Rabbit fur hat fit for a duchess

FLORENCE KERR
Last updated 05:00 11/04/2014
Monika Neuhauser The Kate
THE KATE: Pirongia hat maker Monika Neuhauser has created a headpiece to commemorate the royal visit.

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Jackie-O had the Pill Box hat, former Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi sported the checheya hat and now a Pirongia hat maker is creating a new sensation she calls "The Kate".

The Kate is a peacock blue, button hat created as a commemorative piece for the royal visit, named after the Duchess of Cambridge.

Monika Neuhauser, who owns Monika Neuhauser Miller, a business that creates ready to wear and custom made hats and headpieces, said her creation was fitting for a princess.

"Once the shape came, that's when it all fell into place," she said.

"I thought that it would look nice on the duchess."

Neuhauser put her creation online and received 30 likes, with her Facebook fans encouraging her to give the hat to Kate.

"I'm considering sending it to her, I think I've left it a bit too late for her to wear in New Zealand."

The Kate is made from rabbit fur felt, then steamed into place.

The type of hat, which is inspired by a button, is held in place with an elastic band and is a popular choice of head wear at cocktail parties.

The passionate hat maker, who has worked in the industry for eight years, knows that her small boutique business could change overnight if the princess is snapped wearing "The Kate".

"I've seen it with other fashion designers as soon as someone famous wears their clothes they become very popular," she said. "If Kate wore the hat, anything could happen."

Meanwhile, Cambridge high-end fashion shop Maddisons owner Kay Kirkbridge said business had been good since the royal arrival, with their red winter coats walking out the door.

"We have seen sales increase for our New Zealand label - Fredrick, quality, fully-lined red winter coats, similar to Kate's." Kate wore a double-breasted red Catherine Walker dress and coat, with matching Gina Foster pillbox hat, arriving in Wellington on Monday.

Hamiltonians only have a few days left to prepare their wardrobes as the Duke and Duchess arrive in the city this Saturday.

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- Waikato Times

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