I’m thrilled to welcome Ellie Vallerini, creator of Sussex-based Ellie Vallerini Hats, as my guest to share her thoughts on all of the royal hats we see today for Ladies’ Day at Royal Ascot! Thanks for joining us, Ellie!
Keeping the bookies on their toes, Queen Elizabeth surprised in silver grey today with her her third new hat of the week. The design features a flared crown covered in the same silk cloque fabric as her coat and a mushroom shaped straw brim overlaid in pleated crin. The hat is finished with a grey goose feather mount and vine of gold silk flowers that wrap around the front.
Royal Hats: Another colour surprise from Her Majesty! I don’t think very many predicted grey.
Ellie Vallerini: It’s really lovely to see the Queen in some different style hats this year! This one is quite unusual with a mix of textures and fabrics and I like the proportions of this hat, the crown is less heavy than previous years. The Audrey Hepburn style brim really suits the Queen and although I love her in bright colours it’s nice to see her in something soft. The brim is made from sinamay and has a layer of pleated crin around it which is very interesting and I haven’t seen it used in this way before.
Royal Hats: Agreed. The mix of sinamay, pleated crin and silk cloque fabric works really well here.
Royal Hats: Stella McLaren tends to set these brims an inch or two up the side of the crown so that you can see the crown’s base on the underside of the brim. Ellie, is this a standard technique for constructing this style of hat?
Ellie Vallerini: It is a very popular technique for brims like this ‘Audrey’ style because it allows for that lovely downward shape without covering the face. If the brim was attached at the bottom of the crown it would fall too far over the face, obstructing your view and face in photos. If the brim is much shallower then is isn’t always necessary or if the crown is smaller and the hat simply perches on top of the head with a wire or elastic fitting that can also give the desired effect.
Royal Hats: Thanks, Ellie! That’s really insightful.
Royal Hats: I’m annoyed by the visible, plastic stem on the flowers trimming the hat. In yesterday’s discussion about the Queen’s hat, our guest milliner Wies shared great insight into the art of millinery flower making. The yellow flowers are a good call here (they tie well with the applique cutouts from the patterned silk on dress that are placed around the coat’s neckline) but these are disappointing.
Ellie Vallerini: I love the sweep of feathers and splash of yellow however I do think the yellow flowers could have been bound by hand onto cotton covered wires instead of left with the plastic. Creating your own branch of flowers by hand gives it that real couture finish. Overall I thought she looked lovely, as usual!
Designer: Angela Kelly. Made by Stella McLaren
Previously Worn: This hat is new
What do you think of the Queen’s hat today?
Photos from Getty as indicated