#1 What is your favorite part of being a Milliner?
The art of millinery is a passion! I truly love every aspect of creating headwear, from forming and blocking the shapes, to creating the trim and every little bit of the finishing work. Precision plus attention to detail equals perfection, especially when blending it with elegant designs created like a piece of artwork.
#2 Where do you find inspiration for your hats?
I derive a lot of my inspiration from nature - the flow of the wind on leaves, ripples and waves, natural textures, spacing and of course flora. My staff and I are always researching floral structures to incorporate into our signature flower trims. A client’s personality and features can also play a part in inspiration for a custom design. The latest cultural and fashion trends are always in focus too.
#3 How did you become a Milliner?
I started my career in the theatre as a costume designer, as it perfectly blended my love of drawing and design. I became interested in millinery while working with milliners at the Walnut Street Theatre in Philadelphia and the Alabama Shakespeare Festival in Montgomery Alabama. In 1990, I moved to New York City to work as a millinery assistant for Rodney Gordon who built hats for Broadway productions including Phantom of the Opera, Crazy for You, and many others. Four years later, I started Christine A. Moore Millinery located on 34th Street at Herald Square in New York City. After much hard work, many cold calls, and visits to stores, Henri Bendel in New York and Joan Shepp in Philadelphia bought the collection and the rest is history!
#4 What was your first Derby experience like?
The first time I visited Louisville for the Kentucky Derby and saw the amazing over-the-top hats, I realized my creativity and imagination had no limits. I knew right then that I could bring all my design skills together and create my version of over-the-top coupled with my elegant take and twist on “go-big-or-go-home”.
#5 What does it mean to be a Featured Milliner of the Kentucky Derby?
There is only one Kentucky Derby in the entire world, and for someone to be named a featured milliner of the Kentucky Derby for five years in a row is a huge honor. When you think of events to design hats for, there is no larger fashion sports event in American history than the Kentucky Derby. I am deeply honored to be named a featured milliner once again for the 148th running of the Kentucky Derby!