Fashion tips with Haili Z: Melbourne fascinators

By Haili Z
Dec. 13, 2012 at 6:13 a.m.

Fascinator by Sydney milliner Christie Stokes.

Fascinator by Sydney milliner Christie Stokes.

The Melbourne Cup celebrations took place all over Australia. Although the event takes place in Melbourne - fashionable attendees gathered in Perth to celebrate the horse races.

A fashion must have for the races in Australia are like that of the Royal Wedding; posh apparel and of course a fascinator - a lovely hat that is incredibly different than the grandeur size hats that we wear in Texas. The fascinators are incredibly small and can be worn on either a headband or a comb to slide into your hair. Sydney Milliner Christie Stokes, owner of Christie Millinery (located on the Gold Coast of Australia) explains a little more about the fascinator, where the inspiration for creating them comes from and how to wear the look.

"Often confidence comes with wearing the headpiece, and I love seeing women transform once they have their piece on. As my pieces are quite different, they are popular with women who are fashion-forward but a good milliner can make a headpiece to suit any client," said Stokes. Christie Stokes pieces are magnificent and definitely stand out in a crowd.

When thinking about fascinators, we reminisce on the scene from "My Fair Lady" when Audrey Hepburn shouts an epic line during the horse races - we only wish we had her apparel then we develop a sense of nostalgia. "I grew up watching 'My Fair Lady' with my mom and sisters, and I'm sure that had something to do with it!"

These fascinators not only double for celebrating the Melbourne Cup or weddings in the U.S., but for the Kentucky Derby celebrations as well.

What celebrity would Christie most like to see in her designs?

"Kirsten Dunst! She's got this really classic yet whimsical beauty about her, and she has a great face to work with hats," she said.

Christie Stokes launched the Christie Millinery Design label after studying at the Melbourne School of Fashion where she won the Melbourne Cup Millinery Award and is now designing in Australia. The looks are fascinating with chic apparel for various events.

"My goal with millinery is to bring a modern edge to a traditional art. With the likes of the Duchess of Cambridge and Lady Gaga bringing millinery back into the spotlight, I think now is the time to get young women interested in headwear again," she said.

Just like Audrey Hepburn, as Eliza Doolittle, always posh in a fascinator or an elegant hat, I'm not opposed to that statement.

Haili Pue is the president of All Ze Details. Visit her website at



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