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 Mangan, Christie 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.
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