Q1: Our “Princess”, Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge has brought the word fascinators into our lexicon, what are they?
A fascinator is a headpiece, often a bit frivolous or delicate that you could wear instead of a hat. It is often constructed with feathers, flowers or beads. You attach them to your hair by a comb, headband or a clip as they are often worn at a steep angle or vertically – kind of a sideways hat.
Q2: Why or when would you wear one?
There are occasions where you might want to – or in England be required to – wear a hat. There, head gear is really popular at premium horse-racing events. They might be worn at weddings or with fairly formal attire. Brides may choose to wear them as an alternative to a bridal veil. If you ever attend the Easter Parade in NYC, everyone wears a hat.
Q3: Where can you buy fascinators in Montreal?
Ophelie Hats are created by Quebec designer Corine A. Serruya. You can find a hat (or fascinator) for all tastes as they run the gamut from elegant to modern or vintage, sometimes all at the same time. The hats are sold both in Europe and North America, including Urban Outfitters in the US and Topshop in London. Here in Montreal, you can find them at Simons, Ogilvy and Espace Pepin – and at her atelier.
Location: 4800 Jean Talon O #415
Lucie Gregoire, is one of the few milliners in the city who can create a made-to-measure hat (or fascinator) for you. You can select from some ready-to-wear creations at her studio, and you can add a personal touch such as jewelry, ribbons, feathers or buttons. You’ll find hats for special occasions like weddings for sure, but also for the beach, travel and some fantasy ones too.
If you’ve ever wanted to learn how to make hats, she offers students, professionals, amateurs and hat enthusiasts training courses on headgear. Some of the collection of hats, turbans and scarves meet the needs of women who have experienced hair loss following chemotherapy treatments.
Location: 2205 Parthenais, Room 307
Also you can sometimes find hats and fascinators at: Ogilvy, Holts, Simons, Forever 21, Urban Outfitters or even at Aldo shops in accessories.
Q4: Okay Smart Shopper, you must know this, where can you buy them for less?
Nicole & Co. has been around for 26 years in the field of hats so they have kept up with the fashions and now offer 1000’s of fascinators.
You can shop wholesale for mostly dressy style hats (gray flannel cloche, gavroche, peau de soie, organza and silk, velvet, lace, mink) or bring in your own fabric for them to make one to match an outfit. Some casual berets, straw foldables, scarves, cashmere caps, dressy headbands and shawls are also around.
Location: 9200 Park Ave, suite 407
Hours: by appointment Mon-Thurs 9-5, Fri 9-4, sometimes Sun