Hats to highlight charity show
by Laura Mueller - Perth Courier (October 27, 2009)
Impeccably crafted hats that have graced the runways of London
and Tokyo are coming to
Perth. Thirty-eight hats, custom designed for a charity fashion show to support
will be the highlight of the evening at Code’s Mill on the Park on Oct.
The event is the annual fashion show hosted by Elysium, a local shop, but the
hats are a new
twist this year. Darlene Rupert, who took over the shop in June, was inspired
to feature hats
and headpieces of all styles when she visited her cousin, a professional milliner,
The cousin, Barry Moss, and his partner, Alan White, design hats at their studio
in Wales, which
are then sent around the world and sold in top department stores, including Barney’s
in New York
City. “I knew my cousin was crafty, but when I was there and saw the hats,
I said, ‘Oh my God,
Barry, this is wonderful,’” Rupert says. “The creative juices
Rupert knew she wanted to continue former Elysium owner Shirley Lotz’s
tradition of putting on
the fashion show, but as soon as she saw Moss and White’s hats, she knew
the exquisite pieces
would make for a very unique event. Alan White Millinery, the duo’s business,
harkens back to
the glory days of hat making by using traditional methods and topnotch materials.
very fussy,” Rupert says. “They will drive all over England and Wales
to find the top-quality
feathers to use in their hats. Everything is from scratch.”
All of the hats are handblocked and finished using traditional millinery methods,
They use only the best silks, straws and sinamay for their hats, and for the
the pair uses wool tweeds, faux leather and faux fur from France. Hats are often
for clients’ heads.
Rupert returned to Perth with 30 hats and headpieces, which customers have been
Only a couple of hats remain, but Moss will bring 38 new hats the pair designed
especially for the
fashion show when he arrives in town this week.
It will be a homecoming of sorts for Moss, who is originally from Ottawa, but
lived in Watsons
Corners and Ompah for three years in the early 1990s. Locals may remember Moss
quilts he used to exhibit in the area and sell at Stone Cottage Quilts in Perth.
“I am so looking forward to returning to Perth from cold and damp Wales,” he
writes in an e-mail.
“I have always had a soft spot for Perth and will enjoy every minute spent
Fitting with his name, he also designs moss agate jewelry, which is available
at Elysium. Moss
will be on hand at Elysium on Oct. 28 to answer questions about hats and the
art of millinery, and
to advise women about the types of hats that would suit them. He will also style
the models for
the fashion show on the 29th.
The show will feature styles available at the shop. Each of the volunteer models,
who range in
age from 16 to 60 and in size from two to 18, will model a casual look, office
attire and n evening
ensemble. Pink and white will be the theme colours as a nod to the event’s
cancer research through the Canadian Cancer Society.
Tickets for the event are $20 and can be reserved by calling 613-264-8857 or
Cocktails begin at 6 p.m. and the show will kick off at 7 p.m. The event also
includes a silent auction.
More information about Alan White Millinery will be available on the soon-to-be-launched
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