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Beyond Hats

6 milliners discuss their Kentucky Derby creations, talk headgear trends and show off their finest designs

The season of mint juleps, roses and thoroughbreds is upon us (and no, it’s not one of our standard DuJour soirees); the 139th Kentucky Derby is this weekend. The Derby, which takes place every year on the first Saturday of May, is a two-minute race that defines both an equestrian year and the trends of the silk-organza draped world of millinery. Affectionately known as the “Race for the Roses,” due to the garland of 400-plus red flowers placed on the winning steed, the Derby is more than just a horse race—it’s a hat parade.

We had a lot of questions—how much are these tufted-tulle headpieces? Is everyone still trying to be Kate Middleton? How does one pull off a modern-day Scarlett O’hara?—so we spoke to six very different milliners about their Derby creations. We learned that a big black or white sweeping brim with a surplus of red roses is the ever-chic Derby staple… and so much more. Have a sip of your spring cocktail, remove your handmade chapeau and take a look in the DuJour gallery to meet the milliners and hear more about their designs.