14/08/2014 12:45 BST | Updated 20/05/2015 06:12 BST

This Royal Ascot Hat Was Made Using A 3D Printer

Looking for some unique headgear to wear to the races or a wedding this summer? This could be just what you're searching for...

Top milliner Gabriela Ligenza has brought cutting-edge technology and fashion together by creating a 3D printed hat just in time for Ladies' Day at Royal Ascot.

Ligenza - who was commissioned by Great British Racing to design the headgear - has incorporated a poem by Henry Birtles written especially for the world-famous horse racing festival into the hat.

Talk about head-turning...

So - how is a 3D hat made?

The process starts with Ligenza's initial design idea, which is turned into a computer-generated three-dimensional model. This is translated into wafer-thin cross-sections which a computer communicates to a robotic printing arm. Sounds complex.

The printing arm applies a fine layer of nylon powder and builds the hat layer-by-layer over a matter of hours until the shape is fully formed.

Ligenza works with leading experts at Lille University of Sciences and Technology to create the designs and her unique skill has paid off - her impressive portfolio of clients includes John Galliano, Bottega Venenta, Prada and Stella McCartney.

"Artisan and bespoke textiles have always been at the heart of what I do but working with such a cutting edge technique as 3D printing has allowed me to create what before was impossible within millinery," she says.

"Having the chance to bring together the age old classical pairing of millinery and racing and this new technology and approach to design for Ascot perhaps the world's most famous race meeting, has been an exciting creative journey."

Need to find the perfect hat for all your summer occasions? Take a look through this shopping edit: