Hats that sublimate women
Her hats have been worn by Lady Gaga and Aishwarya Rai, but Laurence Bossion’s craft isn’t limited to creating hats for the stars. What drives Laurence Bossier is the chance to create, from materials of which she speaks passionately, pieces that are able to reveal the personality and elegance of the women who offer her their trust.
On the eve of the Prix de Diane Longines, the Parisian milliner shares with us confidences and some advice.
The first experience Laurence had on a hippodrome took place more than 15 years ago. “I immediately found it very captivating. In racing we can be a lot more creative than in a marriage. We have more range to express ourselves in a hippodrome, a lot more liberty and less of a code. We don’t need to be afraid to overshadow the bride’s mother for example.”
This creative liberty is felt in the hippodrome both in terms of colours and in the richness of decorative elements, and very particularly during the Prix de Diane Longines.
« People really play the game at Prix de Diane Longines and that is truly magical. Women try to dress up and wear beautiful outfits. Of course, each person does it according to their budgets and there is a certain coquetry that you cannot see in every day’s life. What we see in Chantilly that day we would never see in Paris, except maybe during the Fashion Week, but not everybody is concerned by haute couture fashion shows”. The Prix de Diane is a little bit like a Fashion Week that is condensed in one day of spectacle, with a sport of strong emotions, a garden party atmosphere and one key word: elegance.
You must be elegant without excess. You must be accurate and know how to dare fantasy without falling into exuberance.” A wise proportion that is perfectly achieved when Laurence Bossion is summoned to find the perfect hat for the sublime Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Longines ambassadress of elegance.
AISHWARYA RAI BACHCHAN
« We have worked with a stylist, a hairdresser, a make-up artist and a whole team fussing around her. We felt the pressure because we didn’t have much time. Fortunately, I had foreseen some bases and decorative elements that immediately pleased her. Our choice fell on the beautiful black Sevillian with huge dotted feathers. It was very nice. It was elegant, perfect, worthy of a Longines muse.”
The previous day, the Indian actress had also worn one of Laurence’s creations. This was not supposed to happen, but when Laurence saw the dress that Ashwarya was supposed to wear at the Longines garden-party, she had an idea. “It was a beautiful dress made of an off-white lace, with a thin navy belt. I immediately though of a little headdress and when I tried it on her head it became clear to me. It was pertinent and simple without adding too much to the lace effect and it was the same colour as her belt. It was in perfect harmony with the shape of her face. Without being impertinent, it gave her a little mischievous look, just the necessary touch of fantasy to make the outfit and the impression memorable.”
This is what Laurence Bossion’s magic is all about. She helps bring out the little things in a woman that make a difference, whether she is an actress whose beauty has been cherish throughout the world or just the next woman crossing the threshold of her shop.
A hat that reveals your personality
« To observe and accompany this transformation is what makes it magical. It’s not easy for someone who isn’t used to wearing hats to accept the new reflection of herself in the mirror. Sometimes it takes a while, even a few weeks. And then, suddenly, there’s a smile and something lights up. It comes from within. It makes me happy to see a woman at the precise moment she feels sublimated.
It’s important to me to never rush my clients. I may have my own idea about what is going to suit them better, but they need to be part of the creative process. They need to feel at ease to express their very own personality.
My mission is to give the client the opportunity to express her personality without allowing the fashion faux pas. Know how to advise without imposing. A woman must assume the hat she is wearing. She needs to feel comfortable. The worst to me would be to create a hat that a client would not feel comfortable with and would therefore not even wear it.”
Made-to-measure hats manufactured from A to Z
Laurence does not buy and personalise hats. She creates them. “I always start from the client’s outfit. The shape of the hat must be in perfect harmony with the shape of the dress. It’s not about having the same shape, but a harmony of shapes. We create by using materials, colours and shapes.”
The shape of the part of the hat that rests on the head, of its extremities or the shape of the decorative elements that will embellish the composition…A feather, a flower, a ribbon, butterflies, circles of iridescent, patina leathers: our choice is endless. Here again, shape matters by its positioning, by the movement that it suggests, by a small element that makes it graceful…
« My advice would be to avoid overloading. It is important to embellish a woman without overdoing. With a simple dress, we can wear a more audacious hat. If the outfit is very complex, we need to harmonise more than just juxtapose. Personally, I love to play with the quality of the materials and the subtlety of tones. It is important to try different things, different ways and see which one works best with the silhouette, with the client’s face, but also with the outfit she has chosen.
Sometimes clients come with preconceived ideas and that distresses me. It’s fundamental to be inspired by the client without letting myself be influenced or persist in wanting to reproduce something that I know worked for other people. I need to be like a psychologist and make suggestions without ever rushing the client.”
A beautiful hat is like a made-to-measure suit or haute couture dress. The price depends on the materials, the time spent on manufacturing, the options that were chosen. However, it is also a good investment if we pick an elegant base that can be endlessly reinterpreted.
Hair accessories from 70 euros, headdresses and hats from 250 to 550 euros, for all prices and purses. Certain creations with variable geometries propose 3 or 4 looks in one. Some others, with timeless materials and shapes can be worn and transformed throughout an entire life. “I would not say that we bequeath a hat, but why not…” she concludes smiling. Her activity has just been labelled “a company of the Living Heritage” For now, Laurence Bossion is looking forward to spending time at the coming Prix de Diane Longines.
« Each year I run from one place to the other, between races, the elegance competition, friends that I invited to come and have not had the time to see, all the outfits, all the hats, I am amazed by everything I see. I am like a child at Christmas time.”
A company of the « Living Heritage »
12 rue Saint Roch