The Lady Under the Hat

The Lady Under the Hat

Wondering how to stand out in the crowd? Milliner Marilena Romeo tells you how to pick the perfect hat for the Dubai races

By Maán Jalal

Published: Wed 23 Mar 2016, 5:15 PM

Last updated: Tue 29 Mar 2016, 2:43 AM

It's the cherry on top of the cake, the dot on top of the I, the last touch for the perfect outfit. The hat is the forefront of fashion these days. If you're gearing up for the Dubai World Cup taking place on March 26 and looking to stand out in the crowd, milliner Marilena Romeo, with 23 years of experience in the millinery business, is here to help.
"What usually captures my eye is a hat that's bright, noticeable and also when you're able to see the women under the hat," Marilena told City Times. "A hat is considered an accessory so you must see the lady wearing the hat as well. That's what I look for, brightness, individuality, something I haven't seen before with unusual colour combinations."
Not only does Marilena teach millinery in her studio in Melbourne, Australia, she also caters to talent and celebrities and also has been involved in fashion shows across New York. No stranger to the Dubai scene, Marilena has been visiting the city over the last ten years and giving her critical observations and tips on what to wear on top of your head.

On Trend This Year
"What's on trend at the moment is brims. Not necessary brims going down and across the face but brims going up high, wide ones or even taller type of brims."

"Feathers are always beautiful because feathers add an element of softness to a structured height."

"What's beautiful is veiling across the face. It's really elegant and also very feminine."

No Facinators
"Fascinators are out so no fascinators please! The fascinator is something that is more of a safe option. So for example it's just a couple of feathers in their hair it's safe, it doesn't really show someone's personality."

"A lot of ladies are going for soft pink. Soft pastels are very on trend as well, orange and red is really terrific this year. Also soft blues are really on trend."

Top Tips When Buying
"When you're buying a hat make sure the hat sits on your head properly and comfortably. It must not slip. The hat needs to have two major things. One is an elastic that goes underneath the hair. The next thing is a comb which goes on the front or the tip of the head and that gives you extra support so that the hat doesn't slip."

"Once a hat is placed on the head it should never be touched by hand. The hat should not be too big for the woman. She needs to carry the hat appropriately, so anything that doesn't pass the shoulders is normally a good rule of thumb. Brims should be in line with the shoulder length."

"A taller, slimmer women with a really long neck is able to wear a really wide brim and can carry that off.
A woman that's of medium build or is medium size for example 5'3  or 5'4 can actually have something higher. It will thin out the woman and make her appear much taller. For shorter women I would recommend a cocktail piece. It's a little bit smaller and is perched on the side of the head with a little bit of veiling it can be lovely."

The Classic Hat
"The classic hat I would probably say is a thick inch brim. A really wide hat is always beautiful and classical worn a little bit titled on the head it is also extravagant and really beautiful. It suits a lot of women."

Hat Inspiration
"I really love Lady Gaga. I think she is absolutely wonderful and the reason why is because she's not scared to try something new and especially on the head! She's not scared at all to push the boundaries. What she's wearing is promoting art and that's very important in anything you do, from shoes and dresses to jewellery."

The Infamous Hat

We asked Melan's thoughts on princess Beatrice's controversial hats at the Royal Wedding in 2011.
"I actually really liked it to be honest. I thought it was really great workmanship and a really great design. They were really pushing the boundaries, which I thought was wonderful. It certainly captured attention in the millinery business so it's put more emphasis on people wanting to see what other people are wearing now."

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