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Chapeaux to Go
Shirley King | Avenida Primavera

 

Carol Bader at the Del Mar Hat Company. Photo Shirley King
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The Del Mar Hat Company, at the intersection of Jimmy Durante Blvd and San Dieguito Drive, joins couture hat production with a vibrant network of interstate commerce. From its less than obvious showroom Carol Bader Hat Designs is just across the San Dieguito River from the Fairgrounds where it prevails in the local Derby Couture during Del Mar’s racing season. Two decades of online sales have created demand for these custom designed hats well beyond Del Mar to the winner’s circles of the Kentucky Oaks and Belmont Racetracks. But, it is likely that if the Breeder’s Cup comes to Del Mar in 2014, Carol Bader may have to borrow more than a few feathers from her neighbor, Free Flight Exotic Bird Sanctuary, to handle the crowd at her door.

The owner, Carol Bader wears more than one hat, as she is also the signature designer of the custom-made, special occasion Carol Bader Hat Designs. Starting her individualized designs by evaluating each client’s facial structure and the wardrobe awaiting a hat, Carol precisely calculates the color blends for hand dyeing and the composition of the elements that are integrated with the lightweight straw fabric – all to achieve a classic headpiece with a modern twist. Her retail clients such as Brooks Brothers carry her classic ready-to-wear designs that harmonize perfectly with their gracefully enduring fashion. Smaller specialty retailers particularly ones located in the southern states stock Carol’s creations – places where the culture of ensemble fashion graced with hats is quite commonplace with both men and women.

From an early age Carol understood the role of hats especially in her mother’s fashion choices – when women of the 1940s and ‘50s never left home without hat and gloves whether in small towns or urban centers. Carol’s mother, a seamstress of necessity as one of nine children, would translate young Carol’s dress designs into reality complete with Carol’s touches of originality. Fashion design and competitive sports have formed Carol’s entrepreneurial drive for her business - which delivers the romance and theatrics of wardrobe elements to occasions where traditions count such as weddings, teas, cocktail parties, gala fundraisers, horse racing celebrations. Carol learns first hand about the continuing presence of hats in social festivities when she attends grand fundraising events such as the New York Conservancy Luncheon also known as the Hat Luncheon where glamorous hats rule the celebration of Central Park.

Carol’s hats, whether her elegant custom-made or adaptive ready-to-wear, are not homebodies. They travel the world. Who knows where they will be seen next – the Preakness, Ascot, the Melbourne Cup. From Del Mar, they are on planes, trains and automobiles to bring sophistication and confidence at their destination. This is one business in Del Mar that strives for the winning edge.

The Del Mar Hat Company, 2148 Jimmy Durant Blvd. By appointment only; 858-424-4287; www.delmarhat.com

SOMETHING FOR EVERYBODY
Shirley King | Avenida Primavera

 

Fair Trade Décor, 1412 Camino del Mar
Here the shopper finds decorative artisanal products made by marginalized populations in the ‘Global South’ created and acquired according to Fair Trade Principles.
Photo Shirley King.
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Gerhard Women’s Designer Boutique
1555 Camino del Mar/Del Mar Plaza

Dress up any holiday outfit with this Lanvin Gold Link Necklace! Photo DMVA staff

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Del Mar Art & Gifts, 1440 Camino del Mar
Neptune Statue for all of those ocean lovers!
Photo DMVA staff
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Julie’s Beachwear, 1414 Camino del Mar
This is your one-stop shop to get that cute beach look !
Photo DMVA staff
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Sundancer Boutique, 1418 Camino Del Mar
Black and grey crocheted shoes will add style for the season. Photo DMVA staff.
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Secret Pantry, 1416 Camino Del Mar
Basket with a selection of Peruvian treats.
Photo DMVA staff
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Jolie Fleur, 1143 Camino del Mar
Owner takes special care in helping personalize your arrangements.  Photo DMVA staff
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