It’s my pleasure to be joined today by Lauren Ritchie, creator of Melbourne-based Lauren J. Ritchie Millinery, to chat about today’s royal hats at Ascot!
Lady Helen Taylor joined the Queen in her carriage for today’s arrival in a dusky pink teardrop percher with dramatic pleated pouf and birdcage in net veil.
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Lauren Ritchie: Contrasting bows have been a feature in Ascot outfits this year. The contrasting and vibrant orange is the feature of this dress and it accessorised very well. The covered beret with draped tulle compliments the outfit and adds its own dramatic element of height without fighting for your eyes attention.
Royal Hats: Agreed! This hat does a great job of blending with the ensemble (and letting that orange bow sing!) while the tall tulle trim enables the design to hold its own.
Royal Hats: Lauren, what can you tell us about working with veiling net, such as an amount like this, on a hat? Does it require stiffening? What challenges come with working with this material?
Lauren Ritchie: Veilings can naturally be quite stiff, natural silk veilings respond well to steam and will hold their shape. Sometimes a veil can require a light stiffener such as hairspray and it is easy to spray once the veiling has been arranged.
Royal Hats: Hairspray?! That’s a surprise but it makes sense!
Lauren Ritchie:The cuts to the veil on Helen’s hat are clever with the pointed edge, leaving the tip light so it does not fall under its own weight. Holding it in place requires the use of tie tacks which are done in either a matching or clear thread.
Designer: Unconfirmed. Helen’s hats usually come from Stephen Jones.
Previously Worn: This hat is new
Helen’s husband, Timothy Taylor, and Peter Phillips rounded out the first carriage. The men both wore black felt top hats- some of the better felt designs we’ve seen on royal heads, I think.
What do you think of Lady Helen’s hat today?
Photos from Getty as indicated
Considering how messy Helen’s hats usually are, this one hits just the right mark! The veiling is stylized is a great way, and I love the simplicity of just the beret base with the netting. I also love the bright orange as a contrast to this dusty rose, but I think it could’ve been styled better. Overall though, a win for Helen!
Timothy’s top hat seems to sit ever so slightly low, but it’s a good look overall; Peter looks fantastic in his top hat, but it’s sad Autumn didn’t accompany him again.
I love Lady Helen and usually I am on board with some of her more fashion-forward ( i.e. cray-cray!) choices. I LOVE THE HAT. Thank you Lauren for those insider tips about the veiling, I never would have thought hairspray! The dress itself is lovely. It’s the color combination that fails for me since the two colors are so different in hue/tone/intensity. The pink is very dusky/muddy/dull and the orange is clear/bright — picture the pink with a burnt orange or clay orange. Or the orange color with a bright fushia like the Queen’s coat. THEN we’re talking. Tim and Peter look fab as always.
I like the shape of the hat and the way the shiny fabric is draped over the base, and the extra height created by the trim – the style is a great choice to complement a delicate dress of the same colour.
I’m just not on board with veiling when it’s bunched up in this bonbonierre style. Lady Helen is obviously a fan of bunched-up veiling, since she wore this a month ago:
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but this aesthetic is just too unfocussed for my taste. I prefer small hat veiling to have lines are fairly distinct and clear and simple.
A fan of the veiling? Maybe. I think it might more be a matter that Stephen Jones is playing with this material in his current collection and Helen simply scooped up two of the designs!
I do wish that random bow had been left at home! On the tv I could only see her from her right hand side and she looked so elegant, and then I saw the bow! I don’t mind a bold design feature or a colour clash, but this is just so random and weirdly attached. I just don’t get it! The rest of the outfit and the hat though are very lovely, so l’ll just focus there!
Lady Helen’s hat is lovely – I’m adoring all the romantic veiling we’re seeing in the past couple of weeks. Having it stand up off the hat completes this look beautifully. However, I must respectfully disagree with both learned commentators about the contrasting ‘bow’ on Lady Helen’s dress. Egad! It looks like a random piece of clashing material has been tied to her neckline. Shudder. Lady Helen is always someone I’m keen to see because she tries all sorts of fashion. This dress misses the mark for me, but I’ll be just as keen to see what she brings to the next outing.
It’s always wonderful to see the Taylor’s! Thanks so much for the hairspray explanation for the veil Lauren. It’s a fun tidbit!
I do think Tim and Peter both look great in their top hats!
I don’t mind the outfit and dress of Lady Helen. The color is very pretty on her and the cut is very becoming. She is confident and stylish and it’s always great to see her in the Royal Enclosure.