I’m sure you will all agree that the fun of royal hat watching at the Ascot races this year has been immensely enhanced by our marvellous guest milliners Jill Courtemanche, Christie Murray, and Fiona Mangan. Here are their thoughts on the final royal hats we saw today on the last day of Royal Ascot
Queen Elizabeth in a repeated hat by Rachel Trevor Morgan
Jill: This is my favorite hat of the week on the queen! I love the color on her, it’s a warm shade and incredibly complimentary to her complexion. The profiled brim and angled crown are perfectly in balance and the subtle coloration in the feather trim is wonderful with her sheath. It’s a very modern hat without making too strong of a statement, perfect for the Queen of England!
Christie: You just can’t fault Rachel’s finishing. She really is incredible. It’s quite a difficult colour to work with, I have to say that I rather Queen Elizabeth in brighter colours. Unfortunately, with the light shining through the brim and reflecting off her (albeit gorgeous) tweed overcoat, her hair takes on some of the pastel coral colour and it’s not quite the best with her skin tone. Rachel’s feather trim really is gorgeous, wispy and feminine. She’s done a wonderful job of cutting through the heaviness of the tweed and picking up on the paisley detailing in her dress.
Royal Hats: You’re right- the feather trim does reference the Queen’s paisley dress. I hadn’t noticed that before and explains why the trim works so very well.
Fiona: I like this soft peach colour on the Queen and the Rachel Trevor Morgan hat suits her very well with a very slight sweep on the brim. Again sinamay is perfect for this time of year and the trimming on the hat is delicate and beautifully finished. Her coat, appears a little heavy for summer but not atypical of the Queen’s coats for this time of year!
Lady Helen Taylor in a new hat by Stephen Jones. It is the ‘Charisma’ design
Christie: Stephen Jones – my favourite fashion Master Milliner! He always likes to have a bit of fun! I would love to know more about the inspiration behind this piece, I know that it would have a story that would of resonated with Lady Helen. I’d also love to know how it is meant to sit – I can’t say that I like it at this angle. I’m not the biggest fan of these colours together, and don’t think the pink sinamay is well colour matched to her jacket, which makes me think that Lady Helen has bought one a ready-to-wear design vs having a bespoke headpiece made for the occasion.
Royal Hats: While I have been crying for more colour this week, this isn’t quite what I had in mind.I admire Lady Helen’s millinery fearlessness – she often wears very quirky, creative pieces – but this hat and suit don’t jive (you can see a full length photo of Lady Helen’s ensemble here).
Jill: I adore Stephen Jones and the slight irreverence he brings to his work but this hat is not working for me. The colors in the straw work nicely with her suit but I am not sure what is happening with the ball trim on the edge or the dragonfly tucked in between the two disks and I really do not like seeing her hair between the two layers which makes me think she must be wearing it incorrectly. Even so I am not sure proper placement here would make me like it anymore, this is my least favorite hat of the week.
Fiona: What a fun and playful headpiece by Stephen Jones. The colours are quite muted but work very well with her outfit. Loving the dragonfly sandwiched between the two layers of the hat trimmed with green pearls. Think this is a brave move wearing this quirky hat so fair play to lady Helen!
I suppose it is most fitting that we end Royal Ascot 2015 with an unexpected and most unusual hat! I can not begin to adequately express my thanks to our guest royal milliners Christie Murray, Jill Courtemanche, and Fiona Mangan. They have made this fun week of hats an absolute delight and I thank them all for taking time from very busy weeks to contribute here.
Photos from via Corbis; and Getty as indicated