Old, new, borrowed, blue, vintage or custom-made, Yasmin Rizvi talks us through our mutual fascination.

Tightening our purse strings this month, what better way to spruce up an outfit than to accessorize. More to the point; with a hat.

Seen on the PPQ and John Rocha catwalks at 2008s September London Fashion Week, fascinators are the new season must-have favoured by burlesque beauty Dita Von Teese and our number one girl snogging, singing sensation Katy Perry.

Many of the most talented designers around are milliners with Philip Treacy, Prudence Millinery and 2008s Hat Designer of the Year, Yasmin Rizvi’s fantastical head creations. The beginning of Yasmin’s road to fashion started with an immediate obsession with materials on the silk route to China. She later graduated from the London College of Fashion, a distinction under her belt.

Rizvi won her title through designing and creating her enchanting headpieces from the couture range to ready-to-wear for her Rizvi Millinery collections. Her newest line is a collaboration with textile artist Ptoleny Mann in an attempt to create a sense stimulation of colour on colour pieces layered with Swarovski Crystals and huge blooms.

It’s clear from the start an awful lot goes into what some describe as ‘sculptural headpieces’. She refers to the glamour of eras gone by, capturing the essence of all hats represented and fascinators being her latest obsession.

Fascinators can be found anywhere upon close observation, from street market stalls like London’s Portobello Market (portobellomarket.co.uk), to small vintage shops in the heart of Soho. The big stores with the big names are currently stocking the designer versions with Harrods (harrods.com) and House of Fraser (houseoffraser.co.uk) being the top two picks. Up-and-coming milliners like university student Eloise Gill are setting up their own DIY sites having taken their hand to creating fascinators themselves, available online at www.myspace.com/_looliecreations.

It isn’t at all difficult to make them yourself, sometimes even better. Grab a pair of scissors, some superglue and bits and bobs from around the house and just...experiment!

Our Top 4 Hat Wearers

1) Dita Von Teese and her burlesque wonderfulness

2) Katy Perry - Forget the girls, we want her hats

3) The Queen - Well if it’s good enough for her...

4) Sarah Jessica Parker at the London premier of Sex and the City in Leicester Square

HW For 3E News

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