With the Kentucky Derby approaching, I’ve been pouring over photos of the Derby hats. The Derby is a social affair whose tradition began over 100 years ago, when wearing a hat connoted wealth and importance. It is thought that if you wear a hat to Derby it can bring luck to a horse to win. While trying to find the perfect Derby hat, I was inspired to bring Derby style to the wedding day. We are lucky to have so many talented milliners at our fingertips right here in Chicago. Be U Weddings chatted up a few of Chicago’s best mad hatters to bring you the best in wedding style.
We first introduced you to Agnes Miles and her company Love, Lulu Mae back in October. Agnes’s designs are a reflection of the strength and style of 1930’s and 1940’s women. Each piece is handcrafted with gems, vintage fabrics and exotic feathers. About her designs, Agnes Miles says “I love the trend of mixing dried orchids with lace, Swarovski crystals and feathers. It’s an alternative to the traditional veil, but still embodies a sense of classic beauty. Love, Lulu Mae is all about combining classic beauty with contemporary glamour. Plus, you can’t go wrong with Swarovski Crystals!” Order your custom bridal design before June 1st and you will receive $50 off your one-of-a-kind Love Lulu Mae piece. Click here to start shopping.
You and your groom-to be are creating a custom day, so why would you let your head piece be a wallflower? Tonya Gross Millinery is known for designing couture head pieces (for both women and men). Designer extraordinaire Tonya Gross states “Creating a custom, couture head piece is the opportunity to invoke your own individuality on that special day.” She suggests creating a piece that not only enhances your gown, but you as well. You should pick the right tone for your skin (it does not need to match the dress) and shape for your face, as seen in the photo above a unique and modern shape will not overshadow the bride. That’s the great thing about couture—it’s entirely customizable. A sculptural fascinator, for example, will ‘float’ on top of your head. They are also pretty easy to wear and you will even forget it’s on. The yellow fascinator above is a great example of this, and offers a surprising pop of color. Gross doesn’t want brides getting scared away by the word “couture”. She says that most hat designers can work with just about any budget. But she cautions not to wait until the last minute, as couture takes time.
Having trouble finding “just the right piece”? Look to Loreta Corsetti for a high fashion, high glam, elegant chapeau (a French term for hat). Corsetti’s background in fine art can be seen in her couture head pieces. She works with her brides to achieve a work of art that is all the bride’s personality and spirit. “The brides who come to me want genuine couture and by that I mean high sewing, hand constructed and one of a kind” says Corsetti. The intricacy of her pieces is seen in the hours of beading and hand sewing, there is no glue here! Corsetti advises Chicago fashionistas “Don’t be afraid to add some color to your headpiece. By using multiple shades you create depth and texture eliminating a flat effect. You can be unconventional and very elegant at the same time.”
“Handmade items for fancy ladies” is how designer and owner Maura Haney describes Pishposhes, a line of unique barrettes, headbands and birdcage veils. She tells us “There’s so many possibilities for creating a unique bridal look right now. Fascinators and birdcage veils work well as a replacement for a traditional long tulle veil.” Pishposhes began with a wedding in 2008, that of the owner and designer’s sister, and then took on a life of its own as more friends and family began asking for unique pieces. To find out about secret sales be sure to follow Pishposhes on Facebook.
For a fashion forward-minded bride, such as “Sex and the City”’s very own Carrie Bradshaw, you can’t go wrong with any of these Chicago talents. They are sure to create just the statement piece for you. You can then pull it out for some Kentucky Derby fun every year. We’d love to see you’re bridal hair-wear. Submit your big day look to us here.