Christine Moore Hat Maker Highlighted at Kentucky Derby, Many of the hats that will be worn at Saturday’s Kentucky Derby have a connection to New York.
They were made by Christine Moore, a milliner who has been making hats in Midtown for more than 25 years.
Her colorful creations feature different designs and materials based on the customer’s request.
Winners Bayonne is an off-track betting spot on Route 440 and will be hosting an event, especially for Kentucky Derby on May 7.
Doors begin at 9 a.m. First Churchill Post will begin starting at 10:10 a.m. Derby Post is at 6:57 p.m.
When we recently caught up with her, she was busy working on one of the 500 hats she and her team had to make for people attending this year’s big horse race.
“The Derby really is all about fashion,” Moore said. “Everybody thinks out their outfit perfectly because they want to stop the photographer’s eye, they want a compliment and they want to outdo their friends.”
The fashion game can be so competitive, with some spending upwards of $1,000 on one of her creations. She takes custom orders and matches the hat to the person’s outfit.
Christine Moore Hat Maker milliner to the Kentucky Derby stars
Christine Moore Hat Maker, who describes her craft as a “nerdy passion,” has always been creative. She started her career on Broadway where she helped design costumes for a number of shows, including “Phantom of the Opera.”
Over the years she’s helped dress several A-listers including Mary J. Blige, Jennifer Lopez, and Katy Perry. But then came COVID-19 and the orders stopped coming in.
With the demand for new hats nonexistent, Moore pivoted to making masks.
She donated 3,000 of them to groups across the country.
As things now begin to return to normal, her business has picked up again. Now, the big problem is finding enough staff. It has forced her to be more hands-on during the busy derby season.
In the lead-up to the Kentucky Derby race, milliners in Louisville the city where the legendary race is held, are racing to finish the hats that attendees can wear while they watch jockeys and jockeys battle it out at the race track this Saturday.
The race is not just for jockeys and horses. Christine Moore is one of them, but she’s the Kentucky Derby’s featured milliner. “It’s an extremely busy moment,” she confirms.
Since Derby’s inception at the age of 1875, the hats have been the mainstay of the event’s annual parade that is known for its extravagant style that features vibrant gowns, jewelry made of pearls as well as dramatic caps.
Since her role as a featured milliner in the year 2018, Moore designs unique hats and caps for the attendees as well as working as part of the Kentucky Derby Museum. “It’s not just about fashion,” she says. “That top hat gives it a head-to-toe style and takes you to the highest level.”
In the case of the hats worn during the Kentucky Derby, the unofficial rule is “go big otherwise go home.” Participants at previous Kentucky Derbys have worn hats covered with roses, brims that are wide decorated by feathers and horse-themed toys, and the rose shape headscarves with a neck attachment to wear.
They are even more elaborate when celebrities are part of the. The year 2013 was a busy one for celebrities. Lauren Conrad donned a beige flower-shaped hat In 2006 Erykah Baduopted a black and velvet hat.
And in 2019, Michelle Williams sported a giant pink hat that was adorned with tulle and details of lace. A hat lover and the royal Queen Elizabeth II was spotted at the Kentucky Derby race in 2007 wearing a bright, green wide-brim hat in pink with bows.
However, while the stage-like look of these hats might appear to be the main objective for milliners, Moore says it’s a delicate balance. “I think that the primary factor for in the Kentucky Derby today is the element of grace,” she says. “And keeping that class is the reason why it’s so spectacular.”
Moore began her career as a milliner in the year 1994 when she launched her own boutique in New York City. Since then, she’s worked with stars such as Mary J. Blige and Jennifer Lopez and television series such as Gossip Girl and Nashville.
Although she has been the main milliner of the Kentucky Derby for the last four years, Moore’s connection to the event began in 2009 when she was asked by Churchill Downs and Mattel to make her own Kentucky Derby Barbie hat.
Since starting, Moore said she was awed by the difficult nature of millinery. This she believes requires sculptor-like skills.
“You don’t just push fabrics into a sewing machine, but you’re working with the fabric to create an interesting way, in a distinctive way,” she says. “But the beauty of the hat is that when you get started exploring materials like metal and plastic The sky is the limit.”
This approach is evident in the way she creates her designs and mixes the dramatic silhouettes that the event is famous for, with the kind of sophisticated design that differentiates her from the cute hats that the event also draws.
A few of her most recent designs include a straw-colored silver hat that has ribbons in the shape of an abstract bowtie, and the fascinator is designed to resemble a flowering purple flower. Moore states that although she is often able to come up with an idea by herself, however, clients keep creating new ideas that make her think differently as an artist.
“They provide me with ideas that make me think, How are we going to tackle the next thing?” she says. “There’s always a problem here and we break many needles.” source
There will be a hat contest to be held for the attendees. Dress up in the “Derbiest” cap to win. The winner of the first-place prize will be $300 and second place will be awarded $200, third place will be awarded $100, The Fanciest hat will be awarded $100.
It’s that love for her craft, she says, that keeps her going during crunch time.