RAC­ING MILLINERY

Deborah Quinn’s love of head­wear is one forged over the years, un­der a blaz­ing Aus­tralian sun. As the world’s big­gest Stephen Jones client, she’s never with­out a trippy, happy top­per that a headpiece can be. The Bris­bane-based race afi­cionado sets out her

VOGUE Australia - - Style Syllabus -

1. Em­brace talk­ing point-top­pers (you never know who you might meet)

“I usu­ally note those in a group who are wear­ing a hat, and fre­quently meet them be­cause of it. My hats al­ways con­nect with oth­ers and are my ex­pres­sion of in­di­vid­u­al­ity.

“I first dis­cov­ered [Stephen Jones’s] hats in the early 1990s and sub­se­quently met him 10 years later in Lon­don in his ate­lier in Covent Gar­den. We hit it off in­stantly and en­joy a spe­cial friend­ship based around hats.”

2. Choose hats as fo­cal (not dis­trac­tion) pieces

“Hats for me of­ten pro­duce an air of mys­tery, but I never use them for pro­tec­tion or dis­guise. Hats are an ex­pres­sion of my mood, my in­di­vid­u­al­ity and my sense of style – they do man­i­fest my per­son­al­ity.”

3. Let the head lead – track­side and be­yond

“Every day for me is a ‘hatty’ day, and an event. The hat sets my mood for the day, and some­times shapes it.”

4. Have faith in, and pa­tience for, the cre­ator

“I do not work to a for­mula or a process. The pro­duc­tion and com­ple­tion of one of Jones’s pieces de­pends on his in­spi­ra­tion and then be­comes a per­sonal process to make it quite idio­syn­cratic. Some­times this takes place di­rectly with us to­gether, and some­times by Skype. There is no set time pe­riod for this and may take weeks or months.”

5. Build a var­ied col­lec­tion

“My hats are all in­di­vid­ual and tell a par­tic­u­lar story. Some are over­sized and flam­boy­ant, oth­ers small and chic; some light­weight and some heavy; some are tall; an­other is held to­gether by dress­maker pins; while oth­ers are quite tra­di­tional.”

6. Ap­pre­ci­ate the free­dom of to­day

“Fash­ion is con­tin­u­ally chang­ing, and with it the wear­ing of hats – and their for­mat – from be­ing used mainly for uni­forms dur­ing war time to be­ing more dec­o­ra­tive and full of in­di­vid­ual ex­pres­sion since that time. In Bri­tain, after World War II, the sit­u­a­tion was aus­tere and ex­tras like hats were not avail­able to all. Luck­ily now [we] are much more free to ex­press our­selves by wear­ing hats, in all for­mats.”

7. Dressed to in­vest – in be­spoke

“Women should look for an in­di­vid­u­ally made hat to en­hance their out­fit, mak­ing them feel spe­cial and adding to the joy of the oc­ca­sion. The hat is al­ways the fin­ish­ing note to the mu­sic.”

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