Welcome to Day 2 of Royal Ascot 2013. I apologize for the late uploading of this post and promise that we’ll be back on regular schedule tomorrow! Katie Vale of Katie Vale Designs joins our commentary again today - Here is our review of today’s hats.
Queen Elizabeth in an Angela Kelly design
Katie Vale: The green trim on the brim is too wide, so it makes the hat look unbalanced. If the brim was a tad bigger then it would work more I think. I also think that the flower is in the wrong shade, and as such it looks like it’s just been plonked on the side of the hat. It doesn’t go with the rest of the design. The base and trim are pastels and then the flower is brightly colour. It looks like two different hats rolled into one.
Royal Hats Blog: I have great difficulty criticizing the Queen (she is an amazing woman who has earned the right to wear whatever she darn well pleases) but I can’t find much nice to say about this hat. The colour scheme is silly, the shape is out of proportion, and the mint green wide fabric stripes are awkward (and I don’t like the green fabric with the pink straw). Katie’s ideas would make vast improvement but in the end, I’m not sure this hat can be redeemed. It looks like a formal clown’s hat to me.
The Duchess of Cornwall in a Philip Treacy Design
Katie Vale: Once again we see her in a large cream brim hat. I’m not a fan of this hat. It looks like the brim has been caught in the wind and been flipped up! However, I do love that she is not afraid to wear a massive brim, as so many people are these days. So that makes me very happy!
Royal Hats Blog: Of all Camilla’s large cream hats, this one is my least favourite. Like the Queen’s hat, the proportion of this brim is off. I usually like twisted ribbon tails but these ones, along with the upturned brim, make Camilla look like she is stuck in a wind tunnel.
The Countess of Wessex in a Jane Taylor design
Katie Vale: Gorgeous! Absolutely love it. The disc isn’t flat, it has a wave to it. And then the delicately placed sinamay spirals, just add an interesting design. I think her outfit overall works really well, with the neutral tones and a hint of pink. I’m happy!
Royal Hats Blog: I want to like it… and I think I do. I’m still on the fence because it’s so dramatic and the shape reminds me a little too much of a giant potato chip. I agree Katie- this works because it is paired with a tailored and very neutral dress. The pink spirals certainly are fun!
Lady Helen Taylor
Katie Vale: I’d have thought that a felt hat in this weather would have been too hot to wear. However, she carries it off. I love the colour and the shape creates an unusual beret style. We saw some colour blocking yesterday and this outfit just shows that it really can work with any colour pallet at all. In theory this shouldn’t work, Aqua & Mustard shouldn’t go together but it does! And I can’t find fault in this outfit at all!
Royal Hats Blog: I like many individual pieces here on their own- the turquoise beret (perhaps without the weird stem sticking out of the top), the turquoise earrings and nail polish, the colour blocked dress. Together, and with those utterly ridiculous sunglasses, she looks like a Cirque du Soleil performer. Sophie Wessex’s hat is looking better and better…
Lady Serena Armstrong-Jones, Viscountess Linley in a Stephen Jones design
Katie Vale: I really like the neutral tones. And the delicate material is very effective. It sits daintily on her head. But I feel there could have been a little more shape to the design.
Royal Hats Blog: Serena wore this to William and Kate’s wedding in 2011. I loved it then and I absolutely love it now. It’s feminine, interesting, detailed, attractive, and absolutely beautiful on her.
The Duchess of Gloucester
Katie Vale: I like the bronze colour & the use of straw, but I think it’s a little too bland for Ascot. I see Ascot as the chance for everyone to go wild its very similar shape to the turquoise felt one, but that was striking due to its colour & outfit. This is a tiny bit subdued but I appreciate the classic and elegant feel to it.
Royal Hats Blog: Brigitte has worn a number of these straw berets over the past year (she wore this particular hat and dress for the Service of Thanksgiving during the Queen’s Jubilee last year). It’s a lovely shape on her but I find the colour of this one, with her hair and complexion, quite flat. I agree Katie- This is Ascot, the time to wear wonderful and wild hats!
Princess Haya of Jordan, Sheikha of Dubai in a Stephen Jones design
Katie Vale: Oh my! I’m in hat heaven! Stunning!!! Monochrome is such a key look this year. I love the Jackie O pillbox and the placing of it right at the back of her head. A much better choice than yesterday. This is elegant, yet eye catching due to the contrast of her hair! It’s funny as its small & subtle, like the one above bit it just compliments the outfit so well! Do you think she read this blog about her hat yesterday?
Royal Hats Blog: Hat heaven? With this thing? I’m not sure that a small white pillbox with a juvenile bow is the best thing to pair with a checkerboard dress (where are we anyway? The Monte Carlo Grand Prix?). If you’re going to wear a pillbox, I like it worn square on the back of the head (not off to the side like Haya is wearing it). I do adore a classic pillbox hat but this one looks cutesy and trite paired with this awful dress.
All in all, it was less spectacular day of millinery than we saw yesterday for opening day. I’m hoping that some of these ladies are saving their best hats for Ladies’ Day tomorrow! Some of you might be interested in these other noteworthy hats today: Lady Jane Cecil, Brix Smith-Start, Caroline Dalmeny, and Denise Lewis
Photos from The Daily Mail; The Daily Mail; Splash News via Corbis; James Whatling via Corbis; Press Association via EuroSport; Max Mumby via Getty; Max Mumby via Getty; James Whatling via Corbis and The Huffington Post