There's a varied display of artists showcasing their work at this year's Open Studios event, West Berkshire and North Hampshire from 3rd to 26th May.
Among them is milliner Emma Moscow who trained with Rose Cory, the late Queen Mother's milliner. Emma is opening her studio in Boxford on Sunday 4th, Monday, 5th, Saturday 10th, Sunday 11th, Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th May - all from 11am to 5pm.
For more details see www.open-studios.org.uk
HOW TO GET AHEAD WITH A HAT BY BOXFORD MILLINER EMMA MOSCOW
Looking to turn heads on Ladies Day at Ascot? Searching for that extra special something to finish off a stunning wedding outfit? Choosing the right hat can really put your head in a spin.
Having learned the art of hat-making from the Queen Mother’s milliner Rose Cory, Emma Moscow has the experience to help you choose the right hat for any occasion and put you ahead of the game.
Emma’s inspiration for her hat designs come from the personalities of her clients as well as the beautiful West Berkshire countryside in which she enjoys walking her dogs.
Creating a bespoke hat is no different from crafting an artwork, and so fittingly, the Boxford-based businesswoman is opening her studio to visitors as part of this year’s West Berkshire and North Hampshire Open Studios event.
From school, Emma studied fashion at Berkshire College of Art and Design. However, her career took a very different turn when she ran her own homeopathy business for 17 years. Realising the time was right for a change and a more creative career, she revisited her passion for fashion and decided to specialise in hats. She studied with Rose Cory and subsequently launched her own business three years ago.
Most of her custom comes from word-of-mouth referrals who turn to her for bespoke couture hats and headpieces for special occasions. She also finds the time to provide the headgear for the Boxford Masques.
Each hat is unique and handcrafted using traditional techniques from different materials such as parasisal straw, sinamay, fur and wool felt and fabric.
She said: “I invite customers to my workshop so they can have a look at the hats on display, and I get to know them so I can create something that will really suit them. I want them to commission something they’ll really love as there’s no better feeling than seeing a customer being happy and confident in their hat.”
You might think anything goes hat-wise during the race season but there are some rules to remember. Some racecourses stipulate that the headwear must cover a circumference of 4inch of the wearer’s head. Others state that “the customisation of top hats is forbidden”.
“If you are looking for ‘that’ hat on Ladies Day you need to make a statement. Choose something eye-catching, but you must keep it stylish,” says Emma. “A hat says a lot about your personality as well as a great way to finish off an outfit,” she adds.
Here are Emma’s top tips for choosing the right hat:
• Always try to take your outfit with you and leave yourself plenty of time to try the hats on.
• There are no hard and fast rules about what shapes will suit a certain person. There are many factors that affect how a shape looks such as shape and size of face, hairstyle, height and length of neck, so be open minded and try lots of shapes. They often look quite different on the head from on the stand.
• Consider the occasion. For example, if you are meeting and greeting people and going to be photographed a lot then it is probably best to avoid a large down turned brim, or if it is likely to be windy, avoid a hat that is too tall.
• Generally the taller you are, the wider the brim you can wear successfully but it is probably wise not to go much wider than your shoulder width, or it will start to look unbalanced. Smaller people are often better with small brims or hats/headdresses worn on the side of the head.
• If you want your hat to be the same colour as your outfit then make sure it is a good match. Otherwise go for a complementary or accent colour.
• A good fit is very important. If a hat is much too big or small it will look wrong and be uncomfortable. Made-to-measure is ideal for this. It is also important that it is secure, you don’t want to be having to grab your hat every time you move or there is a breeze.
• Pay attention to how you wear the hat. It is common for people to push their hats too far back. Generally they look much better tilted forward. Wearing them at an angle, usually down over the right eyebrow looks very flattering on most people.
For more information visit www.emmamoscowmillinery.co.uk
1. Parasisal straw with organdie flowers - £280
2. Pinok Pok with Organza flowers - £295
3. Private commission to a mother of a bride. Made of Sinamay and silk – £295.
4. This hat is made from Crin and feathers and was a private commission. Something similar would cost around £300.
5. Silk velvet and feathers - £280