The Del Mar Racetrack, San Diego’s most stylish and thrilling annual event, is back for its action-packed summer season, kicking off with Opening Day festivities on July 20 and running through September 7, 2011.
And of course, it goes without saying that opulent fashion goes hand in hand with this time of year. Over the decades, Opening Day’s One and Only Truly Fabulous Hat Contest has shown us a stunning variety of headwear fashions, including everything from 3-foot tall floral and feather creations, beautiful wide-brimmed classic pieces and even a true-to-form replica of the Racetrack itself fastened as a hat. But who says that Opening Day festivities are the only fitting time for us to don our eccentric headgear in Del Mar? And furthermore, rather than merely pulling your ostentatious hat from its box and brushing off the dust this year, why not freshen up your look with a new unique style that can be worn all season long?
Haute headgear trends are guaranteed to have you rocking in style where the turf meets the surf all season long. Choose your favorites from feather-frilled Peacock-inspired pieces and wide-brimmed beauties ornamented with fancy silk flowers, to vintage Audrey Hepburn-esque black and white classics and punk rock princess styled top hats. From new trendsetting styles to worship to local designers to worship and where to shop for the best Del Mar hats in San Diego, discover a few of our favorite fashion picks.
Goorin Brothers Hat Shop
Brand new to the local shopping scene just in time for summer is the new Goorin Brothers boutique in the Gaslamp Quarter. Goorin Brothers hats have been a tradition for over 116 years; dating back to the days when Cassel Goorin first started selling his artisan creations from the back of his horse cart. Nowadays, the designs are worn by socialites and celebrities alike, with a following that includes names such as Jay-Z, Paris Hilton, and Tom Cruise. In addition to classic styles, trendy hats such as fedoras, baseball caps, duckbills, cadets, panamas, flatcaps, and cloches are available for men and women. For more information, visit Goorin Brothers in San Diego.
Del Mar Hat Company
Boasting a large online inventory and a boutique showroom at Del Mar Plaza, this hat company has consistently been a go-to favorite amongst Racetrack-going ladies in search of unique pieces since 1996. From timeless couture pieces by London designer Nigel Rayment, wide-brimmed hats by Patricia Underwood and custom couture designs by Del Mar's own style expert Carol Bader, you’re sure to find an everyday chic or special occasion design with the Del Mar Hat Company.
We can’t get enough of owner Carol Bader’s custom design soiree hats, headpieces and fascinators this season. The all-white Christina Fascinator with a birdcage veil is radiates with an aura of chic simplicity, and the wide-brimmed floppy Think Pink Angel Hat is sure to be a statement setter. Kokin offers enduring looks such as the Laquer in the City which comes in hot pink, red, yellow, turquoise, chocolate and kiwi and can be paired with a cute floral print summer dress or opt for the Spike Luncheon straw hat with frilly black or ivory feathers.
Del Mar Hat Co. can create any special request for you or head to their retail showroom at Del Mar Plaza to browse through their hats in person. Find more information and shop your favorite styles at delmarhat.com.
Village Hat Shop
Del Mar Racetrack-goers know that the Village Hat Shop is the go-to boutique for creatively unique headwear in San Diego. Celebrating its 30 Anniversary this year, this charming hat boutique has expanded to include four California-based locations over its many years in business. At each of the San Diego Village Hat Shop locations you can find everything from funky, extravagant hats by Arturo Rios to clean-cut and classic hats by Betmar.
Stand out and be originally over-the-top this season with the Arturo Rios Butterflies Headpiece complete with black coque feathers and hand painted bright blue, orange and red winged beauties. Or dare to be irresistibly delectable with the Ginger Ice Cream Headband. Sweeter than most, the scrumptious cone headpiece is made of silk dupioni, topped with a triple flavor of strawberry-coconut and pistachio and made of marabou feathers resting on a thin velvet headband. Opt for a Carolyn Carr design such as the Andrea Panama Off Face which boasts an abundance of silk/chiffon flowers and peacock feathers for the center piece or be bold and don the one-of-a-kind Lime & Black Panama Widebrim Hat, dyed in a brilliant lime green and adorned with a fresh aubergine bouquet and feathers. The Village Hat Shop is located in Hillcrest and Seaport Village. For more information please visit villagehatshop.com.
Trunk Show Alert! In preparation for Del Mar Racetrack’s Opening Day festivities, The Village Hat Shop is hosting an exclusive trunk show featuring the new Fall & Winter 2011 Collection from esteemed designer Arturo Rios, on Saturday, July 16 from 12 to 3pm. Get details here.
Katy Helen Stockinger
Though she originally designed surfboards and created a copious selection of signature oil paintings, the laidback OB beach gal Katy Stockinger has recently been redefining the Del Mar look with her array of beautiful one-of-a-kind custom designed hats and headpieces. After perusing through her online gallery, it’s easy to notice the eccentric womanly glamour that oozes from each meticulous hat.
With its array of oversized white flowers and delicately placed green moss and twigs, Racetrack goers will be sure to notice you in the beautifully extravagant Avant Garden hat. (pictured)
For a more simplistic piece, the elegant Cherry Blossom topper is comprised of a firm felt cap with a lightly ruffled chartreuse overlay. Cherry blossoms and white lilies come together for a stunning and truly unique look.
Redefining the Del Mar look with custom designed hats, Katy is creating true works of art through her millinery. Ranging from a green polka dotted visor with a bird nest atop it to a three foot structure of six hats decreasing in size, any woman clad in Stockinger design will surely take the already extravagant racing fashion scene up ten notches. Find more of Katy’s stunning hats online at katyhelen.com/shop.
Arturo Rios is one of the hottest hat designers in Southern California, and if you rock one of his styles to Del Mar, you’re sure to be the talk of the town all season long. Arturo Rios began creating hats in 2001 after meeting the legendary Italian hat designer Karen Indreland. After learning her skills and techniques, he added his own flair from the colors of nature and true inspiration from everyday life. In translating his ideas into brilliant headpieces made from colorful and unique fabrics and exotic and flexible feathers, Arturo Rios creates some of the hottest high fashion hats to ever grace Del Mar. And looking outside Del Mar, many A-List celebrities are huge Arturo Rios fans for all their designer hat needs, including Daisy Fuentes, Paris Hilton, Cheryl Burke, and Juliette Lewis.
For an unforgettable style, opt for the Nathalie – Oval Juliet covered with purple beaded fabric, silk rose and rooster feathers. For a fun conversation starter, adorn yourself in sweet cream by wearing Ginger – a ice cream cone headpiece made of gold dupioni silk resting on a thin velvet headband and topped with a triple layer of marabou feathers. Those with an affinity for the exotic will love the Francesca design – Round leopard print fabric, topped with a dazzling spread of golden red pheasant tails. Arturo Rios hats are available at The Village Hat Shop. View more designs and order online at arturorios.com. (pictured above and below)
Hats in the Belfry
Since their online shop opened in 1997, Hats in the Belfry has been regarded as one of the design industry leaders in cutting-edge and contemporary hats. Designing and producing the most fashionable styles at a great value, each of their hats will give you a swanky look to complete your racing day ensemble. With ornate decorations including feathers, ribbons, beads, jewels, and flowers, you’re bound to find a unique design to don this season.
A Betmar hat is always a fashionable piece and can be paired with a fun summer outfit to be dressy or quaint. A starburst flower and biot feathers trim the angled crown of the Suzanne Sinamay Dressy Cloche and is the perfect elegant style for those on a budget and the Vanessa turns heads wherever it’s displayed. The classic covered brim made from sheer organza, gives a soft and dressy finish offering designer elegance at a great price. Peruse more contemporary hat styles at hatsinthebelfry.com.
Dirty Birdy Vintage
If you loved Alice in Wonderland, trust us when we say that you will love Dirty Birdy’s unique designs. Boasting a collective of vintage-inspired punker top hats and whimsical headpieces, this online imaginarium has a wealth of options to make you standout this season. Although not based in San Diego, Dirty Birdy has definitely earned our local approval, and then some.
We can’t get enough of the Mad as a Hatter Mini Top Hat fastened with an oversized lavender flower and mini red and white polka dot mushrooms. Get in tune with the summer and get a fresh piece such as the LemonHead Burlesque Style Fascinator complete with eye-popping bright yellow lemon wedge slices (pictured), or don a steampunk look with the Floral Silk Burlesque style Fascinator Top Hat with mustard yellow trim, a maroon butterfly and an oversized peacock feather. Check out more trendsetting Dirty Birdy style at etsy.com/dirtybirdyvintage.
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