Imperial Royals Welcome American State Visit

The first foreign state visit of the Reiwa Era began today with the arrival of the American President and First Lady in Japan. Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako greeted their visitors with a welcome ceremony at the Imperial Palace, the Empress in what appears to be a new hat.

Embed from Getty Images

In pristine white (silk, I think), the design features a short brim rolled on the sides and a straight-sided, flat crown. The hat is simply trimmed in a a hatband in the same parchment-hued silk as Masako’s matching suit, embellished in slim, diagonal pinstripes of pale taupe beads. It’s a quietly subtle look for the Empress and what stands out are those stripes of beads on the hatband, visible even at considerable distance, which add lovely movement and dimension.

Embed from Getty Images

Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: I believe this hat is new

Crown Princess Kiko topped a pale blue silk dress with matching Breton style hat, covered in the same crepe silk. Rows of stitching punctuate the hat’s brim, which vents on one side in an elegant scallop. It’s another quietly subtle look but let’s not kid ourselves- this visit was never going to see bold looks or creative hats on the Imperial royal ladies.

2019-05-27 US state visit 3 250

Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: I believe this hat is new

Thoughts about these two hats today in Japan?

Photos from The Asahi Shimbun via Getty; and Getty as indicated 

7 thoughts on “Imperial Royals Welcome American State Visit

  1. Subtlety is the word of the day in virtually all aspects of Japanese culture, and these hats are no exception — the beading on Masako’s hatband, as well as the contrast (if that word can be used) between the pure white of the hat and the parchment of the hatband and her suit are exquisite. Although I’m sorry that Crown Princess Kiko did not get a little bit more bold with, perhaps, a larger brim or a contrasting color, still the stitching and scallop on her hat add interest, and are in keeping with the occasion.

  2. Very nice hats on both Royal ladies. I particularly like the detail on the hatband of the Empress. Very elegant outfits as well. I did see a photo of the evening attire of the Empress and it was stunning. She’s looking so confident and elegant and seems to be enjoying her role as Empress.

  3. I’m really coming to appreciate the subtle detailing of these hats; like wedding gowns, they need to be inspected closely to see the beautiful workmanship and design.

    • So true, Elizabeth. Both of these hats feature good examples — the diagonal beading on the Empress’s hatband and the stitching and scallop for Princess Kiko.

  4. Empress Masako and Crown Princess Kiko both look wonderful. I’m glad you pointed out the beading and stitching details on the hats–something I, of course, would never have noticed. I am glad to see Masako looking confident and comfortable; she appears to have overcome her stress disorder to become the Empress she was meant to be.

  5. It’s rare we see wide-brimmed (or even medium-brimmed) hats on the Japanese Imperial ladies, so I’m happy to see something a little larger on Masako today. I think she wears wider brims well, and hope she brings more out soon (there are some good ones to repeat!).

    Kiko has also worn some wider brims in the past, and with such a sunny day, I’m surprised she didn’t bring one out. But this nice pale blue one with the subtle fabric pattern/texture was a good alternative.

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