Head Games at the Derby

    Shielded from the derby jungle by a white veil, Brooke looks like she's wearing cupcake frosting.

    Jason Kempin, WireImage

    Never one for subtlety, Star was the view at this weekend's festivities.

    Jason Kempin, WireImage

    When Kim K. looks downright demure, you know something's off. Or it must be the Derby.

    Jason Kempin, WireImage

    The singer strikes again! With all due R-E-S-P-E-C-T, it appears a spaceship has landed.

    Paul J. Richards, AFP/Getty Images

    We think we've seen that hat before. Only it was a dress. In a John Hughes movie. (We also thought the hanging planter was part of the hat. Not a stretch.)

    Jamie Squire, Getty Images

    Honey, I blew up the shower cap! There's nothing little about this Bow Peep look.

    Robert Meggers, Getty Images

    Check out the horsing around on this dude's flower-adorned fedora.

    Jeff Gentner, Getty Images

    This just might be stranger than the original Twin Peaks. And maybe he should've considered a modeling career-balancing a book has nothing on this!

    Jamie Squire, Getty Images

    This twisted sister isn't clowning around. We're sure Jerry Garcia would be proud, tough her headpiece is far from dead.

    Andy Lyons, Getty Images

So, we don't know the first thing about horse racing and can't really comprehend why anyone would bet on a 50-1 horse (the odds of under dog horse and surprise Kentucky Derby winner "Mine That Bird"). But we did tune in to the 135th KD on Saturday... for the hats! They're so ridiculous and over the top, that we have to admit it's become one of our favorite spectator sports.

Okay, so a balloon animal headpiece might not fly outside the annual gathering of one-uppers, but don't let that burst your hat bubble! StyleList talked to hat designer extraordinaire, Eugenia Kim (eugeniakim.com) -- whose toppers have been worn by stars including Jessica Alba, Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton and Ashlee Simpson, who all opted for the "Muffy" equestrian cap, and Mary J. Blige (who wears EK's "Scarlett" hat on the cover of her multi-platinum album "Reflections - A Retrospective") -- about more realistic spring options.


StyleList: What is the hat for Spring/Summer '09?

Eugenia Kim: I would have to say that the hat for Spring/Summer 09 is our "MAX 1" straw hat (an ivory fedora with black ruched crystal mesh band). This hat is our number one best seller for the season, and it fits great on everyone! It even comes with other color options which makes it more 'wearable' and versatile.

StyleList: How did you start designing hats?

Eugenia Kim: I had recently shaved my head because of a bad haircut, and was wearing a red guinea-feathered cloche that I made in a millinery class at Parsons School of Design. I was shopping in Soho [NYC] and several store owners immediately took notice. By the end of the day, I had appointments with two of the stores to show my collection. The week after, my hand-feathered cloches were in the windows of Bond 07 in Noho and Selima Optique in Soho. At the end of the month, Barneys New York had placed their first order.


StyleList: Where do you find your inspiration?

Eugenia Kim: I was inspired this season by Ghada Amer the embroidery artist (Gagosian). I did a lot of embroidery this season partially inspired by her. My favorite fashion designers at the moment are Rodarte and Marchesa.


StyleList: Have you designed hats for the Kentucky Derby (happening this weekend)?


Eugenia Kim: We have had a lot of hats pulled by stylists this week for the Kentucky Derby, but I do not design anything specifically for it because Eugenia Kim hats are wearable, every-day pieces that cool girls should want to wear all the time, not just one day of the year. If someone wants to wear a knit beanie to the horse races, you know where to find us.


StyleList: What do you think of the super over-the-top hats?

Eugenia Kim: They can be spectacular if done correctly but a complete hazard if it is not. I almost got my eye poked out at a charity event one time.


StyleList: And we have to ask, what did you think of Aretha Franklin's Inauguration hat?

Eugenia Kim: If Aretha is ever looking for a hat that creates a slimming effect, she can call us!