I’m so happy to welcome Lauren Ritchie, creator of Melbourne-based Lauren J. Ritchie Millinery, to share her thoughts on all of the royal hats we see today on the fourth day of Royal Ascot!
Queen Elizabeth wore her fourth new hat of this year’s racing event, in bright pink. The modified cloche shape features a squared brim and is covered in the same textured fabric as the ensemble’s matching coat. An oversize ostrich feather, dyed in the same hue, wraps diagonally around the side of the crown to complete the design.
Royal Hats: Does anyone wear this shade of pink better than the Queen?!
Lauren Ritchie: This is a striking colour that beautifully contrasts the softer tones Her Majesty wore throughout the rest of the week. The feathers add a lovely texture to the piece.
Royal Hats: Lauren, how is a large ostrich feather like this one, affixed to a hat such as this? I suspect it is sewn down the middle spine, leaving the upper feather wisps free to move but what can you tell us about the joy (and challenge!) of working with these types of feathers?
Lauren Ritchie: One option is the ostrich feather can be stitched down through the spine with the use of a straw needle and thimble. Moving through sideways the spine, not up and down, there would be around three secure stitches along the point of the spine. It is a challenge not to catch the soft plumes in stitches as they are difficult to control and keep out to the way while working.
Royal Hats: I can imagine! I’m a bit torn on this hat. The colour is fantastic and I like how the feather trim partially hides that the hat is covered in the same textured fabric as the Queen’s coat but… as expertly as it has been treated, it seems a little messy. It takes additional time and skill to make a beautiful fabric covered hat but I wonder, if with this ensemble, something in dyed straw might feel lighter and more summery?
Lauren Ritchie: While I do agree that the beautiful work of making a fabric covered hat with the highly skilled under brim finish is covered by the plumes, a different material would add yet another texture to an already full outfit with the contrasting patterned dress underneath.
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