Friday, 24 June 2016

Complete Your Racing Outfit

Complete Your Racing Outfit

Planning your Ladies Day outfit begins early in the year.  With so many race meetings and exciting 'Best Dressed Lady' Competitions all over Ireland the racing season gains momentum once we have witnessed the stunning style and racing from Royal Ascot.  This year was no exception with the beautiful Duchess of Cambridge wearing soft creams and elegant Millinery.  A little sunshine puts us all in good form and gets us thinking about what to wear to the Dubai Derby in June, Galway Races, the RDS and others later in the summer.

The Weather:
You need to be prepared for the weather, we have had fabulous sunshine and torrential rain at Ladies Days so think about adding an umbrella to your outfit or even a coat, just check the forecast before heading out.  All aspects of your outfit need to be thought through to avoid added stress on the day itself.

The Style:
Irish ladies certainly know their style, its really about putting the correct elements together to look fantastic for racing.    Dress for 'you' in an outfit that fits your body shape and you will carry it elegantly. Choose a style you feel good in and you will look amazing.  The fashion colours for ss16 offer plenty of choice for your tone and whether you opt for a calm pastel soft look or the strong bold tones they can be styled to work for you.

Pic: I am with Emer Nash wearing one of my bespoke designs winning Best Irish Design.

Hat or Headpiece:
Having designed hats for nearly 15 years I really enjoy the creative element to racing millinery.  It allows for much more freedom in design.  Giving a unique look whilst complementing the colours and textures.  Hats are definitely in vogue this year for racing and the bigger the better.  Elegant wide brimmed hats are a stunning finish to any racing attire. Giving you an air of confidence, sophistication, a statement piece. I love an element of class, an edge on a design, a little twist or something a little 'out there'.
Hat Tip:  Wear elastics on your hat to secure it or a headband with proper foam cushions for comfort.

I designed a collection of statement 'Bow' hats a few years back and they really stood out, in different angles and embellished with contrasting veiling and beading they were striking with just a simple styled chic suit or dress.    Here is one of these designs I have designed for ss16 racing season.

Choose your bag and jewellery to enhance your overall look, have fun with them, use them to add an accent colour or a beaded collar to give a different look altogether.

Shoes must be comfortable!!  There is nothing glamorous when watching a lady, struggling to walk with painful feet.  Don't torture yourself with 5" heels, be honest with how high you are comfortable to walk in for a full day!!.

The main tip for going racing is to look and feel comfortable in your whole outfit and enjoy the racing!!

Thank you for reading my blog and I hope you find it useful. x

Monday, 20 June 2016

The Wedding: Mother of the Bride/Groom

The Wedding:  Mother of the Bride/Groom

Having a son or daughter getting married has to be one of the biggest moments in a parents life. As Mother of the Bride you are the main troubleshooter and being there for your daughter.  Learn how much input is required of you from your daughter, some ladies want to do almost everything themselves whilst others need a little more assistance and listening ear along the way.   With the excitement comes the various debates and discussions about 'what to wear', 'colours', 'style' and much more.

I have witnessed every conceivable scenario over the years styling Mothers of the Bride or at least I think I have until I am faced with a new one!!  Mums who have never worn a hat before, panicking about what to do.  The last thing to do is panic.  There is a hat or headpiece that suits every lady and when you visit my studio you learn the designs that best suit you and your outfit.

With the lapse of time comes the variety and changes in wedding ceremonies.  Weddings are held not just in churches now but on a beach, at a castle, in the hotel ballroom or abroad.   If you are travelling abroad your hat is your hand luggage!!

When it comes to choosing her outfit the Mother of the Bride is often guided on which colours to wear or not to wear, the particular 
look that her daughter wants to achieve for her wedding day.  This collaboration is wonderful between Mums and their daughters.  Spending time with each other during this process is precious and should not be stressful, you should be able to enjoy it and express what it is you feel confident wearing.   Mother of the Bride should be dressed for her own role not matching bridesmaids unless the Bride has specifically instructed this.

'Mum' is very important and she should be elegant, look her absolute best but most of all, 'Mum' needs to be relaxed on your wedding day so she can enjoy it, meeting family and friends. Sometimes, the importance of this is lost in all the drama.   If you are a little organised and plan ahead, everything will fall into place.  You don't have to go shopping for numerous days to find an outfit or dress.  Do your homework first, all the leading Mother of the Bride/Groom Boutiques in Ireland stock an amazing array of labels and staff are experienced in choosing the right style and colours for you.  

When clients arrive at my studio I really enjoy getting to know a little of their personality as this is key to choosing the right hat design for her.   I coordinate all the accessories, the headpiece or hat can be designed dyed to match, occasion shoes and bags are also dyed to match, an array of beautiful clutch bags and occasion jewellery to complement any outfit. Your whole look can change totally with the right styling.  This process is relaxed and often lets us see the real personality of the Mother of the Bride. Giving you a complete look head to toe for your daughters wedding at Suzie Mahony Designs.

Saturday, 11 June 2016

Style Tips for Ascot

Style Tips for Ascot

Royal Ascot is synonymous with elegance.  I love Ascot, watching all the style, the hats all shapes and sizes, the Royal procession and of course the beautifully turned out horses from around the World. If you never backed a horse you would still enjoy Ascot.

It is the racing fashion spectacle of the year for everyone to enjoy.  Ascot actually was first organised way back in 1711 by Queen Anne and has been attended by the Royal Family ever since.

With the Hat rules at Ascot you must have a base of more than 4' on your hat.   All my blog hats show bases of more than 4'. I always enjoy designing hats or headpieces for Ascot, there is just something special about styling the completed look for a client attending the Royal Enclosure.  Using the freedom to design from the dress or suit I can focus on the hat design that would look perfect on my client.  Have your hat designed with comfortable elastics or a narrow headband with foam cushions on it.  Ensure you hat is well packaged when travelling.

There is a certain elegance and finish about the whole look required for Ascot and this year is no exception.  Remember, fascinators are not permitted in the Royal Enclosure.  That title for a hair accessory never did appeal to me!!

Larger wide brimmed hats are making a return and are the perfect style for the Ascot Classic Look.   Strong vibrant colours are popular this season alongside the beautiful soft pastels working together like mixing mint and candy to accent your outfit.  Using a block coloured hat also works very well like this pink orchid hat.

If you are heading to Ascot you should check over the rules before choosing your outfit and hat.

Royal Enclosure Rules:- Ladies are required to wear dresses or skirts which are just above the knee or longer.  Shoulder straps at least 1 inch wide, strapless or halter necks are not acceptable and no spaghetti straps.  If you choose to wear a trouser suit or jumpsuit the trousers must be full length.

These rules ensure that the ladies attending Ascot are dressed elegantly, a perfect complement to the Gentlemen in morning suits!!

If you haven't got your hat yet, check out my online store at Suzie Mahony Designs and have your hat delivered to your door.  I hope you enjoy the festival which starts this week. !!

Thank you for reading my blog.

Monday, 6 June 2016

First Furlong Launch

Launch of First Furlong

Wow!! it certainly was a day for stunning colours and fabulous hats!!  In the glorious sunshine, I
attended the launch of the First Furlong Event at the Ardilaun Hotel Galway.   Sharing some of my own pics from the day. Guests included the Galway Milliners who will showcase at First Furlong 2016.  Suzie Mahony Designs, Emily Jean O'Byrne, Catriona King and Majella Dalton.

The array of colours for this photo shoot were amazing and made for very colourful pictures taken by Julia from Wonderfulife Productions.  Along with the weather and of course the stunning gardens of the Ardilaun.

Attending the launch were John Ryan Owner of the Ardilaun Hotel, Maria Kelly - The Ardilaun Hotel who host First Furlong each year.  Maria is seen here wearing pinks, black and ivory mix, with a Suzie Mahony Designs Hat.

Cora Casserley - Anthony Ryans who are sponsors of the Best Dressed Lady at the event.  Cora wore the soft aqua tones and we teamed it with a silk aqua and ivory orchid Suzie Mahony hat.

 Christine Costello from Breast Cancer Research.  First Furlong is in aid of Breast Cancer Research.

 Probably my two favourite colours Emerald and Cerise Pink so it was very easy to design this silk Suzie Percher hat trimmed with a sharp green feather to match my dress.  Ideal summer look for the launch!!
With Eliska McAndrew from Catwalk Modelling Agency looking amazing sipping lemonade wearing a Suzie Mahony Peacock trimmed hat in purples and greens.

First Furlong will be held on Tuesday 26th July during the Galway Races.  Hosted by the Ardilaun Hotel the event is a sell out each year in aid of Breast Cancer Research.  Arriving from late morning ladies and gentlemen are treated to drinks reception, lunch, music, amazing raffle and a stunning Millinery Showcase from Ireland's Leading Milliners all from the Capital of Millinery - Galway!!

Looking forward to seeing you there!!