Hats off to glamour
A Perth boutique offers for women who want to stand out in a crowd
by Alana Toulin, Ottawa Citizen (January 23, 2010)
An eye-catching hat worthy of the famed Royal Ascot race
can be found just a short drive
away — Perth, to be exact.
At Elysium Fashion Boutique, a return to old-school glamour can be found
in every headpiece
handcrafted by Wales-based design team Alan White
and Barry Moss of Alan White Millinery.
Sold exclusively in the Ottawa area through the Perth boutique, these
hats are no fast fashion
finds. Created in the traditional way, using
top-quality materials such as silks, feathers, and
crystal beading, this
chic accessories line — which also includes fascinators, miniatures,
headpieces — is perfect for the discerning woman who wants to stand
out in a crowd.
“These hats are such conversation pieces,” said Elysium owner
Darlene Rupert. “Each one
Moss (who is Rupert’s cousin will soon be moving back to Lanark) and
his partner White have
been in the hat-making business for 15 years.
White studied millinery at the London College
of Fashion and has exhibited
at London Fashion Week and sold collections to Barney’s
“Alan and Barry travel around and get all of the silks, feathers,
and specialty materials. Everything
is handmade,” said Rupert. “We
went over to England to visit this summer and I thought ‘I can
these hats over here and we can do something with them.’”
So far the response to the unique pieces has been enthusiastic, especially
mothers of the bride, and women who have formal events
“One lady bought one to meet Prince Charles and Camilla when they
were here for Remembrance
Day,” said Rupert. “Women have been
buying them for weddings, cruises, garden parties.”
Perhaps best of all, the sophisticated hats created by Alan White Millinery
are relatively affordable.
Many of the hats carried at Elysium retail
for about $130.
For Rupert, the popularity of her cousin's hats is part of the movement
toward a more formal and
ladylike style of dressing. This look, inspired
by the runway designs of labels such as Lanvin
and Chanel, presents some
stiff competition for the leisurewear-everywhere trend that rose
for much of last decade.
“I think we went through a phase where it was a lot of comfy clothes,
and I see people now starting
to dress up,” said Rupert, adding
that people are starting to look more for investment pieces that
well-made, elegant and classic.
For more info about Alan White Millinery hats, visit www.hats-etc.com.
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