Second Day of Royal Ascot, Part 2

Royal Hats Along with a talented trio of guest milliners Christie Murray, Fiona Mangan and Jill Courtemanche, let’s wrap Day Two of Royal Ascot 2015 with a peek at the remaining hats we saw today.

Princess Anne in a new hat by Snoxell Gwyther

Jill:  This is a dramatically better look than yesterday but it still misses the mark for me. Although the feathers are festive and I like the textural combination of the parisisal and sinimay straws, I find the hat a little heavy and the look a bit fallish. I am a fan of the clean lines of Princess Anne’s dress and the draped scarf (a nice alternative to the jacket) but I would have preferred to see fresh, brighter colors.

Christie: Oh Princess Anne.  For such an elegant lady, I really can’t say that I’m a fan of this hat.  The colour is horrible, and those feathers!  It’s, quite literally, a bunch of Coque tail feathers sew in, as is, with no trimming, positioning, or feather work.  And the draping of the sinamay around the crown, just too heavy. I really hope she pulls out some beautiful millinery for the rest of the carnival.

Royal Hats: The hat alone, I don’t like. But with Anne’s cream sheath and patterned wrap, it makes for a one of the most modern and fashionable ensembles we’ve seen her wear recently. That’s saying something.

Fiona: She likes her browns doesn’t she? I like her dress and the scarf is really quite nice and she wears it well. This is quite a good hat shape on her but I can’t help thinking the crown is slightly too big on her against her delicate features. It just looks a little heavy but perhaps that is down to the dark colour too. But overall she looks a little more ‘suas chun dáta’ (up to date in Irish!) today, even though I am not a huge fan of her hat.

Autumn Phillips in a new hat by Emily London

Fiona: Love her outfit and the proportions and size of Autumns hat with the little bow at the back. The pistachio green hat matches her outfit perfectly and the placement is very nice. The wispy feathers which are a cute detail, are a little too vertical for my liking but where else could they have gone? They do add an airiness to the hat. However I do have a problem with the veiling behind the bow. There is too much of it and the edging is not finished properly, it should have been cut a little neater, not in a straight line, but following the zig-zag of the veiling line.

Jill: So perky and fun, Autumn hit the mark today! There is a lot going on here but it’s appropriate for the occasion and a perfect match for her ensemble. I really like the green on her and the touch of sparkle on the veiling, a bit unexpected here but it works.

Royal Hats: I also adore the green on Autumn. The whole ensemble is balanced, young and fresh.

Christie: How much fun! I love the playfulness of this headpiece, the cheeky bow underneath the veiling.  It’s quite cute and works well with her jacket. I understand what the Milliner was going for with the feather trim, It does balance the skirt detailing.  However,  I don’t particularly think it’s balanced coming out of the centre, it looks more like an after-thought vs something that was part of the initial design.

Princess Alexandra of Kent in a new hat by Rachel Trevor Morgan

Fiona: There’s a real sense of fun about this whole ensemble, I am liking it a lot. Her psychedelic coat is beautiful and particularly vibrant. The hat, whilst has all the bright colours incorporated, is cleverly trimmed by mixing the neutral colour through the bright colours. Very clever indeed. It is a good shape on her and my only criticism would be that I feel the straw material in the hat is a little heavy looking, I would have preferred to see parasissal or sinamay.

Royal Hats: Finally, some vibrant colour! This jacket could easily become clownish if matched with the wrong accessories and the natural straw grounds it in such a lovely way. The little bit of colour in the trim ties in with just the right touch.

Christie: Wow, this isn’t something I’d was expecting, when thinking of RTM headwear, which makes me think that Princess Alexandra had quite a bit of input in to the design of the hat.  Being one of Rachel’s hats, the finishing is impeccable, of course. I’m just not sure that it’s age-appropriate, or that the design works with the paisley detailing in her jacket? I do like the natural straw on her colouring, it suits her, without washing her out. I think, perhaps, it’s the trim that is throwing me off? Something’s just not quite working for me with this look.

Jill: I am going back and forth on this hat but it’s such a happy hat and the shape is very flattering on her so I am going to ignore the part of me that feels this straw choice is a bit too casual for the event. Alexandra’s suit has a lot going on and the colors are very rich so it is not an easy suit to match and I can see how they chose to go with the Milan straw which picks up on the gold. Incorporating all the colors into the trim is not easy either and Rachel Trevor Morgan did a lovely job getting it all in there without letting it get too busy. All that said, this straw does come in a finer variety (less rough) and I think that would have been a better choice for the base of the hat, but like I said it’s a very happy hat, it’s age appropriate and she looks great in it.

Princess Michael of Kent in repeated hat by John Boyd

Christie: That’s so cute that the Princess has colour matched her eye patch! The finishing on that straw hat is just – wow. Beautiful, clean lines, gorgeous shape. I just love it. But that trim. Oh my.  It screams ‘Swan’ to me in all the wrong ways. I just can’t say that I’m a fan of the fluff!

Royal Hats: Swan! Princess Michael has worn this numerous times and I think it is (to quote a one of Jill’s phrases from yesterday) “just on the right side of overdone”! On anyone else, it would be way over the top but on Princess Michael, it works!

Fiona: The hat is quite a nice shape and suits her face, but what is it with the dangling feather boa? I really don’t think that was necessary. It would be far neater if it was left atop the hat. The outfit colour suits her and occasssion appropriate, but I feel its ill-fitting. It is a little too loose in the jacket and the box pleating on the skirt doesn’t do much for her figure.

Jill: It’s a little hard for me to tell all that is going on here because of the feather but it looks like it might just be the feather. I love the white with the mint suit and the wide edge on the brim is very nice but the feather is just too much, too costumey feeling for me. I also want to tailor her jacket a bit to give her more of an hourglass silhouette. I actually think that would make me like the hat better, the volume of the feather would be proportioned to the shape of the suit.

We also saw The Duchess of Gloucester in her previously worn textured pink straw hat. Duchess of Gloucester, June 17, 2015 | Royal Hats

And finally- my favourite non-royal Ascot hats of the day were the Vivien Sheriff design worn by Lady Oxmantown and the claret velvet helmet on jockey Frankie Dettori, who enjoyed his 50th Ascot win today.

My sincere gratitude to Christie Murray, Fiona Mangan and Jill Courtemanche for sharing their milinery expertise with us again today. We will all be back tomorrow to chat about the hats from our favourite day of Ascot, Ladies’ Day!Photos from  James Whatling/Splash News via Corbis; and Getty as indicated

18 thoughts on “Second Day of Royal Ascot, Part 2

  1. All of these ladies look wonderful — even our dear pirate (musketeer?). Autumn wins the day, and this is probably one of her best looks ever. Princess Alexandra proves one can always still surprise. The Countess of Wessex is on a roll with her neutral palette, it will be interesting to see if she continues it.

    MrFitzroy has to have a bit of a giggle over the Princess Royal. While she looks marvelous, and everything is working well together, the hat really looks like they took yesterday’s titfer, dunked it in a bucket of brown paint, and attached a featherduster. Oh my. Still, she is quite soigné — and for Anne, having a very good week so far!

  2. I do like what Autumn’s rocking here – it’s a lot of fun that hat and v Ascot. Alexandra for the win for me though. That coat is fabulous, quite a confident choice. And the neutral hat with what looks like party streamers on it is just the job. Regal as ever with some Ascot fabulous thrown in! Hurrah!

  3. I have to say that your guest commentators this week have considerably expanded my milinery vocabulary. I had idea that there were so many different types of straw!
    Day 2 of Ascot. I really like Princess Anne’s outfit. The hat color may not be summery but it is elegant and picks up a colour in the draped scarf and her dress is lovely. Not sure about Autumn Phillips’ hat which looks as though it may take off into the upper atmosphere with those “arrows”; but she does seems to be enjoying herself and the outfit color is pretty. Princess Alexandra and Princess Michael and the Duchess of Gloucester are all wearing styles that are identifiable with them.

  4. Autumn Phillips’ hat and outfit are really cute and add a nice little pop of color. I really like the cheerful dress, and she looks like she is thoroughly enjoying herself with Sophie Wessex. I like Princess Alexandra’s hat, but I love her facial expressions. She has a wonderfully expressive and reactive face, and I would love to kno what was happening at the time! Princess Michael wears the larger hats really well, but I could do without the feather boa that looks like it is trying to escape. Otherwise I like the hat.

  5. Some may remember that when Peter and Autumn got married, her bridesmaids ( including Zara) were in pistachio, so it’s kind of nice to see Autumn embracing this colour again, and I have to say that I think the overall look with the jacket over the nicely printed dress is quite lovely. However the bit I cannot take my eyes off and which is not working for me is the bow on the hat. I know it’s a comment against the trend but I just don’t like it. It just looks juvenile or something but the placement and the hair cascading out from beneath the hat is nice. Change that and maybe rejig the feathers and I’m sure I’ll like it.
    Re Princess Alexander. I am loving this pop of colour and the hat is fine with me, but what I am not loving is the break and mismatch in pattern across the chest seam and upper arms. It is just so noticeable to me, I suppose because the pattern is so distinctive. Mind you this IS coming from someone who cut her second hand Axminster carpet to match up perfectly, pattern wise as well!!! I must be in a mood for perfection because the first thing I noticed about Sophie’s outfit today was how impeccably the stripes were matched up and what a beautiful clean line that gave the whole outfit. Sorry, I’ll stop now. Wonderful post HQ, keep up the good work.

    • She totally is but with a 70s twist.

      Autumns outfit is cute but I can’t stand the bow on the top of the hat. It wouldn’t be Ascot without Princess Michael winding a feather boa around a hat! I would never wear Princess Alexandra’s outfit but on her it works. The hat is kind of cute too.

  6. The only hat I can say I like is Princess Michael of Kent’s repeated hat by John Boyd, though I am a bit tired of seeing it now.

  7. I think it’s interesting how most people find brown to be too dark for spring/summer, but have no problem with black; just an observation. Anyhow, I have no problem with the color of Anne’s hat, and think it’s another good one for her. The feathers may be a little crazy, but this IS Ascot! I also like her more modern outfit that goes very well with the hat.

    This is one of my all-time favorite looks for Autumn! It’s not often we see green hats and outfits on display (which is sad, since it’s my favorite color!), so this was a great and welcome surprise for me. Such a clean and tailored look, and I hope it makes an appearance again some day sooner rather than later. Honestly, my favorite ensemble from Day 2.

    An unexpected look from Princess Alexandra. I like her outfit and think the hat shape is very flattering for her, but I’m not thrilled with the trimming and hatband; it seems a bit much on this hat, especially since it’s made of a heavier Milan straw. I think a solid color (say red or yellow) would’ve looked better than trying to incorporate all of them.

    I love Marie-Christine can pull off larger and more dramatic hats. It’s not my favorite of hers (and again, why is she only wearing neutral colored hats?!), but it’s a great and fun piece for Ascot. I agree with Jill that the coat should be a bit more tailored.

    Birgitte should pull an Anne and bring back a hat from two decades ago, which at least would throw something different into the rotation of hats she has going (which unfortunately isn’t many).

  8. Princess Ann lovely dress…so much could be worn with it…she just did not find it. Autumn in autumn colours with a firecracker hat. Princess Alexandra thanks for bringing some colour…I would like to see the outfit completely. princess M ..her knight of old white hat gets an Ok but her suit does not fit…I am wondering if she has lost weight…she also appeared smaller yesterday in the black and white dress.the Duchess of Glouchester looks fine. The hat worn by Lady Oxmantown is excellent.

  9. Anne looks quite nice, tho I wish she had the hat in more of the beigy brown that is in her scarf – the hat’s a little too dark for the over all look to be cohesive for me – but as I have said, Anne is such a good representative for the royals and I don’t expect ever to see her as a fashion plate – she can do little wrong in my book – she is just a very great lady. As for Autumn, sorry gang, I think it looks like a hat from the cartoon papers! The feathers are way too tall – can you imagine having to stand behind her in that hat and try to see the ponies?

  10. My first impression of this listing is how impressive the Countess of Wessex’s outfit is, even though we commented on her in the first post rather than in this one. Autumn Kelly’s outfit is wonderful too, though,
    Princess Alexandra looks fabulous, as always. Hat goes perfectly and, as you said, is not clownish because the colors are tied down with the straw.
    Princess Anne’s hat is sort of nice — could work in the fall with a winter coat perhaps — but looks completely out of place with the outfit in June, and her worn-out shoes and purse looks awful. She obviously has a slight theory going on for the outfit, but the ensemble is just a miss all around.

  11. What is going on with Anne? She’s been looking so put together lately, it’s warming the cockles of my heart. Maybe Zara gave her a voucher for a stylist, but whatever the answer is, long may it continue. Yes, that hat is a bit heavy looking and a bit dark, but as I’m passed out with delight, who cares?

    Autumn’s hat is pretty and certainly suits her, but the shot of the feathers sticking straight up is kind of humorous. They look better shifting in the breeze; she’s kind of like a walking wind sculpture (in a good way).

    Alexandra, good lord, that coat is vibrant. Hard to know how you’d match a hat to it unless she went right outside her comfort zone and did a two-tone small hat, something like Zara’s from yesterday. But would she be comfortable? No, this hat is her and all things considered is pretty good.

    P.Michael, again, no. But I like her jewellery today, and this colour is very flattering on her.

    DoG – more clips/brooches, yay, and the hat’s okay too.

    • Oh Sandra that made me laugh (your passed out with delight comment). I felt a bit the same, that’s why I just had to comment so early on and come back for the rest later. Cheers.

  12. Well this is a surprise from The Princess Royal. I refrained from commenting yesterday because I couldn’t really find much to like (apart from the slim belt which was really cool) but today I’m much happier. Yes the feathers are too, all out one side, throwing the balance out, and the crown a bit too tall, but….I think it’s okay. Together with the nicely tailored, plain dress, the colourful scarf draped casually round the neck and the smart shoes, I think it’s a credible pass. And certainly, as our guests have commented, a slightly more modern look. Thankyou.

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