One Hat, Two Frocks

When Queen Mathilde stepped out at the Frankfurt Book Fair on Tuesday, she was wearing a simple pyramid shaped percher hat in grey straw. This is the second time we have seen her step out in this hat- a hat that looked surprisingly different from its first outing. While lighting accounts for much of this difference, the pairing of this hat with dresses of a completely different style and feel is also at play. I’m curious about which ensemble you prefer:

Look 1: Paired with a pale blue silk wrap dress at the 100th anniversary of the start of WWI on August 4, 2014

Queen Mathilde, August 4, 2014 | Royal Hats  Queen Mathilde, August 4, 2014 | Royal Hats

Look 2: With a printed grey and pink printed Natan dress to open the Frankfurt Book Fair, October 18, 2016

Queen Mathilde, Oct 18, 2016 | Royal Hats  Queen Mathilde, Oct 18, 2016 | Royal Hats

   Which dress do you think works best with this hat?

Photos from  Fred Dufour, Chris JacksonPhotonews and Photonews via Getty

Dutch and Belgian Monarchs Open Frankfurt Book Fair

King Willem-Aleander, King Philippe and Queen Mathilde met in Frankfurt today to officially open the Netherlands-Flemish pavilion at the 2016 Frankfurt Book Fair.

Queen Mathilde repeated a pale grey straw pyramid shaped saucer hat, trimmed only with piping around the edge of the piece. I like the rakish angle she wore the piece and the elegant way it provided a counterpoint to her wildly printed frock. It’s not the most exciting of hats but for this occasion, a more simple design was an excellent choice.
Queen Mathilde, Oct 18, 2016 | Royal Hats  Queen Mathilde, Oct 18, 2016 | Royal Hats

Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: August 4, 2014
What do you think of this grey hat in Germany today?
Photos from Getty as indicated; Photonews and Photonews via Getty

Belgian Monarchs Wrap Up State Visit To Japan

On Thursday, King Philippe and Queen Mathilde continued their state visit to Japan with a day of engagements that took the pair to Tokugawa Museum, a Nagoya exhibition of Belgian products, Matsuzakaya Department Store and an elementary school. Queen Mathilde used these events to debut a new cocktail hat, described by the designer as “made out of abaca and red silk, adorned with an accompanying feather.”

Queen Mathilde, Oct 13, 2016 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats Queen Mathilde, Oct 13, 2016 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats

Queen Mathilde, Oct 13, 2016 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats   Queen Mathilde, Oct 13, 2016 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats

The silk covered straw takes on a wonderful iridescent sheen in natural light. While the wrapped design of the hat makes it slightly unkempt for my taste, the combination of hat with red gloves, clutch and shoes, embroidered rose detail on Mathilde’s grey dress, a fantastic hairstyle and classic jewels makes for a truly lovely ensemble.

Queen Mathilde, Oct 13, 2016 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats   Queen Mathilde, Oct 13, 2016 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats

Designer: Fabienne Delvigne
Previously Worn: This hat is new

The couple’s final day yesterday took them to Osaka where they visited Kobe University, lunched with leaders from the local chemical industry and viewed traditional Japanese theatre. Queen Mathilde repeated a beige velvet felthat with indented crown and folded hatband bow at the front.This fedora variation is a more informal piece but one I think was a chic and effortless match with her orange dress.

Queen Mathilde, Oct 15, 2016 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats Queen Mathilde, Oct 15, 2016 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats

Designer: Fabienne Delvigne
Previously Worn: October 11, 2013
While these state visits are about far more than fashion, I think Queen Mathilde’s wardrobe this week was a great success. What do you think about these final two hats in Japan?

Belgian Royals on State Visit To Japan

King Philippe and Queen Mathilde embarked on a state visit to Japan earlier this week. They were officially welcomed at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo on Tuesday where, as expected, the occasion saw a number of new hats.

Queen Mathilde stood out in a new brown wool casque style headpiece covered in red-orange and brown maple leaves. There’s no doubt this is a unique and daring design that requires considerable millinery bravery to carry off but I wonder if it’s a little TOO far out there to be considered attractive. I’m just not sure a leaf covered helmet, no matter how creative or beautifully executed, can be flattering.
Queen Mathilde, Oct 11, 2016 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats  Queen Mathilde, Oct 11, 2016 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats
Designer: Fabienne Delvigne
Previously Worn: This hat is new

Empress Michiko topped a charcoal suit with a small matching saucer hat. While this follows the same shape and scale of many of Michiko’s other hats, it is set apart with a double underbrim in silver lattice straw and a simple ribbon twist trim in a lighter shade of grey.

Empress Michiko, Oct 11, 2016 | Royal Hats

Empress Michiko, October 11, 2016 | Royal Hats

Designer: Likely Akio Hirata
Previously Worn: I believe this hat is new

Crown Princess Masako topped her pale pink suit with a matching hat. While the shape of this design- with a domed, straight sided crown and primly upturned brim- is neither memorable nor flattering on Masako (from the front view, the hat looks too big for her), I think it may be partially redeemed with that lovely, pleated hat band.

Crown Princess Misako, October 11, 2016 | Royal Hats

Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: I believe this hat is new
These three hats cover completely different ends of the royal millinery style spectrum and while it doesn’t seem fair to compare them, I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on each design. Let’s chat!
Photos from Getty as indicated; PhotonewsAFP, PhotonewsPhotonews and Photonews via Getty

Queen Mathilde Visits Magritte Exhibition

Queen Mathilde was in Paris yesterday to take in an exhibition at the Centre Pompidou dedicated to late Belgian surrealist painter Rene Magritte. For this visit, she repeated a charcoal grey silk headpiece that, while from the front appears to be a stacked calot, is actually a pair of open rings that encircle her head. The first time we saw this design, I was not a fan but the styling here with Mathilde’s fantastic blue frock and grey accessories has made me warm to it. These open crowned headpieces have such a light and airy aesthetic that works well for less formal engagements such as this.

 

Queen Mathilde, Oct 5, 2016 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats

   

Designer: Fabienne Delvigne
Previously Worn: October 28, 2014
I know many of you are gravely averse to these open crowned designs- did the wonderful styling on Queen Mathilde’s ensemble yesterday change your thoughts about this particular headpiece?
Photos from Getty as indicated and Belgian Monarchy

Belgian National Day

King Philippe, Queen Mathilde and their children celebrated their country’s national holiday today with a Te Deum mass this morning at the Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula in Brussels followed by a military parade.

Queen Mathilde wore a new hat, as she usually does for this event each year. This year’s ensemble was less dramatic than in years past and she topped an exquisite NATAN lace dress with a hat described by the designer as “a beige pink head dress accompanied by a matching clutch, both made out of banana fibres.” The headpiece looks to be made of individual crescents (stylised petals perhaps?) stacked to follow the general shape of a calot hat.

 

 

Queen Mathilde, July 21, 2016 in Fabienne Delvigne | Royal Hats

Designer: Fabienne Delvigne
Previously Worn: This hat is new
The stacked, overlapping petals pieces give some visual interest and movement to the design, counteracting it’s nondescript colour without overwhelming the delicate lace of Mathilde’s dress. It’s an ensemble that’s all about subtlety and while we might prefer outfits with more punch, there’s something undeniably beautiful and elegant about this one.
What do you think of Queen Mathilde’s new hat today?
Photos from Getty as indicated and EPA

Belgian Royals Attend Religious Procession

King Philippe, Queen Mathilde and Princess Elisabeth were in Tongeren yesterday to take part in  Kroningsfeesten, a religious procession takes place every seven years to commemorate the crowning of the miraculous statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary. For this event, the Belgian queen repeated her beautifully draped calot hat in royal blue ruched straw. The calot style works so well for Mathilde’s fine features and this shade of blue is so striking on her, particularly in combination with her orange and blue frock.

 

Designer: Fabienne Delvigne
Previously Worn: May 20, 2015
Click on the middle photo above to open a small gallery of photos taken at this event. What are your thoughts on this design?
Photos from Getty, Twitter and The Belgian Monarchy as indicated