Aoife Harrison followed up a business degree with millinery night classes in the Grafton Academy and intensive class with Lina Stein in Westport, before rounding off her bespoke skills at the Kensington and Chelsea College in London.
With her pieces stocked in Dublin’s Powerscourt Centre, Aoife shares her top tips for topping off your barnet for the races this summer.
What trends will be coming into millinery for Spring Summer 2013?
There is definitely a move away from fascinators. It is not sufficient to have a couple of feathers on a hair band. Large disc pieces are become more popular. Monochrome is all over the cat-walks this season.
How can visitors to Ladies Days work this into their outfit?
Monochrome is relatively easy to work into an outfit as a black or black and white headpiece is something that is widely available and won’t date.
What attributes do you think a winning Ladies Day hat has?
I think a winning headpiece is something that enhances the beauty of the wearer. It should highlight her good points, for example bring out the colour of her eyes or draw your attention to her smile. A winning headpiece should work seamlessly with her outfit and have a wow factor.
What’s the biggest difference between winter and summer hats for the races?
Well obviously we see a lot of Felt hats at Winter race meetings. Felt is a fabulous material to work with. Generally winter headpieces tend to be smaller. Pheasant feathers also tend to feature strongly in Winter Hat collections. Straw and other summer materials tend to be lightweight; allowing the milliner to be able to create larger headpieces.
- Choose something that is in proportion to you.
- If you are meeting and greeting a lot of people don’t have something with a huge brim that covers half your face as it will annoy you and get in your way.
- Choose a hat that you feel good in. If you are not confident in a hat it will show. You have to be able to pull it off if it is a fashion piece.
Why do you think hats are so popular for the races?
Women love to wear hats to the races because it completes an outfit. We instantly stand taller and carry ourselves differently when we have a hat on. We love an excuse to get dressed up and have a day out. We also stop to admire a girl in a great hat at the races and we tend to feel not fully dressed if we don’t have a hat on ourselves.
Aoife is delighted to announce the launch of her new website: www.aoifeharrisondesign.ie which is a showcase of her work. Commenting at the launch Aoife said: “I am so excited with the launch of my website. It allows me to showcase my collections to a wider audience, displaying my unique designs and highlighting the individual nature of my service. Due to my belief that a hat, as well as being a necessary fashion accessory, also should express the wearer’s personality, I consider it very important that each of my hats is a bespoke creation for the individual wearer. I believe a hat should have a playful feel while retaining a classic elegance to complete a stylish look.”