“Oh hello there. Like the view? This is what a winner looks like, dearie, and don’t forget it. “
Well, at least I was viewing this from the shaded and breezy environment inside the winner’ box whilst sipping my ice-cold Cartier champagne. Those ladies had to roast out there for a good fifteen minutes.
Do I sound catty? Bitter? It’s no wonder, given the fact that after making two special pieces for the hat competition at Ladies day at the Devon Horse Show, with the goal of winning the Mad Hatters category, we missed the entire judging. Unbeknownst to us, (with any sort of update suspiciously absent from the website), the judging had been moved up by over an hour. I heard claims of excessive heat being the reason for this, but I can’t help but wonder if they heard we were coming and decided to slide one in under the wire.
Paranoid delusional, you say? Maybe. Maybe not.
Greg Powell, the talented milliner who took last year’s blue ribbon, wears one of my fascinators and laughs in disbelief at our crummy luck.
Fortunately we looked too good for anyone to deny us access to the judge’s box, so all four of us were invited in to sip on champers and mingle with the winners. Here is my lovely model Rachel, wearing what was intended to be my mad hatter entry #1. She is primarily a photographer when she’s not being a good sport and wearing hats for me; in fact she took all the pictures you see on this post. Due to the heat and our massive champagne consumption that day, she feels these photos may not be up to snuff. Please check out her site: rachellynnk.com
And here I am wearing entry #2, with the fabulous Megan donning the tried and true duck wing fascinator that all the gals look great in. I love her pose in this picture but I’m not sure what my hand signal is saying.
The mad-hatter entries were composed of hand-made visors (something I plan to expand on more for my fall line) and a swirl of fancy chicken wings, outstretched and reaching upwards. Looking at them on our heads in photos, I already see a million things I want to change. For a one-off experiment though, I would say I am pleased.
Maybe I was asking for a close-up shot of my eyelashes. Pony lashes, to be specific. Carson Kressley noticed them right away, maybe because they were framing my huge, sad, about-to-burst-with-tears eyes as I watched all the winners being announced and he said “Where were you? You were late!”
We made our way up to the stands to watch some horse action (I guess that’s why we’re all really there) where we were joined Lauren St. Clair Lynch. As gracious as ever, she only had nice things to say about my hats while we enjoyed light snacks and sipped on a creation I’d like to call a gasoline shandy.
Looking very, very good. All winners in my book.
Rachel and I:
Discussing plans for Ladies Day domination next year, which include but are not limited to: camping out overnight, sprinkling tacks on all surrounding roads, and planting moth eggs in the closets of our competition.
Actually, that was Megan, a very experienced rider, giving us the scoop on side-saddle. I never fully appreciated how difficult a skill set this is, to ride mounted with legs draped on the same side of the horse. All I can think of is how sore the rider’s back must be afterwards. I believe the reason this method of riding originated was to protect a woman’s purity, both figuratively (a woman straddling a large beast could be quite unbecoming) and literally (it was thought that her hymen would not remain in tact unless her legs were firmly shut).
As I watched these graceful ladies make their way around the course, moving seamlessly with the horses despite the intense raging heat and the added difficulty of handling everything from one side of the horse, I thought about how throughout history women have been thrown extra challenges, just because of our bodies and the fear they evoke in the opposite sex. Foot binding, corsets, all the little hoops the fairer sex has been made to jump through (by men and women alike) that have only bred a stronger and more adept, versatile woman over time. Try keeping an air bubble from rising up in the water; use your hands, use machines, whatever device the mind can think up, but the plain and simple fact is that the air will rise up to the top. Time is on our side.
Did that just get weird? Here, look at Greg, watching in awe as horses jump over a five foot tall oxer (two obstacles placed closely together).
Outside the fairgrounds, I turned to a tree stump for sympathy. I’m not going to lie; I was crestfallen for the rest of the day. It’s really hard on the heart to have expectations and not meet them.
Fortunately, every day is an opportunity to be a better person then the day before, so I listen to the wise words of Aaliyah and TImbaland and motor on.