Hot Flash: Prep for Pique Nique


Hot Flash: Prep for Pique Nique


Date: March 25, 2014
by: Heather Merriman | Black Tie Assistant Editor


Springtime, that time of year when the most polite of events happen — polo matches, Derby events, golf tournaments and more — all taking place under the beaming sun. So, what better time to don a fashionable hat?

New College of Florida’s annual luncheon, Pique Nique Sur La Baie, which takes place April 2, sets the standard for a beautiful spring day event. The hats may be the event’s signature, but the overall image of the luncheon is what makes this a favorite of the local society scene.

This year, The Met will host the runway show and Mary Kenealy Events will transform the New College bayfront lawn into a “pique nique” suited for the elite.

“It’s a perennial favorite that you surely won’t want to miss, spring is in the air!” says Mary Kenealy Barbetta. Picture this … French florals, Champagne, fashion and, of course, the most fashionable assortment of hats you’ll see all season.

Let’s talk hats

Just in time for the 31st annual event, The Met Fashion House and Spa recently hosted a trunk show featuring Christine A. Moore hats. The official milliner for Breeders’ Cup 2013 Race of Champions, the Christine A. Moore Millinery hand makes both women’s and men’s hats in true Derby style.

So what comes first, the hat or the dress? According to The Met’s Executive Assistant Evan Reynolds, this year the looks will likely be planned around the hats, largely because of the unique and custom options offered at the Christine A. Moore trunk show, which has been extended through the end of March.

Not only do the sometimes-extravagant hats add to the beauty of the event, but they also create an opportunity to be different and stand out.

“It’s the flair,” says Reynolds. “Where else can you wear a hat like this, or a fascinator embellished with feathers and flowers and lace?”

For those of you who are looking for something not so over the top, fascinators and headbands are also an option when attending a “hat-preferred” event. These head covering accessories still make a statement, but are lighter on your head and your wallet.

Men can wear hats, too (“Why not?” says Reynolds). Considering that this year’s event is the first in 31 years to be chaired by a male, local attorney Chip Gaylor (co-chairing with Marjorie Floyd), it seems appropriate for more men to say “why not?” and don a hat as well.

Achieving the look
When buying a hat, Reynolds says, “Buy what catches your eye.”

It’s all about the complete look — pick a color and accent it, whether it’s the hat first or the dress. If you have the dress first, find a color that is minimal in the dress and accentuate it with the hat. If you have the hat first, find a dress that coordinates well with the colors in the hat.  

With a fabulous hat, the only accessory one needs is an outfit.

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