Hat Tricks, DeDe Valentine

“If you want to get ahead, get a hat,” the old advertising jingle advised. Let’s update. If you want to get ahead, get a DeDe Valentine hat.

The rising “milliner” and hush hush head to toe style guru to Western showbiz (Kylie and Kidman are fans) and European bluebloods  – DeDe recently cast her elegant, fun-filled, youthful spell over the Monaco nuptials of Prince Albert II – has, in the past three years, enraptured both the sophisticated, older set whilst making edgier fashionistas laugh with delight and gasp with pleasure.

We are, after all, taking about an artist who two seasons ago was wittily dabbling in Perspex, PVC and acrylic for the more outré. Right this second it’s fur, feathers, chopsticks, the intricately bejewelled and traditional braided straw in unique shapes. Think funky but subtle, quirky but classy, with collections running the event gamut from Royal Ascot to high society wedding to Raspberry Daiquiris with the girls.

“Depending on the occasion, we ask that the client not choose their outfit or accessories until the hat is designed, fitted, refitted and sat, which takes around six to eight weeks for a major piece,” Valentine says. “That’s after weeks with the studio Research and Development department. The hat must compliment not merely the woman but the occasion, the clothes, the culture and country.

“Tastes vary in colour, form, fabric and texture from land mass to land mass – fascinators for the East tend to be smaller but cleverer – and with customers in Paris, Sydney, New York and Constantinople… It’s not simply about the best shape for the face, you see?”

We do. And we’re also happy to be the first to know that DeDe Valentine splashes down in the Asian marketplace come 2012. But keep that under your chapeau.

…More stories like this are available in Quintessentially Asia.