Sunday 21 June 2009

Handmade accessories with attitude

Are the best things in life really free? Unfortunately, Luther Vandross is no longer around and Janet Jackson probably doesn’t have to concern herself with such issues. However, I’ve a theory that cost is less important than putting a little bit of an effort into making something rather special: You’re much more likely to be pleasantly surprised with the outcome of a piece you've lovingly created yourself than if there’s no effort involved whatsoever.

And so it is with hats. This year at Royal Ascot, I added a few bits and pieces of haberdashery to a plain orange hat to create something totally quirky and original. Take one orange hat (in this case vintage Jacques le Corre), add an aubergine feather headband from ShopCurious, plus a curiously unique vintage stuffed bird’s head – et voila, a masterpiece of modern millinery design is born ... or at least recylced.

It’s really easy to decorate hats to make them stand out from the crowd. Lucy (left and with Emma, right) chose one of our plain black raffia hats and added some mauve and maroon marabou for a flirty, feathery look. Simple and inexpensive, but very effective.

I loved this Greek-inspired handmade design in blue and gold (right) – it’s such a classic, I hope they don’t want to appropriate it for the new Acropolis Museum. Georgina - also pictured here with her wonderfully eccentric, talented photographer husband, Francis - informed me that her milliner had adapted the decoration on her giant fascinator that morning so that it matched the colour of her outfit. Wearing unique accessories is all about getting the details right.

This retro-psychedelic-meets-space age ensemble (left) certainly showed a curious attention to detail. And another lady, (whose name I think was Jennie?) had a fabulous ‘50s vintage bag with real equine appeal. How lovely it is to see something that’s individually handcrafted and beautifully hand painted – so much more stylish and unusual than your common-or-garden designer ‘it’ bag – and probably a lot cheaper too.

I’m not averse to creating an eclectic mix that includes the odd, carefully chosen, designer accessory (like these vintage Chanel sunglasses), but I think that truly original style involves a little more thought, effort and creativity than buying the most expensive and celebrity endorsed items you can afford.

Do you?

PS Jane, thanks so much for reuniting me with my lost ring via the lady with the horsy handbag xx


Make Do Style said...

Love the orange hat and the perfectly placed feather.

Penny said...

wow that is some serious headgear!!