Christine A. Moore Millinery; A Must for Breeders’ Cup
Christine A. Moore Millinery; A Must for Breeders’ Cup: The Breeders’ Cup World Championship takes place at Santa Anita Park on Friday, October 31 and Saturday, November 1, 2014. As the spectacular two-day event approaches, men and women all over the world prepare fashionable ensembles to strut their stuff during the once in a lifetime event. Designer Christine A. Moore is the official milliner of the 2014 Breeders’ Cup for the second year in a row. The Lady and The Track team sat down with Christine for a quick Q&A to get the basics of track fashion and to learn a little more about why looking glamorous with one of a kind millinery is a must for Breeders’ Cup!
At what age did you begin designing hats?
I started in the theatre as a costume designer so I have always been designing something. In 1994 I started Christine A. Moore Millinery and have been designing different collections ever since! Although I am known for my racing styles I have other collections as well, and sell hats for Polo, Resort, debutante balls, Mardi Gras, weddings, garden parties, luncheons, as well as beach and street wear for both women and men.
Do you wear hats to other events, besides horse races?
I wear a hat every day and never need an event to wear one.
Why do you think the fascinator is so trendy?
I have been making fascinators for a long time but we always called them cocktail hats. Obviously the Royal wedding had a lot to do with bringing them back on our radar. Once a woman tries one on and sees how light and comfortable they are and how simply they can add a chic and elegant look to an ensemble they become hooked. It is kind of like an “aha” moment!
How long does it typically take to design and make a hat or fascinator from start to finish?
All of our hats are hand made. Most are hand dyed, hand blocked on old wooden blocks, wired for structure, trimmed with the best of fabrics and feathers and have the insides lined. Having said that, it depends on the hat. Each hat is part of a collection and some can take an hour up to 4 hours to construct. I do however have a lot of special projects that can take a lot longer.
Does anyone help you construct your hats and fascinators?
Yes I have a great staff in NYC. All have similar theatre backgrounds to mine, have a keen sense of design and construction and are dedicated to the craft.
What is the “in” color this year that we’ll see at the Breeders’ Cup?
Purple for sure since it is the official Breeders Cup color. Trending colors this year are jewel tones such as teal, burgundy and purple.
What celebrities have you fashioned with your hats and fascinators?
I have worked with many magazines over the years and continue to. I have done covers for Katy Perry and Jennifer Lopez. Some celebrities include Mary J Blige, Nikki Taylor, Connie Britton, Blake Lively, Leighton Meester, Al Roker, and of course some of those great guys on “Horseplayers”!
Do you design millinery for children?
I have designed hats for kids. I developed a “Kids Kit” for both girls and boys years ago with the Michener Museum in Philadelphia. It is a felt cut out hat that is put together with yarn. Designed to be a great project for a mom and dad and their child. It is very cute. Last year Keeneland asked for a few children’s hats and I asked my 10-year-old niece to design them and then we constructed them and sent them to the Keeneland Gift Shop.
What comes first, that hat or the dress?
A lot of women ask this question and a lot are set on the way they approach it. In my business I see more women who buy the dress first and then bring it to the store or send us a photograph so we can match it. We also receive fabric swatches.
What advice would you give a lady purchasing a hat or fascinator for the first time?
Go with what you love, but since Breeders’ Cup has adopted the fascinator and fedora as their look, you cannot go wrong with a fascinator. What ever you choose make sure you feel comfortable. If you choose a fascinator angle it to the side of your head where you part your hair.
Should women wear their hair up or down with a fascinator?
It is all about balance. Plus you always want to see the shape of your face.
Why is it important to dress up for the Breeders’ Cup World Championship?
Racing in general has always had a tradition of dressing up, and clubhouses wisely have dress codes. Breeders’ Cup is an international event and there will be fashion from all over the world, so it is important to show your elegant looks!
What is the best way to buy a CAM Hat? Online or at a trunk show?
We sell to over 50 boutiques throughout the country as well as online stores. They are all listed on our website. I do many Trunk Shows as well and that is always a great way to get my personal attention and advise on what might be a great fit for you, plus I love meeting and collaborating with a customer.
Will you be available during Breeders’ Cup week for those wishing to purchase one of your designs?
We will have a popup boutique at the Langham Hotel, one at the Westin Hotel, and a large tent at the track by the enclosure entrance on the clubhouse side of the Paddock. I have a great staff and I will be floating to each location Wednesday through Sunday.
What is your favorite thing about Breeders’ Cup?
To me the Breeders’ Cup is like the Tony Awards for theater. You know you are always going to see the best of everything! I love the fashion and love that they move to different tracks, and of course they throw some great parties! I am honored to be the official milliner for Breeders’ Cup for the past two years. There are so many amazing, genuinely nice, and family oriented people in this wonderful world of thoroughbred horse racing, and I feel blessed to have met so many of them.
What is your favorite track or race?
A loaded question! First off each track has their own amazing history, feel and their own fashion trends, all of which are very exciting. I have been to many racks across America and have had great times at each one! Having said that and being a New Yorker, I love Saratoga and I do love Keeneland, and of course I love Gulfstream, Pimlico and Santa Anita as well.
Who is your favorite horse of all time?
I am fortunate to have seen both Big Brown and California Chrome run in all three legs of the triple crown, and will always remember those races for different reasons, but at Belmont there is this amazing photograph of Secretariat winning the Triple Crown by an amazing 31 lengths, I think that is kinda hard to beat!
Who are you most looking forward to seeing race at the 2014 Breeders’ Cup?
Would love to see Gary Stevens get his knee back, and always love to see Victor ride, but I always have to support the women to – go Rosie!
What is your biggest fashion tip for a beginner at the track?
Women should wear wedges, you will be walking on grass and turf and heels dig in!
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