Joined by Australian milliner Christie Murray, Irish milliner Fiona Mangan and American milliner Jill Courtemanche, let’s get right back to our next group of royal hats from the first day of Ascot races today.
Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall in a new hat by Philip Treacy
Jill: I admire the Duchess of Cornwall for taking chances and continuing to try new shapes and trends in millinery. I like the softness of the twists against the face but I want to push the whole hat deeper into her head so the crown is not sticking up so much, it looks a little too narrow and takes away from the clean architectural line of the detail work. I do love the color though and there is no doubt that the hat is the best part of this outfit…
Christie: Ah, Mr Treacy, the king of line and flow. I love what he’s done with this piece. It wouldn’t have been easy to colour-match this sinamay, his colourists have done a great job. It’s an interesting place to put a jinsin trim, but I kind of get what he’s going for. By colour matching the trim to The Duchess of Cornwall’s hair, it nearly becomes part of her whole look. It’s as if the jinsin comes out from underneath her brim and flows away from her, creating an elegant and chic final look.
Royal Hats: It’s a new shape for Camilla, smaller than her usual picture hats. I adore the twisted trim but something about the proportion and washed out colour is a little off for me.
Fiona: She is the ‘Queen’ of pastel colours, sometimes I wish she would go for brighter hues. Again a classic hat with a wide brim. Its a style she returns to again and again, but it works for her. Always elegant is Camilla and she can afford to wear the wider brim to tame that appearingly flyaway, but perfectly styled hairdo. Not too mad on the lapel and cuff detailing of the coat, think it is a little old for her but more or less on the button here.
Princess Beatrice in a new disc hat by Nerida Fraiman. Skirt and blouse by Roksanda Ilincic.
Christie: Ok, so being a milliner on the younger side, can I firstly say that I love her outfit and shoes! I would totally wear this – love it. And I like the youthful playfulness of her hat. I absolutely see what they were trying to go for. It looks like a shot sinamay, with a bit of bling? How much fun! I love the spot of bling in the centre of her trim too, I think it works well with the circle detailing in her skirt. The only thing that I think is letting this hat down is the crinoline trim. I feel like it needed a deeper black trim, to play off the black in the skirt and her shoes. The sparkle in the hat base does dampen it’s colour, and paired with the crinoline trim, tends to wash it out somewhat. With more of a punchy, black trim, it would pick up the bold and modern look of the outfit, and be more balanced.
Royal Hats: I really like this hat but wish it was worn at further forward and with a different outfit. The dramatic black circle on the skirt needs an equally bold hat to balance the ensemble- something similar to the Countess of Wessex’s hat yesterday. Alternately, I think this hat would be beautiful with a simpler dress, like the one Beatrice wore for Trooping the Colour on Saturday.
Fiona: Love her outfit but the hat in my opinion is not working for her. I wouldn’t have put black with those pastel colours (even though there seems to be a small bit of black in the skirt). Her hat placement is off, it looks like it is not sitting into her head at all and appears to be on the verge of falling off! She should have chosen a more pastel coloured hat or richer hued hat than the beautiful outfit. Sorry Beatrice, you were off the mark for your hat on this one but the outfit is quite fitting!
Jill: I like this hat – it’s youthful and a model of modern simplicity, plus I love that it is held on with this beautiful jewelled hat pin but I want it to sit a bit more forward on her, over the brow rather than on the side so it feels more balanced.
Jill: Wow! This outfit is gorgeous and so ladylike, absolutely beautiful. I love the cream and the detail on the hat is lovely, the height is perfect paired with the tall collar of her dress and her profile is stunning.
Fiona: This is my favourite Royal look of the first day at Royal Ascot. Love the huge slice headpiece which sits almost vertically – really creates drama. Hair is perfect, outfit colour is so fresh and that high neckline which I am a fan of myself, is divine with a hem length that is daringly verging on evening attire. Full marks to Sophie for pulling out all the stops!
Christie: From a general, over all look, this hat would have to be one of my favourites of the day. Colour-wise and texturally, it’s bang-on with that dress. And it’s sitting just perfectly on her head. I love how they’ve done such a beautiful trim, bringing in jinsin with that beautiful material. The lines just work so well with her face and the material of her outfit. My only, tiny thing to pick would be the finishing of the piece. For such a beautiful hat, I would have love to have seen those tiny fly-aways on the brim trimmed off and the folded brim bind invisibly and hand-stitched down. Otherwise, it’s just gorgeous.
Royal Hats: Agreed on all accounts! This piece is absolutely sublime. Not only my favourite royal hat of the day, this is my favourite overall royal hat so far this year.
Princess Michael of Kent in a repeated hat by Philip Treacy
Christie: This isn’t an easy shape to block so seamlessly in sinamay, so that is to be commended. I’m just not sure that the shape of the feather trim is purposeful enough? It’s an incredible feather, and I don’t mind where it’s sitting, I just feel like it could have been shaped in a slightly more angular fashion, to work with the lines in her dress.
Jill: I like this hat a lot but I think on it’s own it is a bit of a bore, her dress actually makes the hat look better! All together it is a clean, modern look but I am not wowed. I must admit I am doing everything I can not to make any pirate references here…but she should have ether played up the unavoidable eye patch and had some fun with it or avoided a black hat.
Royal Hats: I’m not bothered by the eye patch (although white might have blended better)- it’s the earrings that are standing out like a sore thumb for me. Somehow, this fabulous, dramatic hat is lost in this ensemble.
Fiona: Quite like this, a little less formal in a lot of respects with the relaxed fitting dress, the not-so-matching necklace and earrings and quite formal structured hat with an enormous feather. She is playing safe but with a slightly quirky look. Might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I certainly think she looks well.