Hat maker goes for gold in Dubai

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Claire Lydiat wearing the Dubai trophy hat

Claire Lydiat wearing the Dubai trophy hat

A Liverpool milliner who has wowed fashion fans at Aintree’s Grand National for several years took her talents to the richest horse race in the world in Dubai, catching the media’s attention with a gold trophy creation.

Hayley Marsden’s hats have been worn by Rebecca Ferguson and Gary Barlow, but she saw the opportunity to showcase her millinery skills abroad when a friend invited her to attend the race.

She told JMU Journalism: “I always wanted to attend the Dubai World Cup Races as it’s the best race event in the world. My friend lives there too, so it was a perfect opportunity to visit her and promote my brand at the same time.”

The hat made for the event towered above crowds and gained a lot of media attention.

It was picked up by several Dubai news outlets, including Hello magazine, and was also the only hat that made the front page of the Gulf News. One website, ‘7 days in Dubai’ used an image of the hat with the caption, ‘We honestly don’t know what to say’.

Hayley said: “It came from Dubai being seen as the centre of the world at the moment for development and innovative. I also took inspiration from the actual Dubai World Cup.

The main feature on the hat is a gold globe which I overlaid with 24 carat gold leaf to represent the wealth of Dubai.”

Hayley Marsden (right) with Kathleen Robinson and presenter Jeff Brazier at the Grand National

Hayley Marsden (right) with Kathleen Robinson and presenter Jeff Brazier at the Grand National

Prior to the race, Claire Lydiat, who wore the hat, said: “Placing my bet firmly on Hayley to steal the show with her creations! Wait till you see her latest #talented.”

She later revealed that after three hours her neck, shoulders and back were starting to ache from the weight.

The 32-year-old from West Derby created the Liverpool Day hat for the Grand National for two consecutive years in 2010 and 2011.

She attended the national last weekend where model Kathleen Robinson wore her black and white psychedelic horse creation complete with real horse noises when the animal’s head was tilted downwards.

About Rachael Bentham, JMU Journalism