It has been a long while since we looked at one of Angela Kelly’s signature design shapes. Over the past two years, we have looked at her designs with: Diagonal Crowns, Flat Brims, Teardrop Crowns, Split Crowns, Oblique Brims, Wrapped Crowns, Hourglass Crowns, and Square Crowns with Rolled Brim. Today we’re going to pick up this series with a look at Kelly’s flat crowned hats with mushroom brims.
Visiting the National Gallery, June 29, 2005; Touring Turkey, May 15, 2008; Visiting Canada on June 29, 2010
In Canada, July 1, 2010; At Ascot, October 19, 2013; Hosting a Buckingham Palace Garden Party, May 30, 2013
The large, rounded brim (similar to a mushroom) makes this hat shape rather distinctive… and perhaps slightly reminiscent of a 1960s era lampshade. Kelly consistently pairs this rounded brim with a flat crown, a pairing which works well to balance the hat. What works less well, in my humble opinion, is the proportion of this hat on a petite queen. I think it’s slightly too big for Her Majesty and slightly overwhelms her fine features. The palest pink hat (with feathers, above center) has a slightly smaller brim than the rest of the hats in this genre and this scale reduction works very well (minus the haphazard feathers). Adding to issues of scale is my hunch that this hat style experienced its fashion peak in the mid 1990s and thus, feels a little dated today.
While this is not my favourite of Kelly’s hat shapes, it’s certainly not my least favourite. What I do admire about this hat style is its potential- remember the brim renovation the navy hat above underwent last year? Any hat that can change style with the quick reversal of brim shape certainly has my respect. What do you, dear readers, think of this particular millinery design?
Photos from Anwar Hussein Collection/ROTA, Mark Cuthbert, Chris Jackson, Chris Jackson, Max Mumby/Indigo and Cole Bennetts/Stringer via Getty