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Trends and tips

Millinery trends for 2018–2019
(click on most of the photos to see the fashion hats in detail; a small window will pop up)

What styles of hats are in this year?

Fashion hat Vera, a design by Melbourne milliner Louise Macdonald Fashion hat Betsy Bow in Black, a design by Melbourne milliner Louise Macdonald Fashion hat designed by Melbourne milliner Louise Macdonald

  • Bows are everywhere this Spring. Around the waist, under the chin, tied behind the head or ear, trimming the back of the hat; also on shoes and making a statement on a bandeau, beret or headband!

  • Fashion hat Adeline Cap, a design by Melbourne milliner Louise MacdonaldCaps – We have seen plenty of caps (think fisherman's caps) teamed with casual street wear on fashion blogs, so I have my own interpretation for the races. Some vintage straw was put to good application in the making of this one off piece. Stay tuned for more interpretations showcased on Louise Macdonald's Instagram account.

Fashion hat Della, a design by Melbourne milliner Louise Macdonald Fashion hat Edith, a design by Melbourne milliner Louise Macdonald Fashion hat Naomi, a design by Melbourne milliner Louise Macdonald

  • Berets – Guests at the royal wedding showed us that the face hugging beret is still de rigueur. The more adventurous will don larger berets of straw, from the typical French beret style to the oversized statement piece. Trims will range from small stalks on the top of the beret to wild veiling circumnavigating the headpiece.

Fashion hat Lula Bandeau in Black and White with detachable veil, a design by Melbourne milliner Louise Macdonald Fashion hat Blanche with detachable veil, a design by Melbourne milliner Louise Macdonald

  • Veiling was a popular choice at Harry and Meghan's wedding, and we have every reason to believe Australian fashion lovers will enjoy the romanticism and mystery provided by a soft wisp of veiling over the face. Louise Macdonald Milliner is delighted to offer a detachable veil to be positioned underneath your headpiece and interchanged with your millinery wardrobe.

Fashion hat Lula Bandeau in Magenta and Orange, a design by Melbourne milliner Louise Macdonald Fashion hat Josephine in Red and Natural, a design by Melbourne milliner Louise Macdonald Fashion hat Jackie, a design by Melbourne milliner Louise Macdonald Fashion hat Eli, a design by Melbourne milliner Louise Macdonald

  • Back of the head!– We welcome the new position of hats, bandeaux, halos and pillboxes to the back of the head. Think Jackie O or Kate Middleton and Prince Louis's christening. Try combining it with a detachable veil!

Fashion hat Edna, a design by Melbourne milliner Louise Macdonald Fashion hat Pearl, a design by Melbourne milliner Louise Macdonald Fashion hat Cora, a design by Melbourne milliner Louise Macdonald

  • Brims!– My big Dior brim showcased at the Oaks Day Millinery Award has created quite a following. After many years of smaller headpieces being in vogue, there is a thirst for hats with brims! I have some beautiful one off straws that I am creating for some divine hats, providing plenty of shade and style for the wearer. These hats paired with a full skirt create a spectacular silhouette.

  • Colours– Of course Derby Day demands a black and white palate for the race goer. However, colours in season will be bold and bright. Yellow, emerald green, orange, red, magenta pink, turquoise and, of course, navy works so well with all of these colours. But you don't necessarily want a hat that is exactly the same colour as your dress.

  • Matching headwear with accessories, shoes, bag, jewellery– With current trends, there is great flexibility in putting colours together. Even nail polish and lipstick can be used to help mix them in your outfit.

Where can the headpieces be found?
Make an appointment to visit Louise Macdonald Milliner in Melbourne to view the latest fashion collection or purchase your favourite piece through the online shop. Once again I'm pleased to present styles designed specifically with the Hugo Boss Spring collection in mind. These will be available from the Collins Street store, in the Melbourne's CBD, from mid September 2018.


Millinery tips (for any season)

What makes a good headpiece? What should people look for when purchasing a hat?

  1. You want something that suits your face shape and height

    • If you have a round face, you want to lengthen it by wearing something that is tall or gives your face height. Try a tall crowned pill box or a high headpiece.

    • If you have a long face, you want to shorten it by wearing something that gives your face width, for example a shallow crown or a beret or pill box where the trim is positioned down low, towards the side of your face.

    • If you have a tiny face, you will be swamped in a big hat and vice versa. You need to find a hat that is in proportion with your face and height. The best way to approach this is by going to a professional. Not only can they help you choose something that suits you, but also tell you the best way to wear it (keep reading!).

    • If you can't see a milliner, make sure you try lots of different styles and tilt them at different angles on your head. A headpiece worn straight on the top of your head may look ridiculous, but a little tilt forward and to one side can make you shine! With the smaller headpieces that have been around for a few seasons, it is all about the angle you wear it!

  2. You want something that suits your personality!

    That tends to be easier to manage. Most people are drawn to fashions that speak to them and reflect their style. Quirky, classic or showstopper!

A few more essential tips to consider when investing in a hat or headpiece:

  • It's best to buy from a professional, someone who knows about millinery. There are many of us in Melbourne and around Australia. You can get key advice on what suits you and, very importantly, how to wear the hat. Many current styles are not as straight forward to wear as your traditional hat.

    Take a photo of yourself in the hat or headpiece when purchasing it, so you can remember how to position it when getting ready on the day. It's common to see people wearing their hats back to front (the label should go to the back) or tilted in the wrong direction – hats are designed to be worn at a particular angle; if it doesn't look good tipped to the right, try it to the left or wearing it straight on.

  • Take your dress or a photo of you in your dress when you go shopping for a hat. This helps with colour and style choices when discussing options with your hat professional! The visual communication is the best tool to describe your jade green semi structured asymmetric three quarter length jacket!

  • Experiment with how you arrange your hair. Some women may choose to wear their long locks out as they would most days, but this is not always the best hair style when wearing a hat. Try pulling your hair back in a low pony tail or bun. This elongates the neck and provides a great platform for your headwear!

    If you have a fringe, try sweeping it to one side or under the hat. How does it look? Or parting your hair on the other side. Depending on how you wear your hat, this can have the effect of shortening or elongating your face. Play around with the options; you'll be surprised with the alternatives.

  • Make sure your piece is comfortable to wear. Check the hat elastic is not too tight, and it can be secured comfortably to your head without sliding around.

Most importantly, have fun at the races or wherever you go with your beautiful hat!

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