Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Dressed to Impress in Chic Parade

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Dressed to Impress in Chic Parade

Article excerpt

Byline: By Jane Hall

A multi-coloured assortment of flamboyant and inventive hats were on parade at Northumberland Plate Day.

But none could compete with the creation sported by Andrea Wylie - a horse's head cleverly crafted from chestnut-coloured sinamay straw that had racegoers stopping in their tracks.

Andrea revealed she has a well developed sense of humour by tying her hair back into a luxurious ponytail which set off the design to perfection.

The 30-year-old, who wed North multi-millionaire Graham Wylie in a glittering ceremony at Slaley Hall in May, had been hunting for an original and quirky race day hat.

And she found the perfect person to translate her idea into reality on her doorstep in the shape of Northumberland-based milliner Jane Corbett.

"You run out of places to buy original hats," Andrea explained. "I wanted something unusual and it was then I heard about Jane. I told her I wanted something with a horse's head on and she said `fantastic.'

"When I saw it I couldn't believe what Jane had done. It is a work of art."

The hat, which cost pounds 450, was originally destined to be worn by Andrea at Beeswing Ladies Day at Newcastle Racecourse on July 26. But the Wylies will be holidaying in the south of France.

This is the first time Jane, who runs her own business from home in Capheaton, had made a hat for a race meeting. "I have to say it was a real struggle to make. It took a couple of days just to sculpt the horse's head. I wanted it to be classy and not a pantomime piece."

The design provided the finishing touch to Andrea's outfit, a stylish white trouser suit.

It was a look - and colour - that proved popular with many women. While Plate Day has never adhered to the strict dress codes adopted by Royal Ascot, most women have stuck to dresses and skirts in past years.

But perhaps taking their lead from young racegoers who struck a blow against tradition at Royal Ascot earlier this month following a relaxation of the dress code, white and cream trousers and two pieces were everywhere on Saturday.

Tracey Fox, 33, from Sunderland, who was with friends all dressed in white or cream trousers, summed it up when she said: "It's what's in, and what's good enough for Ascot is good enough for us. …

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