Hold on to your hats
With lockdown easing and the summer season upon us. Exciting times are just around the corner. Now is the time for us to dress to impress. Karen Maitland joins Helen Grace Hats owner, Helen Nicholls on a recent photo shoot.
Many thanks to Dwina Gibb for allowing us to use The Prebendal in Thame for the photo shoot.
Weddings, Christenings Garden Parties, Race Days, Regattas. All wonderful social gatherings that have been sorely missed. Now, back on the calender, we can finally make a date to dress up.
The crowning glory for any outfit is surely the hat. A finishing touch of elegance, sophistication and fun.
If you have a special occasion that demands the right head gear, Helen Nicholls can help.
Helen has always been a creative person and In 2015, she finally turned a passion into a business and started her own company called Helen Grace.
“It was working with a Milliner called Graham McCartney, that I knew what I wanted to do,” says Helen.
Helen helped Graham sell his hats at horse racing meetings and Regattas.
“It was Graham who encouraged me to start my own company”, adds Helen.
Now, Helen designs and crafts her own styles of hats and fascinators. These can be bought or hired. Helen Grace specialise in selling Whitely, Maddox and Failsworth.
It’s a very personal service. Although Helen sells and hires her creations online, she will always encourage potential customers to visit her studio in Shabbington. This way customers get to try them on, see the colours more accurately and simply hold them and feel the quality.
Helen will always work with the customer and ensure the hat or fascinator suits the lady in question and fit perfectly.
“Some of my customers like minimalist style head wear, others like hats with a bit more bling for example,” says Helen. “Different styles suit different customers, it’s a very personal ‘one to one’ purchase. It’s not like ordering a pair of jeans online and simply sending them back. Anyway I would never put any of my creations in the post for fear of damaging the delicate designs”. adds Helen.
You can enjoy a one-to-one fittingwith Helen and have fun trying from their large range of Hats and Fascinators in the privacy of the studio.
If you are hiring a hat, Helen is happy for you to keep it for a few days before the event so you can become accustomed to wearing it.
Helen Grace do their utmost to produce some stunning hat masterpiece. They consider face shape, colouring, hairstyle and age of the customer before putting together a hat or fascinator. A hat to suit an 8-year-old bridesmaid wouldn’t necessarily work for an 80-year-old grandmother of the groom for example. As these photographs show, men are catered for as well.
So, whatever the event or occasion, I’m sure the perfect hat or fascinator is waiting for you.
Something to grace any head, you might say.
You can read more articles like this one in the latest edition of Thame Out.