Over the weekend, the Emperor and Empress visited the Fukushima region to attend the 69th National Tree-Planting Festival and review the area still greatly impacted by the Great East Japan Earthquake of 2011. The visit was of particular note as it is the last one the Imperial couple will pay to this area before the Emperor’s abdication next year. On Saturday, for the couple’s arrival in Koriyama, Empress Michiko repeated a pale mushroom grey large saucer hat trimmed with a two-tone silk twist. While there’s never much to say about the Empress’ many grey hats, the neckline on her jacket plays beautifully against this one.
For Sunday’s National Tree-Planting Festival, the Empress repeated her lovely pale slate blue-grey rimmed petite saucer hat trimmed with overlapping silk bow loops around one side of the piece. I love the different shades and sheens on the bow trim and the shape of the raised rim around the back. It’s a delicate design that Michiko wears very well.
Designer: likely Akio Hirata
Previously Worn: Mar 29, 2018; Mar 7, 2018; Oct 29, 2017
On Monday, the royal couple attended a number of events related to memorials for and rebuilding from the Great East Japan Earthquake of 2011. The Empress repeated her recently deubted slate grey hat with silver lattice printed white crin underbrim, trimmed with a darker grey bow.
Designer: likely Akio Hirata
Previously Worn: Mar 28, 2018
On Tuesday, Crown Prince Naruhito and Crown Princess Masako were spotted arriving at the Imperial Royal Palace for a celebration of their 25th wedding anniversary. Princess Masako repeated a pleated buttercup yellow silk covered bumper hat with pleated brim for the occasion.
Previously Worn: October 20, 2015
It’s amazing to think that in less than a year, Masako will step into the role of Empress. I know many of us have cheered her return to public life, and continue to wish her well moving forward. It will be interesting to see how her upcoming new role impacts her hats!
A number of hats on non-royal heads at Epsom this weekend stood out:
Irish milliner Carol Kennelly in a fabulous cream feathered pillbox of her own design
ITV’s Charlotte Hawkinds in fuschia and peach perchers from Layla Leigh Millinery
Georgia Toffolo in a classic pink straw Jane Taylor boater hat
Gina Harding in a black button percher with magenta and black feathers by Awon Golding
Laura Tobin in a wide brimmed, rosy-beige Nerida Fraiman saucer with feather flowers
Festival Style Award winner Amy Thomas in a self made purple upswept saucer with lace and silk roses
On May 26th, Crown Prince Naruhito and Crown Princess Masako attended the 29th National Greenery Conservation ceremony in Nagahama. Princess Masako repeated a small white hat with navy hatband.
Queen Silvia repeated her ecru straw cloche last Monday for the annual Prince Eugen’s Waldemarsudde “Friends of Artists” parade
Empress Michiko repeated a grey saucer hat to welcome Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang and his wife Nguyen Thi Hien to Tokyo on Wednesday, May 30
The Japanese Red Cross Society’s annual convention took place yesterday in Tokyo, attended by Honorary President Empress Michiko who has been active in the society’s work for more than sixty years. For this event, she repeated a cream silk covered saucer hat with transparent lattice printed underbrim, trimmed with a flat grey and cream bow. She also tucked some greenery into the hat, a touch I’ve not seen her do before.
For this, Empress Michiko’s last year as Honorary President, she was accompanied by Crown Princess Masako, Princess Kiko, Princess Nobuko and Princess Hisako. Crown Princess Masako wore a navy silk covered square crowned hat with upturned bumper brim. Princess Kiko topped her grey suit with a matching square crowned bowler with upturned kettle brim and wide silk monochrome hatband. Princess Nobuko paired her black and navy silk jacquard print dress with a repeated cream hat with short, upswept brim and navy silk hatband and side bow. Princess Hisako topped her grey silk jacquard suit in a grey cloche/bucket hat wrapped in a wide wrap of dotted grey tulle. The resulting effect of the tulle wrap is unexpected and rather lovely!
I wonder what inspired the Empress to add that sprig of greenery to her hat?
On Wednesday, members of the Imperial royal family joined the emperor and empress at the the Akasaka Imperial Gardens in Tokyo for the spring garden party, an annual event that brings us a parade of Imperial royal hats.
Embed from Getty Images
Embed from Getty Images
Empress Michiko topped her ice blue silk suit with a small saucer hat in the same hue, trimmed with blue camellia flowers and a flat bow around the front.
Embed from Getty Images
Crown Princess Masako wore a pale pink straw hat with domed crown and short kettle brim, trimmed with a wide ruched straw hatband that finished in a large bow at the side. The bow makes the hat, I think, softening the angular lines of the crown and giving the piece some much needed energy.
Princess Kiko and Princess Mako wore hats in the same domed crown and kettle upturned brim shape. Princess Kiko’s hat, in pale blue, is delicately trimmed with a wide silk ruched hatband and silk blossoms on the side. Princess Mako’s white design, which has a wider brim than her mother’s design, is trimmed with a wide turquoise hatband and origami flowers that circle the hat. The combination of wider brim and higher contrast trim (with interesting origami) makes this a winner for me.
Princess Nobuko stood out in a light purpley-grey hat with gentle side upsweep on the brim. The hat is exuberantly trimmed in a side spray of feathers and a wide swath of lavender and dark purple net tulle wrapped around the base of the crown that gives great movement to the design and links so well with the sheen of purple shades visible across the weave of her silk suit. Prinkess Akiko topped her pink suit with a matching hat with button crown, short cartwheel brim and bow on the side. Princess Yoko matched her pale yellow suit in a coordinating silk wrapped pillbox hat.
Princess Hisako wore a peach hat with square crown and widely rolled brim (the brim looks to be in the same silk jacquard print as her jacket while the crown looks to be a solid colour). Princess Tsuguko paired her burgundy silk dress in a matching bumper hat wonderfully trimmed with a wide silk bow and flowers on the side. Princess Ayako topped her yellow dress with a white button percher hat embellished with yellow and white flowers around the top half of the hat’s circumference. The floral trim on the hat references the ruffle on the hem of her dress, making a wonderfully coordinated and balanced head-to-hem look.
How great it is to see a variety of colour, trimmings and shapes on the Imperial Royals?! These nine hats, each of which I believe is a new piece, certainly made for a colourful millinery parade. Which designs stand out most to you?
On March 28, an exhibition on Queen Margrethe’s clothes, gowns and hats will open at The Old Town Museum in Aarhus. I believe this is the first time her hats will be on exhibition- something some of you might want to catch if you are in Denmark between now and September 9.
Crown Princess Mary in a new black hat with wide, mushroom brim on Tuesday for the private funeral of a family friend.
Wonderful to see that Lady Frederick Windsor appears to have recovered from the horrible car accident she suffered last November. She was photographed looking very well at the Cheltenham races last week in a tall crowned, rose trimmed navy hat from Siggi Hats.
The following new millinery designs caught my eye this week:
Lovely draped cocktail hat with floral trim in the freshest pale spring green from Italian brand Birdcage Hats
Such an interesting mix of feathered crown, straw brim and silk brim binding from Texas milliner Milli Starr
Large elevated side saucer hats with signature bright lycra loop trim from Irish milliner Aoife Harrison
The most perfect bow on this gold metallic straw cocktail hat from London milliner Fi Graham
Black peach bloom felt oversize fedora with beautifully shaped brim & rhinestone hatband from Stephen Jones
Such a pretty pale pink saucer bound in silk with roses & cut feathers from Yorkshire based Justine Bradley-Hill
Dark green button percher with amazing ultraviolet blue iridescent feathers from UK brand Mind Your Bonce
And from Irish milliner Maggie Mowbray, this stacked black and pink straw with veil and feathers in the most interesting shape that defies description. So creative without sacrificing wearability.
Yesterday, members of the Imperial Royal Family attended the Ceremony of Kosho Hajime (Imperial New Year’s Lectures) at Imperial Palace in Tokyo. A tradition of royal enlightenment since 1869, these Imperial New Year’s Lectures saw experts in the field of human, social and natural sciences address the royal delegation in their respective fields. When the lectures began 149 years ago, the daytime dress code across royal courts for ladies reflected the prevailing Victorian fashions of the time- long gowns with hats. This event is one of a handful each year that maintains this dress code, giving us the rare opportunity to see hats with full length gowns.
Crown Princess Masako made her first appearance at this event in 15 years in a repeated Breton hat. Made of the same hint-of-blue silk jacquard as her gown, the hat features a pork pie style crown and characteristic rolled Breton brim.
Previously Worn: Dec 9, 2014; Dec 23, 2013; Dec 9 2010; Dec 23, 2009; Dec 9, 2006; Dec 23, 2005
Princess Kiko topped her celery green gown with a matching capulet style hat that I believe is a new addition to her wardrobe. Following a classic capulet shape (a calot with extended front combined with a bumper brim around the front and sides of the piece), the hat is trimmed with a small back bow and covered in the same lace that adorns the top of Kiko’s gown. Princess Mako made her last appearance at this event in a repeated navy velvet, rounded edge pillbox hat trimmed with a bow on the side in the same blue silk as her gown.
Previously Worn: I believe Princess Kiko’s hat is new. Princess Mako wore this to this same event in 2016
The Mikasa and Takamado princesses also attended this event. Princess Nobuko wore a wonderful pale green pillbox trimmed with a giant ivory silk flower that I believe is new. Princess Akiko repeated a pale pink silk calot trimmed with silk rosettes. Princess Yoko wore a majenta textured pillbox. Princess Hisako topped her elegant dove grey gown with a matching bumper hat with side feather trim that I believe is new. Pricess Tsuguko also went with a new design that looks to be a burgundy silk tam variation trimmed with flowers on the side. Princess Ayoko repeated her pale yellow silk jacquard gown and matching calot bandeau trimmed with silk flowers and leaves on each side.
These lectures always brings some millinery surprises and such is the case this year, even with a few repeated pieces. I missed seeing Princess Hanako, who always stands out at this event. What hats stand out to you here this year?
Princess Hisako in a chic fedora on December 24 at the 39th Empress Cup All Japan Women’s Football Championship Final in Osaka (Sponichi)
Four of the Romanian princess attended a Christmas Day service at Savarsin church. Princess Margareta wore a textured fur pillbox while Princess Elena wore a black fabric hat with cuffed fur brim.
On December 25, members of the Imperial royal attended a memorial ceremony at the Imperial Palace on the anniversary of Emperor Taisho’s death. Princess Kiko and Princess Mako are pictured below- Princess Nobuko and Princess Yoko were also present.
On Dec 27, the Imperial Royal family attended an annual end of year family luncheon at the Imperial Palace. You can see Prince and Princess Akishino, Princess Mako, Crown Prince Naruhito and Crown Princess Masako arriving here.
Several new millinery designs jumped out at me this week:
Astoundingly glamorous jewel toned turban from Philip Treacy
Red felt percher pork pie with black feathers from Irish milliner Aoife Harris Design
Two stunning hats with hand beaded trim here and here from German milliner Nicki Marquardt
Royal blue silk covered pillbox percher with irises and lace from London milliner Cara Meehan
Felt trilby with intricately beaded hatband from London based millinery Bundle MacLaren
And a hat perfect for New Year’s Eve, this grey silk shantung beret percher with insert panel of sparkling paillettes from UK milliner Dillon Wallwork
Excellent translation of Princess Stephanie’s recent interview by our friends over at Luxarazzi
More Christmas photo greetings:
We end the week with a wonderful video clip, taken during King Harald and Queen Sonja’s 80th birthday gala dinner back in May when their grandchildren interviewed some of their guests. It’s utterly charming.
Photos from Sponichi, Royal Family of Romania