Page 60 - The Hunt - Spring/Summer 2023
P. 60

                Hats continued from page 22
notes. “For country, I’d wear a tweed coat
and a wool felt hat.”
Outback Trading carries a black,
equestrian-themed oilskin cap, its leather band accented with a brass snaffle bit.
King designed most of the hats he sells, inspired by his experiences in the Australian Outback and translated into wool, mesh, straw, leather and oilskin. The latter was developed in 1898 by Edward Le Roy, a New Zealander who painted sailcloth with a mixture of linseed oil and wax to produce a waterproof garment.
A tip of the hat to King’s old friend George A. “Frolic” Weymouth, the Frolic is a stylish fedora crafted from braided raffia, accented with a simple brown band. The Kodiak oilskin hat offers a wide wired brim, a UPF rating of 50, and a handy koala pouch in the crown to safely stow money and a license. “If it’s a rainy day, we see a lot of oilskin hats,” King says.
King also enjoys designing carriages, including the custom-made roof-seat break wagonette made to his specifications in Poland. It’s pulled by four white Canadian
sport horses. Frolic would get annoyed whenever anyone appeared at a carriage wearing a baseball cap. “Run-of-the-mill baseball caps are not cool,” King says. “Although there’s nothing wrong with an oilskin baseball cap if you’re just out for a drive.”
Like tulips, fanciful hats pop up each spring with the return of steeplechase racing. Long before the season starts, fashionable heads turn to milliner Tiffany Arey. “The more lead time, the better,” says the celebrated milliner. “Someone who’s going to an event in May might call in January, although we can usually accommodate people on a deadline.”
The Chester County native is self-taught, learning by poring through vintage books “and anything I could find online, including videos on YouTube.” That led to a connection with a global community of milliners who are keeping hat-making alive. When she takes on a
new client, Arey typically starts the process by asking for a photo. “I want to see their coloring and the way they wear their hair,” she says.
Arey’s exuberant bonnets for spring and summer are crafted from various types of straw. Her leather- and fabric-covered hats can be worn year-round. Designs range from a simple silk pillbox with a tailored bow in the back to an elaborate Gainsborough with ribbons, feathers and an 18-inch brim.
Arey also rents hats. Lulu, a sweet yellow saucer topped with twizzle reminiscent of a buddy whip, rents for $20. Salon Laduree, a big-brimmed garden hat that resembles a saucy pink platter of flowers, fetches $90. Prices are for a four-day rental. “It’s great for people who want something at the last minute or don’t have space to store hats,” she says.
Arey recommends assembling an outfit well before race day. “If you have a hat that you want to be the star of the show, keep your outfit simple,” she says. “Don’t wear too many patterns or colors.”

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