Christine A. Moore’s bold, elegant and creative headpieces have been worn by celebrities and fashion connoisseurs who are drawn to her colorful, statement-making works of art. It is for this reason and many more that she holds the honor of being a Featured Milliner of the 146th running of the Kentucky Derby. I caught up with the hat-making maven of Christine A. Moore Millinery to find out what inspires her craft, the big names she hopes to one day add to her growing list of A-list fans, and what trends will be big in the hat world this season. No doubt you will see countless numbers of her creations gracing the sea of colorful ensembles this May.
I started my career in theater as a costume designer and while working at the Walnut Street Theater in Philadelphia I met a milliner and instantly fell in love with the art. Soon after that I moved to New York and worked for the renown theatre milliner Rodney Gordon. During that time, I worked on many Opera and Broadway productions including Phantom of the Opera, Crazy for You and Will Rogers Follies. I started my own millinery fashion company in 1994.
When I stared my career, Fall was the main season for hats but now Spring is. The decades of the 20s, 40s, 60s, 70s and 80s with their solid styles constantly reappear in fashion. From 2009-2014 event hats became more flamboyant, and in 2015 medium brim hats made a big return with elegant however not minimal trims. The Royal weddings played a role in making the America cocktail hat popular again. The beret has come back into vogue as a symbol for the chic, independent woman for 2020. The big silhouette of the hatinator became popular. Millinery fashion in many ways is timeless but always draws from history. There will always be interesting and cutting edge pieces of art, some wearable and some not!
Depending on what I am designing it changes. With my different Collections it changes every season. I am always inspired by designer clothing, fabrics, colors and textures. I draw from nature all the time. I look at leaves and flowers and you can see this in all my hand-made silk trims and hand-painted silk trims.
Although I am known for my racing fashions, I have many different collections which I design each season. We also do many custom orders for racing and all kinds of other events. All my staff comes from the world of theatre and we love challenges. Recently I have designed turbans for a Christie's diamond auction, a NYC city scape fascinator, many magazines, and some crazy Halloween top hats that light up. The crazier the challenge the more fun!
Meghan Markle when she moves to North America!
I love all time periods because there is always something amazing to see. I particularly love the 1910-20 time period here in America. I love researching that time period here in New York City. Women’s broad brims were still popular and the trims that were used were more focused with fabrics and feathers. Cocktail hats were starting to be popular and worn with smart tailored suits. In Men’s fashions I love that you could see the top hat, bowler, fedora, touring cap and boater all at the same time! Sounds crazy but I also love the 1840s. Each year I create pieces for a Charles Dickens Festival that takes place in Wellsboro, Pennsylvania. I co-sponsor a fashion contest where the entire town dresses up and I find that so charming. I love creating period bonnets and top hats for this event. My staff even built me a period costume.
There will always be a reason to wear hats. They are essential for protection from the sun and the cold, but more and more women and men are looking for events where they can dress up. They want to escape from their causal worlds. Racing plays a big part in this and I believe there will always be an interest in tradition and history.