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One of the World’s Leading Milliners on How to Wear Hats for Formal Events

Courtesy of Piers Atkinson

Piers Atkinson Spring 2017. Courtesy of Piers Atkinson

With the Dubai World Cup taking place on March 25 and wedding season in full swing, there’s no better time to prime your wardrobe for formal events. If you’re going to wear a hat, a flurry of wardrobe conundrums may flare up. Do you go for a headpiece or a high-wattage pillbox hat? How much confidence does it take to pull off a veiled creation, and which brands have the go-to style that will stand the test of the time? Vogue Arabia enlisted the expert help of master milliner Piers Atkinson to decode the sartorial affair of wearing this statement accessory.

British artist Atkinson started his namesake label in 2008 and has built up his brand to be a world-renowned label beloved of the likes of Rihanna, Miley Cyrus, Kate Moss, Lady Gaga, Cate Blanchett, and Beyoncé, to name but a few. With his flamboyant, colorful creations on display in the Victoria & Albert museum, London, and Nick Knight’s ShowStudio, his client list is very much a global one, with a growing roster of Middle Eastern customers. We tap his style IQ for tips ahead of the races in Dubai.

What is your number-one tip for pulling off a statement hat at an event?

The most important element is confidence. If a woman feels wonderful in a hat, she will be wonderful in a hat. She wears the hat, the hat doesn’t wear her. My observation, having tried so many styles on so many clients, is that when a hat is perfect we both instantly know. It’s a lovely moment.

Piers Atkinson Spring 2017. Courtesy of Piers Atkinson

Piers Atkinson Spring 2017. Courtesy of Piers Atkinson

What’s a stylish way to wear a hat on top of a hijab or covering?

I really love the draping of a hijab so I would think of embellishing the fabric with embroidery or a print before I would think of adding a hat.

Your ultimate recommendation from your collection for the Dubai World Cup is…

I really love the pale pink floral bands. They look incredibly chic and they are very easy to wear in warm weather. For a racing event, I could even add some quills, which add drama.

What trending hair accessories do you think would work in the Middle East?

We have just made laser-cut veils in very striking calligraphic designs. It’s a new technique we have invented. The veils have been coated in black glitter and are very sparkly for day and evening events. I can imagine these working very well.

Piers Atkinson Spring 2017. Courtesy of Piers Atkinson

Piers Atkinson Spring 2017. Courtesy of Piers Atkinson

The Dubai World Cup takes place at the Meydan Racecourse, Dubai on March 25. The dress code is smart. Tickets are available before, with First Class Lounge tickets available for 3 750 AED. Ticket sales close on March 24.

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