Yesterday turned out to be a vibrant day of royal hats for Day 4 of Ascot. I am so pleased to welcome American milliner Jill Courtemanche and British Milliner Katie Vale back to share their insights and opinions of the hats we saw.
Queen Elizabeth in Angela Kelly
KV: By far my favourite hat that we’ve seen the Queen in so far this Ascot. The colour is glorious. And the flower decoration is pretty. I like this so much on the Queen because the crown is actually smaller than she usually wears and that’s a good thing in my book.
JC: This is not my favorite, I think it all looks a little heavy. The brim with the sheer straw and fabric bumper is very flattering on the queen but I find the crown a touch too tall and the trim too much in the center of the hat. The trim itself looks like a bit of a jumble of whatever was in the drawer, I think it weighs the hat down instead of adding a hint of whimsy.
RH: I like the mix of textures and the straw brim on this fabric hat does lighten it a little. I also love the fabric ‘bumper’ edging the brim. The colour is glorious and the shape is wonderful but there is something about the mix of sweet pink flowers and racy animal print feathers that has the trim on this hat headed off madly in different directions.
Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, Princess of Jordan, Sheikha of Dubai in Philip Treacy
RH: Now THIS is a cocktail hat! I adore the movement, the lightness of the crin and straw ribbon tails (similar to the ones that adorned Camilla’s hat back on Day 1) and the scale of the decoration. This hat has drama and much personality but is not entirely over the top. I love it!
KV: This is quite different from what we’ve seen from her this week. It’s a lot smaller and more subtle. But I’m a big fan. The delicate material and flowing decoration echo her top well. Being in cream it’s difficult to see the full detail, but overall I like it. She looks elegant and classy in this.
JC: Glorious! This is truly a stunning hat and it completely makes the outfit. All of her hats this week have been very feminine and this one is no exception. I love how it appears so effortless like it just landed softly on her head. This is definitely one of my favorites of the week so far.
Lady Sarah Chatto in Stephen Jones
JC: Very simple, clean and modern but really a bit boring for the Ascot. I would like to have seen a bit more trim going on especially since she wore this same silhouette last week. This could have easily had some gorgeous flowers or a feather trim added on to give it some flare for the event. That said it is a lovely shape on her and she has it tilted perfectly to create a nice line
KV: As you can see, the asymmetrical discs are at the height of fashion this year. They give a large hat feel, but only a small part is actually touching the head, therefore they aren’t too hot to wear and allow various different hair styles. Unfortunately Sarah looks very drained in this cream hat. It’s quite a basic design and is in just a bland cream colour. I think the size and shape is lovely but it needs some decoration on it. It also needs to be a different colour!
RH: To be fair, the photos released today don’t show this hat to greatest effect. Lady Sarah wore this hat also for Trooping the Colour this year- a better view can be seen here. Her aesthetic is usually clean and modern, and I love the shape on her. It looks like she embellished this hat with a pair of diamond brooches- a hat with diamonds seems like a wonderful idea!
Lady Helen Taylor in Stephen Jones
JC: I am not sure what this is but it reminds me of a crumpled hanky on a headband. I think if maybe it was tilted a bit more forwards towards the right eye it would help but as it is now I am not a fan. The scattered rhinestone trim doesn’t add much interest either.
KV: I like that she is wearing something unique, however I feel that the placement is wrong. It needs to be further to the side, at present it looks more like a squashed mortar board. I can see what she’s trying to achieve here, but I don’t think it has worked if I’m honest.
RH: I just don’t understand this hat, nor why it was paired with this particular dress. Scratching my head with this one. And I take back my previous comment- hats with diamonds aren’t always a good idea (!).
The Countess of St. Andrews in Yvette Jelfs
JC:I think this is a great color tone for her, the mocha color really flatters her skin tone. I am not sure I would paired with a black suit but the hat itself is lively on her and I really love the flower next to her face. We have seen a lot of that this week and really adds a nice softness to these more modern saucer shapes.
KV: Oh this is amazing! It’s dramatic yet isn’t too fussy! The nude colour is very elegant and not over powering at all. The shape is beautiful with the large lip, and I like that the flower is hidden.
RH: Sylvana’s daughter Lady Marina wore this hat to Trooping the Colour last week. Like Katie and Jill, I love the subtle colour, the flower spray under the brim and the overall shape of the hat. It is dramatic indeed, but with a gentleness to it that is oh-so pretty.
The hats yesterday were completely different from the hats we saw on days one, two and three. I’m curious, dear readers- what did you think of yesterday’s Ascot hats?
Photos from Getty as indicated and Getty for Ascot Racecourse via The Daily Mail