Imperial Couple Visit Ishikawa

Last Saturday, Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko of Japan kicked off a three day visit to Ishikawa Prefecture. For this first day, which saw them travel via express high speed train and visit a specialized school for children with disabilities in  Nonoichi City, the Empress wore an interesting new hat. On first glance, it might look like another one of her grey saucers but if you look closely, you’ll notice it is a double saucer with the bottom layer embroidered in a fishnet pattern of silver thread. The double saucer is a different take on the Empress’ go-to millinery shape and while the difference is subtle, it’s nice to see even a bit of play and experiment with her hats.

Empress Michiko, May 16, 2015 | Royal HatsEmpress Michiko, May 16, 2015 | Royal HatsEmpress Michiko, May 16, 2015 | Royal Hats

Designer: unknown. Likely a milliner at Akio Hirata
Previously Worn: I believe this hat is new

 

On Sunday  the Imperial couple attended a large Tree Planting Festival in Komatsu City and visited a manufacturer of traditional Kutani Pottery. For these events, Empress Michiko repeated a large white saucer hat trimmed with a slate blue bow in the same shade as her suit.

Empress Michiko, May 17, 2015 | Royal Hats Empress Michiko, May 16, 2015 | Royal Hats Empress Michiko, May 16, 2015 | Royal Hats

Designer: Likely Akio Hirata
Previously Worn: May 26, 2013

 

On Monday, the Emperor and Empress concluded their visit to the region with a stop at the newly restored Kanazawa Castle and its famous Kenroku-en garden. Empress Michiko repeated her navy and gold suit and matching navy saucer hat trimmed with flat, folded bow. While the ensemble does feel a bit ‘retro airline hostess’, the use of colour and gold trim is such a departure for the Empress (and such a welcome change from her go-to grey) that I’m not going to  complain.

Empress Michiko, May 17, 2015 | Royal Hats Empress Michiko, May 17, 2015 | Royal Hats

Designer: unknown. Likely a milliner at Akio Hirata
Previously Worn: April 9, 2015

Photos from Sankei, Sankei, Asahi, Sankei, Asahi and Getty as indicated

4 thoughts on “Imperial Couple Visit Ishikawa

  1. Empress Michiko is wearing three sweet little hats. My favourite is the largest of the three, the white saucer hat trimmed with a slate blue bow in the same shade as her suit. Empress Michiko always looks elegant and dresses in a style unique to herself.

  2. Three excellent choices for HIM. The grey is always one of my favorite choices, and I like how the bow on this hat has a subtle mocha hue to it. The two blue ensembles are also great color choices for Michiko. I do wish we could see her in more color, but I think that would be stretching my luck too much haha.

  3. I agree with everything HatQueen has said. While I wouldn’t wear any of these hats myself, I do think the Empress has established her own unique style. She is such a petite woman that she can get away with wearing these teeny hats that would not work on anyone else. Even so, I would like her to step outside of her comfort zone and blow me away with something completely new and fashion forward, and she is slim enough, and still beautiful enough, to carry a hat and outfit that is quite a statement. That navy and gold suit is so lovely and so flattering to her petite and slim frame, and it seems to be crying out for a hat that is a bit of a departure from her usual style. A narrow brimmed hat could have worked here I think.

    • Let’s keep in mind that the Empress reportedly suffers from serious migraine headaches and her small hats are designed to accommodate this (she has given up wearing tiaras altogether for this reason). I’m not sure larger hats are a feasible option for her.

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