Second Day of Royal Ascot, Part 1

Royal Hats Day two of Royal Ascot 2015 saw another parade of lovely (and mostly new!) royal hats. It is my pleasure to again welcome royal milliners Fiona ManganChristie Murray,  and Jill Courtemanche here to chat about the royal hats we saw today. Let’s kick things off with three new pieces we have not seen before:

Queen Elizabeth in a new hat by designed by Angela Kelly, made by Stella McLaren. Coat and dress by Karl Ludwig.

Jill: The Queen looks lovely and classic. The short, up-turned brim is a great shape on her and the and the crown has a nice height to balance the look. Angela Kelly is a master of the fabric covered crown and the finish quality is seamless. If I had to find an issue it would be the trim, it’s a little too sweet and compact, she definitely could have gone larger but she makes up for it with that divine sapphire broach!

Royal Hats: The colour is lovely and the trim is restrained- I was all set to like this hat until I saw it from the back. I don’t like the oddly shaped crown (with one flattened side) and the seam at the top of the crown is not straight.

Jill: This does not bother me, the center back seam is finished nicely and I think what you are seeing to the left is one of the angles of the block. It looks like a six sided crown and that angle line is unavoidable and I would guess there is probably another once centered on the right that we are unable to see in the picture. I have to say that Angela Kelley has the fabric covered crown technique down flawlessly.

Christie: I love Queen Elizabeth in royal blue.  Understandably she knows what she likes in the shape of her hat and her outfit is beautifully colour balanced. Although there is lovely detailing in the flower trim, I’m not sure that I like it’s placement or it’s juxtaposition with those trimmed feathers. It’s as if the feathers are more of a tropical theme and the flowers are more summer, they both seem to be fighting each other. Regarding the back shot, I’m more of a fan of doing a rouleau with a tip and sideband, it tends to give it a better finish. I would also think, with a felt covered hat, that you could sew the sinamay on to the inside of the crown instead of through it, which would avoid the puckering stitch marks that are visible at the back.

Fiona: The Royal in royal blue – quite pleasant. The hat crown is very understated and quite plain but I do like the white inner sinamay brim which just lifts what could be a very heavy colour against the Queen’s hair and complexion. The rear of the hat has a vertical seam on the crown, this doesn’t sit too well with me. It should have had a bias seam with a diagonal line which would have been more subtle. Or indeed the seam could have been hidden under the floral trim. Again she has her classic collarless coat on with a little hint of a delicately patterned dress visible underneath, matching the delicate trim on the hat. Overall this is a nice outfit, but pales in comparison to the fuchsia outfit and hat yesterday.

Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein wore a new hat (a bespoke version of OC 873) by Philip Treacy. Suit by Chanel.

Fiona: What can I say here, Philip Treacy really does no wrong, the hat is perfect in its simplicity and sculptural lines. Her outfit is quite appealing, though the bouclé is a little heavy looking for the occasion and I think a smaller neater collar would have worked better to offset the rather large hat.

Jill: This out fit is simple and the hat with it’s soft dramatic curve is very feminine and lovely. I think the hat would have been better matched with a more open neckline and a fuller skirt, but in reality I believe I am just disappointed that I am not seeing more here. Princess Haya is one of may favorites and this look falls short of what I know she can bring to an event. I will say, I really like this soft yellow trend we are seeing this year, it’s not an easy color to wear and everyone has really pulled it off nicely.

Royal Hats: The hat is so creative- it’s truly a wearable sculpture. The yellow suit is divine on its own but I’m not sure about the two together. All I see is bumble bee.

Christie: I struggle to fault anything that this Millinery Master does. I just love it! I love his sense of line and flow in block development. This really is quite an exquisite, sculptural shape. It’s also lovely to see her in colour today!  I can’t say that the boxy shape of the skirt is the most flattering, and I’m not 100% on that yellow, but a big improvement on yesterday’s look.

The Countess of Wessex in a new hat by Jane Taylor. Dress by Emilia Wickstead

Christie: Firstly, I’m a big fan of Jane’s work.  I’m assuming that this is a layered crinoline brim/swirl on a sisal base? I like the sweeping crinoline brim and the feathers, I’m just not 100% on the swirling trim around the feathers. I think it dates it somehow, and that it would have been more of an elegant look for the Countess with the feathers as a stand-alone trim on the hat.  I this it’s a beautiful piece otherwise.

Fiona: Again she is wearing a fresh neutral colour today. Love the Jane Taylor hat, beautiful shape on Sophie. The crin brim is really delicate with the little fold at the back. I also think that less would have been more here and would have omitted the narrow swirls around the feathers. The feathers alone would have been sufficient. Her coat with the fine horizontal lines is ever so elegant especially with the perfectly-fitted neckline. Overall very elegant, as always.

Royal Hats: This is a smaller version of a similarly shaped hat Sophie wore to Ascot in 2013. It is a lot of white again but there’s something very sophisticated about it.

Jill: Very nice, again I think Sophie (and thus jane Taylor) is my pick of the day! My favorite thing about this hat is the added loops at the back so there is a softness going on from all angles. The curved lines and loops are very feminine and the angular feathers to keep it modern. Overall I think the outfit could have used a pop of color but she looks beautiful and her brooch (clearly another trend this year) is fabulous!

The Duke of Edinburgh looked most handsome in his black antique silk top hat- a piece that is over 50 years old.Queen Elizabeth, June 17, 2015 in Angela Kelly and Karl Ludwig | Royal Hats

We will be back in a few hours with the second group of hats from Ascot today!

Photos from MK/Splash News via Corbis; and Getty as indicated

15 thoughts on “Second Day of Royal Ascot, Part 1

  1. QE’s hat is cute on her. She looks great in royal blue.
    Haya’s hat is OK but I’m not digging the mustard 70s suit. I can’t believe it is Chanel!
    Sophie looks great. It’s super formal and a bit stiff but her hat is great.

  2. HM is pretty standard in this blue, but it’s lovely so I won’t blub! I’m just not getting Sophie’s hat. Clearly everyone else is, I just find it a bit cheap looking. She’s got so out there with her hats lately I’m just a bit disappointed by this one.

  3. And for a few comments on the men in the photos – let’s just look for a moment at the second photo of the UAE contingent, please.
    First, after my comment yesterday about the poor fit of the Sheikh’s clothes – it is clear that the lot of them all go to the same “tailor!” Have you ever in your life seen such poorly fitted clothing? Then, the man on the far left in the photo – talk about an ill-fitting hat! He had to be miserable all day with a bucket like that on his head. Too, too much! I will say the top hat on the man second from the left (yellow tie) is fantastic – clearly a silk hat and very nicely fitted.

    Prince Edward’s waistcoat!!! While I get a bit tired of him always wearing the same style of vest, the fabric on this is fantastic. He and Sophie were both spot on yesterday.

  4. I love the look Sophie has gone for here. The hat is so soft and light and feminine and flowing and I love the circles going around the brim. I am reading that the grey swirls around the feathers and at the back of the hat are a bit too much but I think they are a pretty good colour match to the thin stripes in the outfit which I think ties in rather nicely. I think they are particularly effective at the back because without them the hat mightn’t have seemed so finished and complete. I personally really like this style on Sophie, I suppose because I do not like those small percher ones she (and others) wear. The hair is beautifully coiffed too, lovely style. Thanks.

  5. Sophie’s shoes are Jimmy Choo Alicia pumps. I think her earrings are from the Queens personal jewelry. I LOVE the Queen Victoria sapphire brooch!!!

  6. Another win for HM, at least in terms of hats! The cobalt blue is a great hue on her, and I love the white underbrim for some contrast. Still not 100% certain about being able to see the seams on the crown, but then again, how much are we really supposed to be looking at the back of HM’s head?

    I love that Philip Treacy’s hat which was the focus of the 2015 Ascot Style Guide made an appearance, but unfortunately I do not love this version as much. The black and white version with the twisted trimming is absolutely stunning, and to see this in all black with no trimming is a bit of a let-down (not to mention I think the angle is a bit too steep for me). I like the idea behind Haya’s ensemble, but it misses the mark for me.

    Again I really think Sophie did an excellent job with her hat and outfit, but two white outfits in a row seems a bit much. I also find it interesting that she’s wearing something with that much crinoline in the hat; it’s not a material I often see used with royal hats. I hope she pulls out some bright colors for Ladies’ Day!

    • I agree with all you said. I have a huge Princess crush on Haya, and thought she’d wear something a little more dramatic. The shape is great, and I can’t help but recollect that Hat Queen did a post a few months back on Mr Treacy’s hats and asked us which ones we thought certain Royals would wear, and I thought that shape would look awesome on her. Sad it’s just the plainer version. Hopefully Ladies Day she unleashes the drama and color!!

  7. HM looks great, and the color is fabulous on her. Sophie Wessex looks so fresh, so elegant, so beautiful. I love the outfit, the hat, her hair, everything. She is one of best tressed and best dressed royals anywhere. Her makeup is always jut right. She never overdoes it and she consistently looks amazing. Same for the accessories. They are small but you can’t miss them. Never too much.

  8. The Queen looks lovely – another well done to Angela Kelly from me (golly!). The feathers remind me of fern, which I think was probably the intention, and there are plenty of ferns that grow in the UK so I don’t feel that it’s a tropical-temperate clash as guest Christie does. But the first picture shows a ribbon(?) of dress fabric attached to the floral decoration, and that I would be doing away with as simply superfluous.

    Princess Haya looks lovely. Judging from the women’s clothes today and yesterday it seems that the temperatures might be a little cooler (and don’t forget Haya lives in the UAE where it’s in 40+ centigrade at this time of year so she will be feeling cool no matter what). Her hat is a marvel.

    As is Sophie’s. Just lovely. She really is a very sophisticated dresser and long may it continue.

  9. I thought the Queen’s hat was magnificent until I saw your view from the rear, which is odd, I must admit. The sloped blue trim around the white trim (or blue trim around the sloped white brim — I’m not sure which) is magnificent, and the floral adornment looks lovely. I am interested in the several criticisms of the quality of workmanship on the hat. I do not like today’s coat so well as yesterday’s. There was criticism yesterday of the button on Queen Elizabeth’s fuchsia coat. I did not object to that button, but today’s buttons seem to clash with the magnificent brooch. To emphasize the brooch, perhaps the Queen should stick to self-covered buttons or at least to buttons in the same color as the coat.
    The Countess of Wessex, although colorless, looks nice. The hat is the best part of the outfit.
    Princess Haya’s hat is striking, but I’m afraid that each time I look at it I think it goes better, both in color and in its curves, with the horse statue in the background than with her outfit.

  10. The Queen’s hat has a feature I like…the white insert in the brim. It makes her face beam..can really see her expressions. The flowers could have been eliminated and something regal and simple used. The rest of the outfit isthesame as always. I wonder if the dresses are always the same just different floral pattern.
    LovePrincess Haya’s hat shape but why is it black the same as yesterday. The skirt is all wrong . Disappointed with her outfit. Actual surprised it is a miss.
    Sophie appears regal but she wears so many similar hats. I would like to see her face …the hat sits so it almost covers her right eye. Lovely hat but time for a change.

  11. HM looks terrific! I really like the play of light the white under-brim casts on her face in the bright outdoor lighting. And Sophie’s hat is fabulous.

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