I’m so fortunate to be joined today by Lauren Ritchie, creator of Melbourne-based Lauren J. Ritchie Millinery, to chat about today’s royal hats at Ascot!
The Duchess of York topped a sunshine yellow dress with a teal velvet headpiece trimmed with peacock feathers and finely dotted net veil. The milliner notes that the hat is partially upcycled from a vintage piece.
Lauren Ritchie: Jess Collett has made some wonderful pieces for the Duchess of York!
Royal Hats: I’m really liking their ongoing collaboration. It has really elevated Sarah’s hats!
Lauren Ritchie: I really enjoy the combination of the radiant yellow and jade peacock but would have put her in the same coloured shoes instead of the purple. The green accessories of bag, clutch and gloves are a well considered combination.
Lauren Ritchie: I’m unsure of how this hat was designed to be worn. My first reaction is I would like to pull it firmly down over her right eye, moving the plumes to be more central on her head to add height but then looking from other angles, the hat also looks somewhat turban-like but moved forward on the head, treated more like a button. It is a playful combination of styles.
Royal Hats: I think different placement on the head would help! The colour blocking is fun and Sarah wears green SO well. The headpiece base has an interesting shape that I like- it’s open without he doughnut look of a completely open circle. I’m just not sure about the styling here- does the velvet headpiece and purse work with the light, sunny, summer dress? I don’t know.
Royal Hats: I’m intrigued by this shape, Lauren- how would you go about blocking an interwoven piece like this? What finishing challenges does a shape like this bring?
Lauren Ritchie: For a piece constructed in this way, all of the finishing would need to occur underneath. It is a bit of an illusion- it could be two pieces that are constructed in full, finished parts and then interlocked together to form the final shape or it could be a pillbox shape that has been cut into and wrapped around itself. Either way, the base material would need to be very sturdy to support the weight of this material.
Royal Hats: Thanks, Lauren. Your explanation is helping me realize how impeccably it is constructed. I can’t remember other royal hats that have included upcycled parts from a vintage hat and this is wonderful to see here. I’d love to see more upcycled and recycled royal hats!
Designer: Jess Collett
Previously Worn: This hat is new
The Duke of York again looked dapper in his elegant black antique silk top hat.
What do you think of the Duchess’ hat today?
Photos from Getty as indicated