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Fit For The Queen By Antonia Pearce

Antonia Pearce interviews Rachel Trevor-Morgan, milliner to Her Majesty The Queen….

Rachel Trevor-Morgan

Who or what originally inspired you to train as a milliner?

I originally wanted to do theatre costuming but my mother always wore lots of hats so that gave me the idea. I rather stumbled into a millinery apprenticeship and absolutely loved it from the word go.

What are your influences and who inspires you?

I have inevitably been very influenced by Graham Smith with whom I served my apprenticeship. His designs were elegant and understated and his hats had a flawless finish. My greatest inspiration now comes from the 40s and 50s – The Golden Age of Couture.

How do you prepare for the rush in demand just before Ascot?

I don’t think one is ever quite prepared! All our hats are made to order so we can’t really stock up. This year, we had a phenomenal Ascot, our busiest yet – basically, you have to put your head down and work hard.

Ascot is a hat’s annual ‘‘moment.’’ On what other occasions should a woman wear a hat?

As often as possible! Obviously, there are lots of other occasions such as weddings, Henley, and the Derby, but we must be careful not to lose the art of hat wearing. These days, I think it is easier on certain occasions not to bother and therefore to miss out on the ‘‘Hat Effect’’ – hats prompt a response like no other accessory and can give the wearer presence and confidence.

How do you match a bespoke hat with a dress? What is the fitting and planning process like?

When you come in for an appointment, it is best to bring along sketches and swatches of your outfit or the outfit itself if possible. We would then have a chat about the occasion and I try to get an idea of what kind of hat or headpiece the client has in mind. Then we try on lots of different shapes and sizes to see what works. You must take into account what is going on with the outfit, how busy the fabric is, what the whole silhouette will look like. Having found a shape that works, we then discuss possible trimmings, once again very much taking into account the outfit and fabric. There are normally one or two fittings to make sure we are on the right track and that everything is working together. We normally request a 4-6 week lead time.

What is the most unique material you have ever used to create a hat?

One year I made a mirrored hat for Ascot, a fairly classic shape but covered in tiny mirror squares like a disco ball.

Who would you most like to wear one of your hats, and who of fame or notoriety has worn one of your hats?

I am always seeking good ambassadors for hats. I would love to make hats for Carla Bruni – her style is so effortlessly chic. As for an existing client, I would have to say The Queen, no one has worn more hats than she.

Hat etiquette – is it rude to keep a hat on indoors?

I suppose that depends on the hat but in general for women it is not rude – only for men.

Do certain styles of hats have a symbolic social meaning?

It may have been so in the past but not these days – the only issue is one of quality and style.

What is luxury?

In hat terms, luxury is having a hat designed for you as an individual by someone who will take the time to create what you want. It is walking out with a beautifully crafted and perfectly designed hat to compliment your personality and outfit.

Fashion At The Races By Lauren Steventon

So now that your social calendar is all booked up for the Summer, here’s The Luxury Channel’s guide to the best accessories for keeping the season running smoothly….

Fashion at the Races

Write On Trend

From Smythson’s Spring/Summer Cerulean collection, these ‘‘Life Is Beautiful’’ correspondence cards are the only way to RSVP to the summer’s hottest invitations.

£30.00 –

Pen Up

It’s all very well having the stationery, but a hand-written note is nothing without the perfect pen. Montblanc’s Limited Edition Patron of Art Edition Elizabeth I 4810 celebrates the Elizabethan age. Details drawn from her life include a hand-carved crown on the 18k gold nib, a gold-plated Tudor rose on the cap, and an elegant interlaced pattern representing Elizabeth’s own embroidery on a prayer book she gave to her stepmother, Catherine Parr.

Fashion at the Races

In The Bag

Anya Hindmarch’s Gracie bag is a fab addition to any party outfit. Effortlessly going from day to night, its show-stopping pleated green leather has a vintage screen siren feel, while the spacious inside will fit everything from your diary (got to keep track of the next event!) to your make-up.

£595 –

Fantastic Flats

Can’t walk another step in your skyscrapers? Slip these flexible fashion pumps from Pretty Ballerinas into your bag and pop them on en-route from one engagement to the next.

£149 –

Fashion at the Races

Get Your Rocks Off

Pearls are the traditional jewel of choice for social soirees, but that’s no reason to stay stuck in the past. Stephen Webster’s Lobster Clasp chain bracelet from the Jewels Verne collection brings them straight into the 21st century, and is guaranteed to rock the summer with its combination of black rhodium plated chain, gold rivets and a string of pearls.

£450 –

Face Time

Get yourself hot to trot with glamorous false lashes from Pop Beauty’s Icon range, inspired by vintage fashion queens Twiggy, Marianne Faithful, Liza Minelli, Edie Sedgewick and Brigitte Bardot. Then give yourself a summery golden glow with the new Lumi Lux four-colour bronzing palette from Pixi.

Icon Lashes £7.50 per set –
Lumi Lux Bronzer £18.00 –

Fashion at the Races

Drink Up

The Wildflower Martini at Dukes Hotel in London was launched in celebration of the Chelsea Flower Show, but is running all summer.

Dukes Hotel, St. James Place, London SW1A 1NY –

Makes Scents

Nothing says scent of the summer like a Jo Malone cologne. The new Rose Water & Vanilla from the Cologne Intense Collection is perfect for summer: delicate rose water and vanilla are given a 21st century twist with tangy neroli and the sweet, floral woodiness of petitgrain.

100ml £80.00 –

In The Driving Seat

Small but perfectly formed, the new DS3 super-mini from Citroen is perfect for zipping around the city, from pampering appointment to party to after-party.

The Hottest Summer Events By Lauren Steventon

Summer Events 2010

Hot-footing and jet-setting it from one social event to another this summer? Make sure you know the best address to lay your head and recuperate between engagements.

Cartier International Day

Guards Polo Club, Surrey, UK
25 July 2010

The polo event of the summer. Glamorous, beautiful and impeccably dressed – and that’s just the players. The see-and-be-seen event of the summer with hospitality from Cartier during the day and China White during the night. Excellent matches from talented teams – but that’s only half the fun. The great and good from the polo and celebrity worlds descend on Guards Club for a fashion-fabulous sporting day.

Where To Stay: Coworth Park is set in 240 acres of rolling greenery on the edge of Windsor Great Park. A traditional country house hotel with a fabulous spa and its own polo fields if you’re feeling inspired.

Salon Privé

London, UK
21 – 23 July 2010

One of London’s most stylish summer events, Salon Privé brings the world’s hottest super cars into the refined Georgian surroundings of the Hurlingham Club. If you’re more into shopping than speeding, hit the luxury brands tent, or simply admire the outfits while sipping champagne on the lawns.

Where To Stay: You might think the cars are the stars, but fashion is always pulling focus, so make sure your evenings are equally chic at Anouska Hempel’s exquisitely and interestingly designed Blake’s Hotel.

Skandia Cowes Week

Isle of Wight, UK
31 July – 7 August 2010

Trade your wispy frocks for windbreakers, and don your yachting finest for this annual regatta on the Isle of Wight. Around 8,500 competitors – ranging from Olympians to amateurs – compete in 40 daily races while spectators enjoy street theatre, entertainment and a fun-for-all atmosphere on shore. One of the top UK sporting events and one of the largest sailing regattas in the world.

Where To Stay: The George in Yarmouth is a sea-side, classic stay overlooking the Solent.

Summer Events 2010

Benicassim International Festival

Benicassim, Spain
15 – 18 July 2010

Forget muddy wellies and soggy tents, the way to enjoy the summer’s music festivals is to take to the sunshine. An hour from Valencia, Benicassim is Europe’s coolest musical treat. Bands gracing the stage for 2010 include Kasabian, Gorillaz, Calvin Harris and Vampire Weekend, but as well as music, the festival is a celebration of film, art and dance.

Where To Stay: To really immerse yourself in the atmosphere, the best option is to camp, but once the party’s over, head to Barcelona (two and a half hours away) and continue it at the funky W Barcelona.

Venice Film Festival

Venice, Italy
1 – 11 September 2010

More classy than Cannes and sunnier than Sundance, the Venice Film Festival, part of La Biennale di Venizia is a star-studded celebration of film as art form and business. It’s the oldest film festival in the world, and its awards are coveted by Hollywood’s great and good. The official line-up is announced at the end of July…watch this space…

Where To Stay: Live like a movie star and secrete yourself away at the impossibly romantic Ca Maria Adele, where Venetian style meets Eastern chic.

Burning Man Project

Black Rock Desert, Nevada, US
August 30 – September 6 2010

The ultimate destination for free-spirited, arty self-expression…

Anything goes – and we mean anything, whether that’s naked people painted blue, all-night parties, performance pieces, or simply sitting back and chilling in the desert. The Project is about community, art, self-expression, and self-reliance – entirely participant-led, creating a temporary community in the middle of the Black Rock Desert. This year’s art theme is Metropolis, exploring the past and present of civilisation and city life.

Where To Stay: Well, there’s only one option during the festival – on site. A camper van would be the top option as you have to take enough food and drink to sustain you (and to barter with) for your stay, and to remove all of your rubbish afterwards. The theme camps as much art installations as they are accommodations. Splash out afterwards at the new Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas. It’s a non-gaming property and the perfect place to escape the frenetic city.

A Life of Style By The Luxury Channel

Grace Kelly, style icon, at the V&A.

A Life of Style - Grace Kelly

Grace Kelly’s life was a fairytale of the truest sort: the Hollywood career, the royal husband – and then the tragic death. Like every fantasy, it was costumed with exceptional pieces from the eras highest fashion houses, complementing Kelly’s natural elegance and sense of chic. The V&A and Van Cleef & Arpels play tribute to one of the twentieth centuries most stylish ladies this month, with a new exhibition dedicated to her most fashionable moments.

The epitome of 1950s Hollywood elegance, Kelly was renowned for her beautiful clothes and accessories. The exhibition will feature over 50 of her outfits – including the original Hermes ‘Kelly’ bag – dresses from her films, her wedding outfit and haute couture gowns from the likes of Balenciaga, YSL and Dior.

Accompanied by film clips, posters and photographs – and the Oscar she won in 1955 – the exhibition gives visitors a chance to immerse themselves in the fairytale world that was Grace Kelly.

17 April – 26 September 2010
Fashion, Room 40, Victoria & Albert Museum

Formula 1 Takes To The Runway By The Luxury Channel

The annual Amber Fashion Show in Monaco saw F1 drivers take to the catwalk to model for charity….

Amber Fashion Show

Formula One swapped the roar of the engines for the clinking of cocktail glasses in Monaco this week for the MARTINI® sponsored Amber Fashion Show at the luxurious Le Meridien Beach Plaza Hotel.

Stars from the world of sport, film and fashion joined Royalty at the annual Amber Fashion Show. Sir Richard Branson, Olympic track legend Michael Johnson, tennis ace Boris Becker and Little Britain comedy star David Walliams were among the glittering guest list who joined HSH Prince Albert.

F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone led the star-studded names from the sport along with reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton, current title pacesetter Jenson Button, Giancarlo Fisichella, Adrian Sutil, Mark Webber, Nelson Piquet, Nico Rosberg and Sebastian Vettel.

It was a family affair for Bernie Ecclestone with daughter Petra, as the leading championship contender Jenson Button swapped the track for the catwalk to model her latest FORM range of menswear.

It was then the turn of the F1 wives, girlfriends and daughters (pictured above) to add their touch of glamour to the evening. Jenson Buttons’ girlfriend Jessica Michibata was joined by Heikki Kovalainen’s partner Catherine Hyde and the Amber Lounge founder Sonia Irvine who, alongside a host of supermodels, then paraded around the hotel’s swimming pool overlooking the Cote D’Azur in Elizabeth Hurley Beach swimwear and show designer Jimmy Choo’s latest collection.

Actress and model Elizabeth Hurley, never one to shy from the cameras, was on hand, with her husband Arun Nayar, to ensure her swimwear range got the best exposure.

Celebrity auctioneer Charlie Ross then sold a Morocco-inspired bar to Prince Albert for a winning bid of 10,000 Euros, whilst Martini’s global brand ambassador Giuseppe Gallo Giuseppe used his cocktail-making skills to mix a drink for American beauty Jessiqa Pace.

The biggest winning bid of the event was 145,000 Euros for an intimate dinner for ten people with Sir Elton John and his partner David Furnish at their villa in the South of France.

Organised by Sonia Irvine, founder of Amber Lounge and sister of F1 legend Eddie Irvine, the annual event raised 340,000 Euros for the Elton John Aids Foundation.

Browns 40th Anniversary By Cara Dattani


Celebrating in style comes naturally to Joan Burstein, CBE and co-founder of Browns. Together with her late husband, Sidney, she launched the flagship boutique on South Molten Street forty years ago in 1970.

Famously credited for being the first to stock designers such as John Galliano, Calvin Klein and Ralph Lauren on British soil, Browns has established itself firmly at the heart of London’s shopping scene, celebrating its anniversary with an exhibition entitled “Forty Years of Fashion Innovation.”

The exhibition featured the exclusive “Future Collectables” collection with unique contributions from the likes of Cristopher Bailey, Missoni, Erdem, Alexander Wang and many more. The garments are displayed amongst forty, elegantly light portraits of Browns’ ambassadors, provided by acclaimed photographer Paolo Roversi. Simon Costin (famed for work on Alexander McQueen’s show) collaborated on the limited edition anniversary book and also curated the exhibition.

The guest list at the launch party read like a fantasy fashionista dinner party and included Oscar de la Renta, Eva Herzigova, Henry Holland, Philip Green, Rosita and Angela Missonni, Coco Rocha, and naturally Mrs. B herself (accompanied by her daughter Caroline), a fitting tribute to being forty and truly fabulous!

Italian Style, To Go By Sunshine Flint

Fashion designer Antonio Berardi teams up with Peroni to create a new line of luggage….

Fashion designer Antonio Berardi, long a favourite of the stylishly body-conscious set (see Victoria Beckham striding around in his well-cut dresses and heel-less PVC boots), has a new fan in Peroni Nastro Azzurro. The Italian beer-maker and the Anglo-Italian designer have teamed up to create the ultimate in hand-crafted and authentic luggage and travel accessories. The first piece, Valigia, a luxe weekender bag made from palmellato leather, is out this Spring.

The five-year deal with Peroni gives Berardi free rein to come up with concepts and design, and also gives him global distribution possibilities. In the haute couture world, Berardi’s fashions have already expanded into the Russian market, and he has his eye on China and India. But the inspiration all comes from a very Italian place.

He has spent his career taking inspiration from his Italian heritage and spiking it with the discipline of his British education. “Britain inspires me with crisp tailoring and heavier fabrics, while the Italian part of me is a bit frou-frou and romantic,” he says. “The British side is strict, while the Italian side is baroque.” Berardi’s parents emigrated to Britain from Sicily’s Agrigento region, but were determined to hang on to their culture, food and familiar reminders of home. “We imported all Italian food and drinks,” remembers Berardi, and they travelled back to Sicily every summer to visit family. These trips are where the designer drew his inspiration from for his collaboration with Peroni and the individual luggage pieces.

Peroni is a natural partner, according to Berardi, because they are known around the world as a chic and cool Italian brand. The luggage line draws on his Italian heritage and design sensibilities, especially his childhood memories of travel in the 1960s and 70s, when the Med jet set lifestyle was glamour personified, from Sveti Stefan to Forte dei Marmi. The designs also come from his current needs as an artist and entrepreneur who travels frequently for business and pleasure. “I wanted to design something that not only I would use today, but that also brings me back to how I traveled as a kid going to Sicily,” he says. “La bella figura — how you are seen, your image, your travel outfits, your luggage — was very important.”

Sicily continues to inspire him, as seen in his recent Spring/Summer collection, which grabbed attention for its catwalk showstoppers in orange and fuschia. “It’s almost how I was told about Sicily growing up in Lincolnshire, the Sicily of myth,” he recalls. “I’m carrying that on in Fall/Winter with the elements I didn’t get out before, like the sequel of a book or a movie.” His revealing panels, feminine but structured cuts, and inventive use of fur (think embroidered with crystals) appeals to his celebrity and fashion clientele, which has grown since the days when he designed some of Posh and Becks’ wedding outfits. Berardi is grateful, but also knows the price of exclusivity. “We have to cater to them and have more dresses in the collection,” he says. “Because if one wears a dress, another won’t. They all need to be kept in clothes.”

It’s too soon to say if those same fashionistas will be loading this limited edition luggage onto the yacht for the steam down to Costa Smeralda this August. But if the quality and innovation Berardi is valued for are any indication, more than a few will be willing to pack it up.

Child’s Play By Lauren Steventon

Apparently Suri Cruise’s wardrobe is worth $3 million. These days a simple T-shirt just won’t cut it with style-savvy youngsters. Lauren Steventon picks the best ranges for children who like to keep it chic….

Child's Play

Whether your child is a mini fashionista like Tom Cruise’s Suri, an indie kid like Angelina Jolie’s Shiloh or a rocker like Gwen Stefani’s Kingston, they’re going to have an opinion about their wardrobe, and more and more parents are looking for chic, stylish – but still childish – clothes for their toddlers and teens.

Alex And Alexa

According to Alex Theophanous, who founded children’s clothing site Alex And Alexa (a kind of Net-a-Porter for kids) with wife Alexa in October 2007, “customers are style-savvy and discerning, and they get it. They shop for prestigious labels for their own wardrobes, and want the same quality service and product when shopping for their offspring.” As a result, their collections see “bursts of neon brights, candy ice-cream shades and funky prints dominating with a key feature – child-proof fabrics!” There are plenty of names to choose from too, including Little Marc Jacobs, Chloe, DKNY, Hugo Boss and Fendi, which sit alongside some of the most exciting children’s wear brands, such as Bonnie Young, Torres, Scotch & Soda and RARE The Kid.


Fashion can start at any age, and Ovale proves that even babies can be better dressed than their parents. The collection caters for babies up to 18 months, with soft wools and cashmere for cooler days, and cute linen pinafore dresses, denim dungarees and light cotton tops for the summer. The colour palette is very natural, featuring whites, browns and creams to keep it unisex and chic. The softest toys and warmest rompers are perfect for bedtime, while shoes and accessories can be personalised with names or dates. Some of the most beautiful items on offer are the christening dresses. Co-founder Gilles Neveu was a couturier at Dior, before leaving to design christening dresses. His designs use delicate lace and embroidery to create unique dresses that will be kept for generations.

This isn’t just a spot for parents to kit out their own children though, as Ovale has a lovely selection of gifts and jewellery to suit any occasion. Our favourite was the Ostrich Wish Egg – a real ostrich egg with silver tips is filled with notes from friends and family when baby is born. When they reach their 18th birthday, or indeed any landmark celebration, the egg can be cracked and the notes read out.

Caramel Baby & Child

Caramel Baby & Child is all about beautiful clothes that look smart, feel comfortable and combine the formality of continental Europe with the laid-back atmosphere of quirky Englishness. Founder Eva Karayiannis trained as a lawyer, but always loved the intricacy of well-made children’s clothes. She wanted to provide something “relaxed and understated, with no logos, and conferring no spurious status, but as useful and beautiful as I could make it. I wanted to create a sanctuary from big fashion: somewhere for clothes you couldn’t find in any of the high street chains. I spent two years tracking down hand-crafted knitwear from Peru and artisan clothes from small designers in London or the Cotswolds.” Her attention to detail and love of quality children’s clothing comes across in the collections, which feel formal but functional. The Shakespearean names of the clothes gives them a fun side: the Perdita skirt in print and plain patterns looks peasant-like with a twist, while the Juliet striped knitted dress is super cosy. The boys’ Othello jacket with its sweater waistband will suit an urban or smart occasion, and the Lear stripe peasant shirt is perfect for a little artist.

With collections this cute, who could blame Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes!

Real Vs Fake: The Costume Jewellery Debate By Lauren Steventon

Are diamonds really a girl’s best friend? Or could costume jewellery actually be her closest companion?

Costumejewellery debate

Long before Lorelei Lee sang those immortal words in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, diamonds – indeed all precious stones – had exerted their sway over feminine fashion.

In the past few centuries in the West, gems have dominated the jewellery market, as a symbol of social status, wealth and family history. Cheaper jewellery made from glass or semi-precious metals, and “folk” or “tribal” jewellery had their fans, but they were by no means a fashion trend. However, in the 1930s, things started to change.

The war and economic turmoil affected a social structure that was breaking down and everyone wanted some sparkle in their life. Costume Jewellery made statement pieces more affordable – and more wearable for those who had the real thing, but wanted something that worked with a party outfit or fitted a fashion trend. Costume, or Fashion, Jewellery was born.

It wasn’t just middle and working-class women who loved the new pieces. Rhinestones, cubic zirconium, faux gold and less-precious metals were finding fans everywhere. Costume Jewellery is more fashion-led than “real” jewellery, designed to be purchased to match an outfit or a trend.

Because of this transient nature, Costume Jewellery was able to be more daring and more exciting. It appealed to fashion-forward women, such as Coco Chanel, who popularized the use of faux pearls and gold in her designs. Fans of costume included Audrey Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor or Jacqueline Onassis. Today, statement pieces by costume jewellers such as Kenneth Jay Lane are stocked in designer temples such as Barney’s New York or Net-A-Porter, while more and more fashion-forward folk turn to Costume Jewellery as a way of expressing themselves through fabulous pieces (Swarovski skull necklaces at Butler And Wilson, anyone?). Paste has definite pulling power.

“I don’t mean rhinestones!” sings Lorilee, “but diamonds are a girl’s best friend.” Don’t speak to soon, Miss Lee, you might be missing out on a real gem!

A Night in the Fast Lane By The Luxury Channel

Your ticket to the world’s most glittering events!

Parties at the exclusive Amber Lounge have gone down in history as being some of the most exciting and decadent of recent times. Stars of the stage and screen rub shoulders with racing drivers and models, while the world’s top musicians serenade you as the champagne flows.

Once again, the Amber Lounge will be the place to celebrate over the Monaco Grand Prix race weekend. Amber Lounge Fashion will kick off the weekend on Friday with a Martini-sponsored fashion show in which the world’s top racing drivers will strut down the catwalk in aid of the Elton John AIDS Foundation.

Each evening, you can indulge in gourmet cuisine in the beachside restaurant, after which you can dance until the small hours to DJs and musicians, which this year includes the world renowned DJ Pete Tong, who will be mixing his magic at the climactic Grand Prix After Party on Sunday night. As Jenson Button says, “I love that you can dance like mad, then chill by the pool….all in one! Amber Lounge is the best way to recover from the races.”

The party gets started at 10:30pm at The Sea Club, Le Meridien Beach Plaza Hotel and carries on until dawn. Prices are as follows:

Amber Lounge Dining – €250 per person

Jeroboam Tables – €15,000 per table (8 guests)

Individual Passes – €650 Friday, €650 Saturday & €800 Sunday

Amber Lounge Fashion Show – €500 Friday night only

All tables and passes are inclusive of unlimited champagne and all other drinks!