If you want to look good at the races, the most important statement you can make with your wardrobe is a serious hat; and the best toppers in the business can be found at Christine Moore Millinery. The New York-based hat designer is the go-to creator of fabulous hats for the racing circuit, and she recently was signed to be the official milliner of the Eclipse Awards. I caught up with her at Miami’s Gulfstream Park on Friday to discuss her inspiration, check out her line and (of course!) try on some of her beautiful creations.
Christine began discussing working with the Eclipse Awards at the 2012 Kentucky Derby, when she caught up with Mucho Macho Man’s trainer Kathy Ritvo. The two discussed the need to bring a little glamor back to the day-to-day racing at Gulfstream and especially to the year-end championships.
“Kathy, during the Derby two years ago, asked if I could help them out at Gulfstream,” said Moore. “I said I’d love to come down and do something. I met with Gulfstream and we began to brainstorm, and I talked to Gulfstream and Breeders’ Cup to discuss what we could do to bring fashion and entertainment to the track around the Eclipse Awards. We want this to be an event for couples and to revitalize the fashion end of the weekend.”
Moore explained that Gulfstream is the perfect place to showcase her wares, since the racetrack abuts an upscale shopping center that caters to clients with a chic fashion sense.
“Here I am in between the two – I have the high-end shops on one side and the racing on the other, so they can both see me!” Moore exclaimed.
She also said that she’s learned to cater to her South Florida customers.
“It’s funny – hats with small brims have been really popular.”
I told Christine that I was surprised – I would think that in Florida most people would want wider brims to get protection from the strong UV rays.
Christine agreed, but explained, “Somebody said to me, ‘That’s what I wear sunscreen for!’ ”
I totally get that – fashion isn’t always about function over form!
After we finished our chat, I felt the need to try on a bunch of her hats and fascinators, all of which were beautiful. Clearly, I need to increase my clothing budget for 2014 to work some of these into my wardrobe for big races!
If classic race-day hats are a little too tame for you, Christine also offers a Quarter Horse Collection, which has a more western vibe to it. The pieces have a cowboy hat feel, but with major flair: think partridge feathers and rhinestones. They were so cool!
Gentlemen, don’t despair. There are plenty of hats for you as well. Christine and her husband, Blake, have collaborated to create fantastic fedoras for the male contingent, and here are Christine and Blake showing off their finest headwear.
Our Florida-based ambassador, Vince, was on hand to check out the offerings and showed off this sharp mushroom straw fedora accented with a navy and olive grosgrain band. It’s a perfect topper for a day at Gulfstream Park!
MOORE DISCUSSES HER CRAFT BEFORE THE 2013 BELMONT STAKES