Imperial Anniversary Celebrations Continue at Tea Party

On Tuesday morning, a tea party for notable persons of the Heisei era was held at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo in continued celebration of Emperor Akihito’s 30 years on the throne. As hostess of the event, Empress Michiko did not wear a hat and as Crown Princess Masako did not attend, the most senior Imperial family member in a hat was Princess Kiko. We don’t associate Princess Kiko with millinery surprises but that’s exactly what she delivered at this event, joining her daughters in the bandeau trend that’s sweeping the globe!

In fact, all of the Akishino princesses appeared in bandeau headpieces- Kiko in a new cream one while Princess Mako repeated her beautiful peacock blue design with diamond pattern and Princess Mako repeated her pale lemon yellow silk jacquard bandeau with floral trim behind the ears.

 

The Mikasa and Takamado princesses also attended the tea party. Princess Nobuko wore a new pleated burgundy calot (it photographed as deep scarlet in some light but read as more purple on video footage) with single feather trim. Princess Akiko repeated a cream hat with short brim and pleated hatband and Princess Yoko repeated a tall, ruched dusty pink pillbox trimmed in wispy feathers.

Princess Hisako wore an interesting leaf green flat hat with what looks like square points and feather trim while Princess Tsuguko looked lovely in an orchid purple domed bumper hat with feathers on the side.

I suspect the emperor’s upcoming abdication has made this anniversary celebration into such a large, multi-day event but no matter the reason, it’s great to see the Imperial family lend their support (and their hats!) and I was particularly happy to see Mrs. Sayako Kuroda  in attendance. I wish we could see better views of the Takamado princess’ hats because they look memorable. Which designs here stand out most to you?

Photos from FNN; The Asahi Shimbun and The Asahi Shimbun via Getty

Imperial Royals Celebrate Emperor’s 30th Anniversary

January 7, 2019 marked the 30th anniversary of Emperor Akihito’s accession to the Chrysanthemum throne. This anniversary was officially marked yesterday with a series of celebrations, beginning with the Emperor and Empress receiving family members, all in formal daytime court dress, at the Imperial Royal Palace. Crown Princess Masako repeated a blue silk bumper hat- a short video clip shows this piece has an interesting twisted brim around the back, something I don’t think we’ve been able to see until now.

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Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: Dec 9, 2018; Dec 9, 2017; Dec 9, 2015
Princess Kiko wore a cuffed calot hat covered in peach silk that I think is a new design for her. Princess Mako repeated the bandeau calot she wore on the day of her engagement announcement back in September 2017. Not visible here, the piece is trimmed with silk roses and leaves on the right side. It’s an interesting choice, particularly as her dotted silk gown has previously been worn with a matching bespoke calot covered in the same fabric. Princess Kako repeated her soft yellow spadded bandeau trimmed with a trio of silk blossoms on the bottom of each side, tucked behind her ears. Check out this bandeau’s previous outings on October 20, 2018 or January 14, 2015 for a better view. 


I believe Princess Hanako repeated her dark green velvet bowler hat with raised brim around the back, trimmed with ostric feathers (and is that a bow I see?). Princess Yuriko of Mikasa (grandmother to Princess Akiko and Princess Yoko) wore a brimless hat in deep eggplant purple. 

Princess Nobuko of Mikasa wore a n open ring-shaped headpiece wrapped in green velvet. Princess Akiko topped her blue silk suit (with beautiful cutwork collar and yoke) with a matching silk rolled brim hat trimmed with ostrich feathers and blue veil. Princess Yoko’s tall, pale gray-green silk hat with high cuffed bumper brim had a retro 1960s feel, amplified by its placement on the back of her head. 

Princess Hisako of Takamado topped her textured pale lilac suit with a matching flat crowned hat with double brim, the outer one wrapped in the same fabric as her suit. Princess Tsuguko was also in a flat-crowned design, her repeated peach silk hat trimmed in looped peach fabric around the bumper brim.

The Emperor and Empress then attended an event hosted by the Japanese government at National Theatre in Tokyo. Empress Michiko repeated her slightly domed saucer hat covered in pale pink silk with white lattice crin underbrim, beautifully trimmed with silk cherry blossoms and a luminous silk bow

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While the hat is not unlike Michiko’s other hats in terms of shape and scale, the colour is a slight departure (so good, right?!) and the trim is simply lovely. It’s a good hat for her as saucer hats go and I’m glad she chose something outside her usual grey palate for this celebration.
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Embed from Getty Images
Designer: likely Akio Hirata
Previously Worn: Nov 14, 2018

The evening saw a dinner at the Imperial Palace (Crown Princess Masako arrived in plum and Princess Kiko in vibrant blue) while today, most of the extended Imperial royal family was seen at a formal tea party. These photos certainly don’t show great view of these hats- despite these shortcomings, do any hats stand out to you?

Photos from Getty as indicated; The Asahi Shimbun, The Asahi Shimbun, The Asahi Shimbun and The Asahi Shimbun via Getty; Sankei News

Imperial New Year’s Lectures 2019

Members of the Imperial family attended the annual Imperial New Year’s Lectures today at the Imperial Royal Palace in Tokyo.

While the Empress did not wear a hat (as hostess of the event in her home), the Imperial princesses all followed the traditional daytime court dress code (gowns and hats) which continues to be used for this event.  
This event brings us a rainbow of Imperial royal millinery and this year was no different:
Princess Kiko: navy straight-sided pillbox she wore to this same event in 2014
Princess Mako: turquoise silk bumper hat with back bow she wore for the 2018 New Year’s poetry readings
Princess Nobuko: oxblood rounded pillbox with side feather I suspect is new
Princess Akiko: pink silk calot previously worn for the 2016 poetry readings and 2015 New Year’s lectures
Princess Yoko: ice blue silk straight-sided silk pillbox she wore to this event in 2015 and in 2014 
Princess Hisako: purple velvet bumper hat with ostrich feather pompomworn for the 2013 & 2015 poetry readings
Princess Tsuguko: repeated cream or pale yellow hat with very short, kettle brim and feather trim 
It’s difficult to tell based on this view (jump back to previous wearings) but what hats stand out to you most?
Photos from social media as indicated

Imperial Royals Celebrate Emporer’s 85th Birthday

Emperor Akihito marked his 85th birthday yesterday with an annual greeting from the Imperial Palace balcony and a special birthday lunch which included members of the extended Imperial royal family.

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While the Empress did not wear a hat (as other monarchs usually do not when hosting an event in their home), Crown Princess Masako wore a matching midnight blue velvet ruched dress and bumper hat. The same bugle bead embroidery on the cuffs and collar of the dress trims one side of the hat, adding a lovely bit of sparkle against the dark colour which is glorious on Masako.

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Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: While very similar to this hat, I believe this is new

The ladies of the Akishino family wore a trio of calot hats, all which I think are new. Princess Kiko’s royal blue design features a cuff and bow (or butterfly) trim at the side while Princess Mako’s narrower design (a bandeau-calot hybrid) in pale seafoam green silk is trimmed with pale pink roses on the side. Princess Kako completed the trio in a pale aqua silk covered calot with cuff brim and silk floral trim at the side.

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Princess Hisako and Princess Tsuguko of Takamado and Princess Nobuko, Princess Akiko and Princess Yoko of Mikasa joined the family for a celebration lunch, all of them in brimless pillbox or bumper designs. Princess Hisako stood out in a vibrant blue feather trimmed bumper hat previously worn to the 2014 annual New Year’s Poetry Reading. Princess Tsuguko repeated her peach silk covered bumper hat trimmed with large abstract leaves in the same hue (worn for the New Year Poetry Reading last January). Princess Nobuko’s hat, in pale celery green, features a bumper brim that overlaps on one side and a crown covered in the same lace as the bodice of her gown. Princess Akiko’s pale yellow bumper hat is lavishly trimmed with what looks like a large silk flower and net ruffles in the back while Princess Yoko repeated the textured salmon pink pillbox trimmed with chevron stripes of ostrich feathers that she wore for the New Year’s Poetry Reading in 2016. 


It’s wonderful to see most of the Imperial royal family in attendance for this celebration- the Emperor’s last before the throne is passed to Prince Naruhito in April. What do you think of these festive brimless hats yesterday in Japan?
Photos from Getty as indicated

Imperial Princess Takes on Presidency of Turkish-Japanese Archaeology Foundation

Japanese Princess Akiko of Mikasa became the honorary president of ‘Prince Mikasa Foundation in Istanbul’ yesterday at a reception at Sakip Sabanci Museum. The foundation was established last year with the permission of the Turkish Government to provide continuous support for the study of Japanese Institute of Anatolian Archaeology. For this appointment, Princess Akiko topped her pale, celery green silk dress and jacket with a white brimmed hat, trimmed with a celery silk hatband

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While the hat coordinates with the ensemble well, it also offers some subtle contrast through colour and its smooth, curving lines, which play well against the sharp cut of the jacket. Much was debated yesterday about what shape and scale of hat flatters Akiko best- I think this shape works well on her and ADORE that she placed the hat at a slightly jaunty angle!


Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: June 6, 2018; April 27, 2016
It’s been great to see more of Princess Akiko during this week’s Turkish visit- this hat is my top pick of the trio she has worn. What do you think?
Photos from Getty as indicated

Imperial Princess Visits Turkey

Princess Akiko is visiting Turkey this week, primarily to attend an event organized by her late father’s foundation at Sakip Sabanci Museum in Istanbul. On Monday, she began her trip in the capital, Ankara, where she visited Anitkabir, the mausoleum of Turkish Republic’s founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, as well as the Turkish-Japanese Foundation. She topped her navy and white suit with a prim white silk hat with short, kettle brim and straight-sided, domed crown, trimmed with a wide navy hatband

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Embed from Getty Images

Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: October 4, 2015 

On Tuesday, the young princess visited at the Naval Museum in Istanbul where she oversaw the the receipt of replicate of the Japanese Seiki warship that first visited the Ottoman Empire in 1878. For this event, she repeated a white (or palest grey?) cloche variation with wider, upturned kettle brim. The hat is trimmed in a wide dove grey hatband (the top of which shows a navy stripe close to the top of the crown) and a small bow in the same blue tweed as Akiko’s jacket.
Embed from Getty Images
Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: April 20, 2017
Perhaps not the most exciting of hats but it’s wonderful to see one of the young Imperial princesses out on a higher profile diplomatic tour. 
Photos from Getty as indicated

Takamado Princess Officially Announces Engagement

On Monday, Princess Ayako of Takamado and Kei Moriya held a press conference at the Imperial Household Agency in Tokyo to officially announce their engagement.

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Princess Ayoko wore a pink dress and coordinating hat for the event (matched adorably by her fiance’s striped tie!). The button based percher hat is covered in woven fabric (or very finely woven straw?) that contrasts slightly with her crepe embroidered dress, a great use of different textures not often employed with Imperial royal hats. The hat is trimmed with a folded crepe silk bow, edged with a stripe of the shiny side of the fabric and embroidered with tiny pink seed pearls. We don’t see many percher hats on Imperial royals and this one is a great choice for Ayako, particularly for this joy-filled announcement.

July 2, 2017 | Royal Hats July 2, 2017 | Royal Hats

Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: This hat is new
Princess Hisako was on hand to support her daughter in a smart hat covered in the same wheat-coloured silk as her suit. The design features a short brim that turns up around the back, similar to a trilby, a flat crown. The hat is simply trimmed with a hatband and front bow in the same fabric. 
July 2, 2017 | Royal Hats
I thought this was a wonderful hat for Ayako- my only disappointment here is that after her October wedding, her public role will end. I’m sure you all join me in wishing the young couple much happiness- what do you think of this pink percher hat?
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Embed from Getty Images
Photos from Getty as indicated; Kyodo News, The Asahi Shimbun, and Kyodo News via Getty; FNN