TODAY   |  May 02, 2013

Quest for the best Kentucky Derby hat

Fashion designer June Ambrose takes a look at three over-the-top Kentucky Derby hats submitted by TODAY viewers and chooses which deserves the title of “TODAY’s best.”

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> this morning on "today's quest for the best" derby hat in america. with the kentucky derby this saturday, we asked you toubmit photos of your craftiest homemade headwear. our three finalists here to compete for today's best. brittany, connie from memphis, tennessee, and deanna from louisville, kentucky. the home of the kentucky derby . here to judge today's contest, june ambrose. good to see you.

>> good to be here.

>> what criteria are you looking for?

>> punctuation, creativity, uniqueness you know, each lady has an expression. i think that's important.

>> okay. let's get started with our first finalist. brittany and her paper rose hat. how did you come up with this, brit?

>> well, started for my wedding a couple of years ago. i made huge paper flowers for my center pieces, my bouquet and my husband and i went to the royal wedding in england, and i knew that people wore things on their heads and i thought, bingo, we're going to do a rose hat. i was walking around thinking that everybody wears it, but it's really only the people who go inside the church. and so i was kind of on my own.

>> so how do you make this, then?

>> well, you get a simple template like this with a little glue gun. you keep on adding layers to it around and like this and eventually comes around like this and add on a couple of leaves on the side and, boom.

>> very impressive.

>> all right. our next model is connie with your butterfly hat.

>> yeah.

>> wow. a lot going on there.

>> oh, that 's wonderful .

>> what do you think of this?

>> it's walking art. it comes alive and that's what it's about. you can see your personality and you're full of life. i can see that. and she's blooming. i love it.

>> and there's seven butterflies, why seven?

>> well, there's seven of us ladies, we call ourselves the magnificent seven, we've been together ten years and we celebrate our birthdays and recently we took one of our ladies, we kidnapped her and took her to las vegas and celebrated her 60th birthday and my birthday is coming up next, we're going to the kentucky derby . we have pink on the hat which represents breast cancer . two of us are breast cancer survivors and the teal color represents ovarian cancer . one of our friends has ovarian cancer . it represents our friendship.

>> a lot of meaning. and our final finalist deanna from louisville, kentucky. is this a hat?

>> well, it's a fascinator. it's a headband, which is chic. i love it, very high fashion .

>> what's the inspiration for this, deanna ?

>> well, actually, the fascinator keeps you from getting at hair because there's so many eveng events. but also the inspiration is my daughter.

>> it's a mother/daughter project.

>> it is.

>> all right, june. difficult choice.

>> they're all so unique and they have all the women work so hard on them. but i have to tell you --

>> okay. here we go. come over this way.

>> well, because i love the idea of something being born from inception and blossoming for the spring season, i have to give it to you.

>> congratulations.

>> best day of mlife.

>> wow.

>> okay. do you have family?

>> i do have family.

>> kids?

>> no, i don't have kids, i have a husband.

>> you have a husband. that's better an your wedding day?

>> maybe i shouldn't have said that.

>> yeah. that's where i was going with it.

>> but it is amongst the best days of your life?

>> amongst. top five.

>> ladies, thank you so much. i'm going to be at churchill downs tomorrow, you can catch the kentucky derby live on nbc this saturday. right now, we are launching our next best quest to the best. we're looking for the best twin talent in america. from juggling to drawing to dancing and singing. we're looking for a dynamic identical duo