After taking a few days off here to enjoy the Canadian Thanksgiving long weekend, it’s back to business as usual today here at Royal Hats. Hold on- we have lots to cover today. First up are some Imperial royal hats that may surprise you.
Back on October 1st, Princess Hisako of Takamado opened the 28th “Starry Sky Town, Blue Sky Town” National Conference on environmental awareness in Kochi. For this honour, she wore a white hat with straight sided crown and slightly raised brim on one side. While the hat is fairly simple in design, its embellishment, a hat band made of layered ruffles in the same pink print of her suit, is a major departure for an Imperial hat. I’m not sure the ruffled hat band works but I love the use of such a vivid pattern on a Japanese royal ensemble.
On October 2, Princess Hisako wrapped up her visit to Kochi with a stop at the Center for Advanced Marine Core Research at Kochi University. For this event, she topped a printed beige jacket with a coordinating fedora hat. This hat looks to be trimmed with a beige bow at the back and a hat band made of black net tulle that ties in with the print on her jacket. The colour is rather bland and I’m not sure about back bows on fedoras but the tulle hat band has me intrigued as it adds some interesting texture to the piece.
Back on September 28, Crown Prince Naruhito and Crown Princess Masako attended a ceremony to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the National Theatre. For this event, Princess Masako repeated a white hat with trilby style brim, straight-sided square crown and wide monochrome hat band.
From September 28 to October 2, Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko visited Iwate Prefecture to take in the 71th Japanese National Sports Festival. For their arrival on September 28, Empress Michiko repeated a denim blue suit and matching saucer hat trimmed with knotted bows backed in gold. The vivid contrast on this hat makes it one of my favourites for Michiko and it was lovely to see her in it again.
For a visit to Kamaishi on September 30, the Empress repeated a dark slate blue-grey saucer hat trimmed with a white silk origami-style bow with slim blue and black stripes that look to be hand painted.
On October 1st, the royal couple officially opened the National Sports Festival held at Kitakami. For this honour, Empress Michiko wore a pale grey hat with domed center and flat double brim trimmed with a large monochrome silk bow on the front brim. If you look closely in the second photo, you’ll notice that the lower brim appears to be made of fine straw in a lattice pattern which lends some subtle textural contrast to the piece. It’s a larger size hat than the Empress wears and the scale is most attractive on her.
Previously Worn: I can’t find a previously worn hat with the same lattice underbrim- perhaps this is new?
On the final day of their visit, the Emperor and Empress took in in the gymnastics competition of the National Sports Festival in Morioka City. Empress Michiko repeated a suit and hat in the most wonderful shade of cereulean blue that we have not seen in several years. In the style we have come to associate with the Empress, the saucer hat features a raised rim around the back and a flat bow that wraps around the front. While not an exciting shape, what makes this hat stand out is its bright colour- such a wonderful departure for Michiko and and one she wears so beautifully.
Designer: unknown. Likley Akio Hirata
Previously Worn: November 1, 2013
Do any of these seven Imperial royal hats stand out to you in particular?