Catching Up With The Imperial Royals

After taking a few days off here to enjoy the Canadian Thanksgiving long weekend, it’s back to business as usual today here at Royal Hats. Hold on- we have lots to cover today. First up are some Imperial royal hats that may surprise you.

Back on October 1st,  Princess Hisako of Takamado opened the 28th “Starry Sky Town, Blue Sky Town” National Conference on environmental awareness in Kochi. For this honour, she wore a white hat with straight sided crown and slightly raised brim on one side. While the hat is fairly simple in design, its embellishment, a hat band made of layered ruffles in the same pink print of her suit, is a major departure for an Imperial hat. I’m not sure the ruffled hat band works but I love the use of such a vivid pattern on a Japanese royal ensemble.

 Princess Hisako, Oct 1, 2016 | Royal Hats

On October 2, Princess Hisako wrapped up her visit to Kochi with a stop at the Center for Advanced Marine Core Research at Kochi University. For this event, she topped a printed beige jacket with a coordinating fedora hat. This hat looks to be trimmed with a beige bow at the back and a hat band made of black net tulle that ties in with the print on her jacket. The colour is rather bland and I’m not sure about back bows on fedoras but the tulle hat band has me intrigued as it adds some interesting texture to the piece.

 Princess Hisako, Oct 2, 2016 | Royal Hats

Back on September 28, Crown Prince Naruhito and Crown Princess Masako attended a ceremony to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the National Theatre. For this event, Princess Masako repeated a white hat with trilby style brim, straight-sided square crown and wide monochrome hat band.

Crown Princess Masako, Sep 28, 2016 | Royal Hats

Crown Princess Masako, Sep 28, 2016 | Royal Hats

From September 28 to October 2, Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko visited Iwate Prefecture to take in the 71th Japanese National Sports Festival. For their arrival on September 28, Empress Michiko repeated a denim blue suit and matching saucer hat trimmed with knotted bows backed in gold. The vivid contrast on this hat makes it one of my favourites for Michiko and it was lovely to see her in it again.

Empress Michiko, Sept 28, 2016 | Royal Hats

Empress Michiko, Sept 28, 2016 | Royal Hats

Designer: likely Akio Hirata
Previously Worn: January 29, 2016October 30, 2015; May 21, 2015April 9, 2015

For a visit to Kamaishi on September 30, the Empress repeated a dark slate blue-grey saucer hat trimmed with a white silk origami-style bow with slim blue and black stripes that look to be hand painted.

Empress Michiko, Sep 30, 2016 | Royal Hats

Empress Michiko, Sep 30, 2016 | Royal Hats

Designer: I suspect Akio Hirata
Previously Worn: June 4, 2015; October 2, 2015; June 2, 2014October 27, 2013

On October 1st, the royal couple officially opened the National Sports Festival held at Kitakami. For this honour, Empress Michiko wore a pale grey hat with domed center and flat double brim trimmed with a large monochrome silk bow on the front brim. If you look closely in the second photo, you’ll notice that the lower brim appears to be made of fine straw in a lattice pattern which lends some subtle textural contrast to the piece. It’s a larger size hat than the Empress wears and the scale is most attractive on her.

 Empress Michiko, October 1, 2016 | Royal Hats

Empress Michiko, October 1, 2016 | Royal Hats

Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: I can’t find a previously worn hat with the same lattice underbrim- perhaps this is new?

On the final day of their visit, the Emperor and Empress took in in the gymnastics competition of the National Sports Festival in Morioka City. Empress Michiko repeated a suit and hat in the most wonderful shade of cereulean blue that we have not seen in several years. In the style we have come to associate with the Empress, the saucer hat features a raised rim around the back and a flat bow that wraps around the front. While not an exciting shape, what makes this hat stand out is its bright colour- such a wonderful departure for Michiko and and one she wears so beautifully.

Empress Michiko, Oct 2, 2016 | Royal Hats

Empress Michiko, Oct 2, 2016 | Royal Hats

Designer: unknown. Likley Akio Hirata
Previously Worn: November 1, 2013

Do any of these seven Imperial royal hats stand out to you in particular?

Photoa from MainichiMainichiSankei; Asahi; Asahi; Asahi, Asahi via Getty; Asahi; and Asahi

11 thoughts on “Catching Up With The Imperial Royals

  1. Princess Masako’s hat is perfect…sized perfectly to her head…whereas all others she wears are too big and sit so low on her head. She looks lovely!!

  2. Hisako continues to wear things that I would hate on anybody else, but love on her! This first hat is a beautiful shape for her, and while I’m not entirely thrilled with the ruffled fabric for a hatband and trim, it still works well overall; and all the pinks and purples of her outfit look amazing on her too! This is definitely one of my all-time favorite looks for her.

    Hisako’s beige hat and olive outfit is less exciting to me, but still a great choice. I’m not really certain this is a fedora hat, but at any rate, it’s still a good one for her. She never seems to get it wrong sartorially.

    Masako’s hat is flattering for her, but the color and plainness of it doesn’t make it stand out unfortunately.

    Onto the Empress! I don’t think I’ve ever noticed there were 2 shades of blue in this hat, so it makes me love this one even more! Definitely one of my favorites for the Empress.

    The second look is a bit more subdued, but I love the fabric design and folding of the bow on this hat, and I’m glad we can see this up close. For the Empress’ hats, the beauty is all in the subtle details.

    I have missed the larger hats, so seeing this grey one (return?) is great! It’s a lovely departure from the smaller pieces, but still frames her face very well.

    Finally, I personally had not seen this cerulean hat before, and of course I love it! Being in one of my favorite shades of blue, the way the brim is shaped and the curve of the bow is subtle, but still striking.

    Brava to the Imperial ladies! Not a wrong step was made here,, and I’m looking forward to more of it.

  3. I love the intensity of the color of the empress’s blue hat–exquisitely made (from what one can see) and coordinates beautifully with her ensemble. It impresses me so much that, within the very circumscribed style the empress adopts, she is able to work such striking changes.

  4. I love the hats on Princess Hisako they are different and look fantastic on her. The all white hat on Masako is fine not a wow but I doubt that was what she was going for. I think the Empress is an elegant looking lady but I don’t like the fasinators on her but then I am not a fan of them as a hat style.

  5. I am swooning over the Empress! Every outfit is perfection. No one has a more consistently elegant appearance than Empress Michiko.

    • Agreed. The imperial couple are my favourite among favourites, and the empress almost never puts a sartorial foot wrong. BTW, as a bonus there is an additional outfit, black and white, in the first video – well worth a look.
      I applaud Masako’s bold approach to fashion, although her hat and outfits combined are often, as in today’s examples, rather HALGO (HelluvALotGoingOn) for my taste. I vote her hat with the tulle trim the most interesting.

  6. Hope you enjoyed your Thanksgiving, HatQueen! I’m always impressed with the way you describe the subtleties of Imperial hats. Empress Michiko looks beautiful in bright blue, but I think my favorite is the larger hat with the lattice trim. I’m trying to imagine this hat in the same shade of blue, but maybe that would be too much for the Empress and/or the Household Agency.

  7. Crown Princess Masako looks smart in her white suit and hat.
    The Empress, in navy with gold trim is fantastic. The hat looks like an exquisite piece or origami. I like all the ensembles she wore on this visit. A very lovely lady.

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