It’s my belief that, secretly, all of us ladies wish we could look like Princess Kate, if only for a day. She always appears in public looking impossibly impeccable from head to toe, whether she’s a bride or new mom. It would be easy to hate her if she wasn’t so darn likable!
The one thing the Princess Kate phenomena has definitely brought into the American consciousness is the art of the hat and the fascinator. If there was one thing I wish I could rock on a regular basis, it would be fabulous headwear.
“But Joanne,” you’re saying right now, “where in Fresno could we get such gorgeous fascinators? And where would we wear them?”
True, we don’t have fine British milliners and regular Sunday garden parties (at least I don’t). But there is an awesome local company that sells big, beautiful hats and no-fuss fascinators (meaning you can put them on your head with a headband rather than securing them with pins) – and they are really worth checking out!
As far as I know, Ava Marie’s is the only boutique of its kind in Fresno. Owner Annette Perez originally owned a store at Fig Garden village, but now operates a beautiful showroom out of her home.
I discovered her while searching for someone to supply hats for ValleyPBS’s hat fashion show at our annual “Downton Abbey” event last year. (This is, by the way, place number one where you can wear Ava Marie’s hats. Shameless plug? Haha!) I was totally blown away by the selection. In addition to hats and fascinators, Ava Marie’s also sells jewelry and other accessories, like gloves.
Normally, you have to call Annette and make an appointment to try on hats. But this Saturday, December 6th, she is hosting Ava Marie’s annual open house party from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. She will have drinks and snacks to munch on while you shop, and she’s adding jackets, faux furs, vets, handbags, throws, pillows and more to her selection for the event.
The vintage- and British-inspired goods make great Christmas gifts for the “Downton” fans and Anglophiles in your life. Women also buy the hats and fascinators for everything from Kentucky Derby parties and Easter events to costume balls and old-school mystery dinners.
The Ava Marie’s showroom is located in Annette’s home at 585 E. Quincy Ave., Fresno, CA 93720. For questions or to schedule another time to try on hats from Ava Marie’s, you can e-mail Annette at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her at 559-803-9788.
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