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.
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