Dutch State Visit to India

King Willem Alexander and Queen Máxima arrived in India late Sunday (with the king co-piloting their plane!) for a state visit that officially kicked off yesterday.

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For the first day of events, Queen Máxima wore a new dress and matching calot hat, overlaid in pale blue widely woven mesh on which is affixed a darker blue cotton lace. A large square aquamarine and diamond brooch was pinned to left side of the hat.

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It’s a brave and interesting look but one I think is compromised by fabric choice- the rough edges of the lace’s blue mesh base give the ensemble (particularly the dress) a messy, unpolished look. The draped collar/sleeve also gives considerable volume to the top of the dress which inevitably, competes with the hat. On its own, I think the hat could work as the lace and mesh have some nice movement and lightness that is completely lost against the dress. Next outing, I’d like to see the hat paired with a solid, streamlined dress to see how it works.

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Designer: unknown. Dress by Natan
Previously Worn: this hat is new

We don’t usually discuss evening looks here but I’m going to bend the rules to include a magnificent gown Queen Máxima wore for last night’s state banquet. Made by Jan Taminau from an embroidered silk sari Máxima bought in Jaipur (known as the ‘pink city’) during her and the king’s 2007 visit, I thought it was diplomatic dressing perfection.

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For the second day of engagements today, Queen Máxima repeated a hat some of us have been longing to see again. The wide coral straw saucer is edged in tan straw binding and trimmed with a mass of multicoloured feathers.

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The pairing of this hat with the tawny silk dress and low ponytail is excellent and creates a less formal background for the hat to shine as the inevitable statement that it is. A few minor quibbles- I’d love to see less vertical placement of those feathers (it sill reminds me of an Obsk!) and the hat worn at a less extreme angle and tilted down over her eyebrow but overall, the design is a fun and vibrant alternative to Máxima’s go-to shapes and I was so happy to see it again.

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Designer: Bettina Thomas. Dress by Natan
Previously Worn: May 20, 2015

There’s much to discuss here- what do you think of Queen Máxima’s hats so far on this Indian state visit?!

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Photos from Getty as indicated 

13 thoughts on “Dutch State Visit to India

  1. Stunning evening look by Queen Maxima. Her jewellery is perfect – it allows the beautiful fabric to shine. What a gorgeous look!

    I’m not a fan of the blue dress and hat (too stiff and messy) and the orange hat is nice, but the feathers perplex me.

  2. perhaps if the drape/collar on the dusky blue lace dress had been a solid color/fabric? there’s so much going on there that i’m looking for the harmony in the outfit and all I see is messy lace. oh, and one word for that fabulous evening gown: YOWZA.

  3. Where to start? I loved the colour of the blue, but hated the fabric – my dad was a window cleaner and used that fabric to dry the windows – he called it “scrim.” Not a good look for a queenly outfit.
    The orange hat? Well, why make do with feather trim when you can have the whole parrot perched on top?
    But that diamond tiara – now there’s a hairpiece to die for! Plus that beautiful sari gown. Perfect!

  4. I don’t really care for any part of Max’s blue ensemble, not even the shade of blue. The 3rd picture in the 1st set shows the king in a different suit and tie – perhaps he got dirty at the Barapullah Drain, and needed to change into his DB navy suit.
    The evening gown made up for Max’s 1st appearance – outstanding! And the saucer hat does a good job of HIDING her beautiful face from half the people that came to see her – not good. That said, it’s a fun exuberant hat.

  5. That arrival outfit is so Máx, but not in a kid way. It just looks unfinished and unkempt. I appreciate it’s meant to have an organic shape, but there’s just too much going on here. And the jewellery looks like it’s chucked in the mix, rather then complementing the outfit.

    The second hat is much more successful. Yes, the angles could be improved, but the colours are fab. And that pic in front of the temple where it’s in profile is stunning.

    That evening gown… just breathtaking!

  6. I don’t like the creative twist of the blue hat, too messy
    the other hat was paired better with the colorful outfit she wore the first time around, I agree with HQ the placement could be better less vertical.
    amazing pink dress, kudos to Taminau for making this dress from fabric bought more then 10 years ago.

  7. I love the aquamarine jewellery but I’m afraid I dislike both the dress and the hat and not even those beautiful, big brooches (and earrings can save it). There’s no need for the dress to be have a faux bare shoulder and the scruffy scarf thing at the top messes up the proportions. The hat looks like, as the Americans say, a craft project. I love Max to bits so it pains me to see her miss while on an overseas visit. I do like the peacock blue colour of the outfit.

    But then … comes the beautiful evening gown!! What a show-stopper and she’s got the jewellery just right. I have seen references elsewhere to the fabric being Parsi (or Parsee) gara work, and have found this helpful explanation: The Parsi gara, is Indian embroidery with a Persian heritage and a Chinese origin. Parsi men travelled to China and brought yards of silk fabric for their women. The gara (embroidery) was a result of inter-cultural amalgamation where the fabric was China’s and the embroidery was heavily influenced by India’s Hindu and Iran’s Zoroastrian cultures. Apparently Parsi gara are often now heirloom pieces because the fabric is so expensive to produce.

    And after swooning over that, maybe the feather hat doesn’t seem so bad! I particularly like the shots where Max is in profile against the beautiful building and the hat’s disc is backlit. I think the whimsical feathers rather suit India, a land of mystery and legend! (However, I’m not sold on the ruching over her tummy, blah.)

    • Thank you Sandra, for the explanation about the embroidery. The sari fabric is a dream and the dress is magnificent.
      The blue fabric of the first dress on the other hand is too stiff to be draped, resulting in a fussy, messy neckline and a dito hat. Lovely colour, lovely jewellery but I agree with you all that the look is a miss.
      The colourful feathers on the last hat are fun, but I find the disc shape too large and flat to be really elegant.

    • Sandra, after reading your description of the fabric, I like the gown even more! Add in the Dutch designer, and this is really a crossover of several cultures. Hoping that after Max gets a few more wearing out of this, it will be set aside for her daughters — it’s truly heirloom-worthy.

  8. I’m afraid I don’t like anything except the color of the blue hat. I love it when Max adds jewels to her hats, but even the aquamarine is obscured by the texture overload. And the Dr. Seuss hat — well, it’s fun.

    BUT, the gown! So glad you bent your rules to cover this, HatQueen. It’s so gorgeous — one of Max’s best ever. I love that Jan Taminau kept the design simple to showcase the sari. Dazzling!

  9. For a calot, I actually like this hat because it has more height and unique trim, making it more visible. If we changed the neckline of the dress to just be a simple crew or v-neck with 3-quarter sleeves made of the same lace as the rest of the dress, this would be a great look, but in its current state it competes too much with the hat, as HatQueen said. Without the hat, this dress would make a unique cocktail evening dress. I don’t often comment on this because of my lack of expertise, but the jewelry is spectacular! Overall the idea is great, but there are just one too many elements to make this a true success.

    I never would’ve suspected this visit would see the return of this hat. I do wish it was tilted a little more forward over the forehead, but my real problem is the dress. The colors of the hat and the dress are too similar to contrast, but not similar enough to match, which is a problem for me; either the original coral dress or something in blue would be a much better choice IMO.

  10. The Dr. Seuss hat is back! I remember when HM wore it to an art opening with The Queen of the Belgians and the two of them looked like they were having a blast. I’ve been anxious to see it again and yes, I agree that it could be tipped a bit more horizontally, but I’m so delighted to see it again that I won’t quibble.

    The less said about the blue hat, and its ensemble, the better. The evening dress is simply perfect – when Maxima gets it right, she really gets it right.

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