Stunning Vibrant Floral Hats to Dress Up Any Summer Occasion
A maven of millinery topping off Spring and Summer Soirees
Which comes first: the hat, or the dress? As a milliner, Jennifer Kofler is compelled to be on “team hat”—and once you see her bespoke headwear, you will see why her company, Vivian Blooms, has a vibrant “team hat” following.
While a hat might seem like an accessory or a supporting character, it sets the tone for your entire ensemble. Kofler enables clients to celebrate life’s moments with fanciful headwear, declaring an event’s importance. “They are tangible reminders of life’s most momentous and ceremonial significant events.”
Much like Napoléon Bonaparte’s signature bicorne hat, Coco Chanel’s wide-brimmed number adorned with ribbons and large plumes, Pharrell Williams’ Vivienne Westwood “Buffalo” hat or the Philip Treacy bow fascinator that Princess Beatrice wore to William and Kate’s nuptials, headwear can define a moment.
According to Hats: A History of Fashion in Headwear, by Hilda Amphlett, hats were initially used for military, religious or survival purposes, but in the 18th century when the fashion industry developed, millinery became a true profession. “The word milliner comes from the word Milan, which was the hub of the world’s textiles and fashion trades during the Middle Ages,” explains Kofler. “The craftsmen making fashionable hats became associated with the city because of the origin of the materials they used.”
As an expatriate, Kofler has traveled the world, making her home in Kuala Lumpur, China’s Guangzhou and Shanghai, and currently lives in the Middle East. She has gathered inspiration from her unique experiences in each location and has taken classes from fashion design to culinary arts—and found her calling with millinery.
Many of her hats and fascinators include flowers made of the finest natural velvets, silks and linens that are starched and then hung to dry. This centuries-old French millinery technique allows Kofler the freedom to create one-of-a-kind pieces. After the fabric has stiffened, the petals are cut out, twisted, turned and worked into arrangements to be attached to the custom-made base along with feathers, ribbons or even jewels.
Once Kofler has finished a piece, she searches for just the right dress to bring the headwear to life, the right tilt of the head and, of course, the best event to show off her masterpiece. “Finding that special hat should be a fun and memorable experience,” she says. “You should feel comfortable and at ease, but also hats can make you feel powerful and confident, and I love seeing that transformation happen when a client finds the perfect hat for them; it’s so meaningful for me and for them.”
Kofler’s advice to find the best hat for you
The ROUND face shape, like Selena Gomez and Drew Barrymore, will look better with a slanting brim than with, say, a bowler hat. Go for hats that have an angular feel: a small trilby or fedora at an angle, for example.
The OVAL face shape, like Beyoncé and Bella Hadid, can work well with almost any hat shape.
The HEART face shape, like Scarlett Johansson and Reese Witherspoon, typically looks fab in hat styles such as caps, cloches, brimmed hats and pillboxes.
The LONG face shape, like Liv Tyler and Sarah Jessica Parker, will look best in a wide-brimmed hat worn at an angle or worn down across the forehead. This will reduce the elongation and create a pleasant balance of facial features. The wonderful slope of a beret is also a fabulous choice.
The SQUARE face shape, like Jennifers Gardner, Jennifer Aniston and Jennifer Lopez, work well with asymmetrical styles. Tilt your hat for extra panache.
The DIAMOND face shape, like Halle Berry and Rihanna, should try straight-brimmed hats that lay flat across the brow. The forehead is smaller than the widest part of the diamond face, so a medium to large brim would also work well.