The Cheltonian > Articles

Hat's Off

Nicky Wills, The Cheltonian’s Fashion Editor, looks at glamorous outfits for the 2013 Cheltenham Racing Festival

'The Festival', four days of fantastic atmosphere, fun filled sporting action, glamourous outfits and social gatherings. A true opportunity to raise the fashion stakes! Most girls love having the chance to dress up for a special occasion.Whether it is to stand out in a crowd, dressing to impress, or feeling a little special just for you, it’s fun and it's not every day we have an excuse to make such a special effort.

For this month's feature I have focused on some very talented local designers in a special Festival shoot. The outfits are based around stunning jackets in tweeds, velvets and occasionally mixed fabrics, with interesting uses of cut and seaming. These are teamed with the most beautiful hats with unique styling details and of course the prerequisite fur stole in gorgeous colours that give rich, opulent finishing touches.

Ferniche Millinery
Although only 23, Gloucester milliner, stylist and dressmaker, Fern
Bereen has an impressive CV. After graduating from Wimbledon University of Arts she led the millinery department at the National Youth Theatre and worked for top London milliner Katherine Elizabeth, whose clients have included Kate Middleton and Lily Allen. Fern now has her own business, Ferniche Millinery. She specialises in bespoke hats for special events, working with felts, feathers, vintage fabrics, and costume jewellery to create truly individual pieces.

Ferns hats are beautiful and exquisite works of art. The hats featured in this shoot range from £89 to £150. For more intricate detailing and a bespoke service, prices are up to £450.

If you are looking for something unique and stunning to wear to this year's Ladies' Day then look no further. Contact Fern at

Melissa Antonious
Cheltenham fashion designer, Melissa Antonious produces beautiful hand crafted one-off pieces. She has a stunning collection of designs ranging from tailored coats to ball gowns. She offers a bespoke service using modern tweeds and wax fabrics creating quality and unique styling.
To see more of Melissa's collection of beautiful individual pieces contact her at POA.

Eve's Leg Wear
Eve's Leg Wear and Tights Fest is a family run business based in Churchdown. With the strap line 'We do the leg work so you don't have to!' Eve provides a wide range of hosiery not usually seen on the high street and offers a bespoke styling service with a difference. Eve has
spent the last 12 months collaborating with a prestigious London designer and, during this time, has won the Theo Paphitis small business of the year award.

The selection available is fantastic with some really individual styles to top off any outfit perfectly. If you are looking for something different to those black opaques then look no further and contact Eve at or Prices for styles used
in the shoot range from £3.99 - £14.99. This is a great local business
looking to make legs fun!

Luxe Vintage
The festival wouldn't be the festival without some fur to keep out that March chill. Karen Perret from Luxe Vintage has developed a business providing luxury fur accessories and clothing for any occasion. She is adept at sourcing accessories that will turn your wardrobe rejects into unique statement pieces. She is also able to advise you on how to wear fur in a way that suits your shape and skin tone.

As well as the fabulous furs featured here, prices from £115.00 up to £395 for the gorgeous silver fox fur coat, there is a wide choice of other new and vintage furs and clothing. Karen can be contacted on 07870586896 (

The designers featured are all incredible talents from the local area. The festival is a unique and fabulous event so it only seemed right to use local designers to showcase some really fantastic fashion and accessories ideas. I hope you all have a wonderful time at this year's festival and enjoy putting together some gorgeous outfits. I look forward to seeing some of you in the pictures at this year’s event!

Nicky Wills is the former Head Buyer for New Look. Please contact her for personal styling consultations at: