This Week’s Extras

Queen Margrethe in her textured straw red hat on Tuesday for a service at Holmen’s Church celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Danish Armed Forces
Princess Akiko in a darling cloche hat for the Japanese Rugby Championship last weekend

Princess Charlene in a leather hat on her recent trip to South Africa
The following new millinery designs caught my eye this week:
Pale grey straw turban studded with starburst flowers by French milliner Laurence Bossion
Super chic two tone straw trilby by British milliner Louise Pocock
Tan straw bergere with black crown and handmade flowers by UK-based milliner Guilia Mio
Amazing lion fish inspired headpiece by Israeli milliner Maor Zabar
Exquisite oversize pink silk rose headpiece by Russian designer and flower maker Marina Koneva
Red leather teardrop percher with resin flowers and wire swish by Irish milliner Gráinne Maher
Beautiful headpiece of swirling blue, green and lemon feathers by British milliner Jess Collett
Worthy winner of the HATalk International Millinery competition by New Zealand milliner Anel Heyman
Ingenious! Ivory straw bandeau trimmed with spheres recycled from a lace tablecloth by German milliner Antje Lücke
Deep teal straw teardrop saucer with rose gold orchids and veil by Russian milliner Lia Gureeva
Black pleated crin halo bandeau encased around an arc of beads by British milliner Denise Innes-Spencer
Adore the whimsical trim on this textured straw beret percher by London-based milliner Rafa Pienador
Sunny yellow straw waved disk with statement red feather flowers by Australian milliner Felicity Northeast
 Black and cream straw saucer with wonderful brim detail and feathers by British milliner Viv Jenner
A spectacular statement in gold-tipped scarlet and magenta feathers by Australian milliner Pamela O’Brien

Striking new portrait of Princess Laurentien released for her 55th birthday

Images from social media as indicated 

Imperial New Year’s Poetry Reading 2021

Last Friday, The New Year’s Poetry Reading (Ceremony of the Utakai Hajime) took place at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo. Closeup views of the hats worn to this event again show their beautiful detail, something which I thought warranted a second look!

Crown Princess Kiko Kiko repeated the pale lime silk jacquard floral gown with matching bumper hat she first wore last November for the Rikkoshi-Senmei-no-Gi. It’s an impeccably made piece with cuffed brim covered in wide bias alternating sections of  smooth and smocked silk, the same lime silk jacquard of her gown. Smocking is not something we see on many royal hats and it lends such textural dimension to the piece. Princess Mako repeated her turquoise silk covered bumper hat with, as this picture shows, a wonderful layered, striped silk bow at the back. Princess Kako repeated her lemon yellow silk jacquard bandeau trimmed with silk flowers on the sides.

Designer: unknown
Crown Princess Kiko’s hat was previously worn: Nov 8, 2020
Princess Mako’s hat was previously worn: Nov 18, 2019; Jan 11, 2019; Jan 12, 2018; Jan 11, 2017; Dec 23, 2013
Princess Kako’s hat was previously worn:  Nov 10, 2020; Nov 18, 2019; Feb 26, 2019;
Feb 24, 2019; Jan 14, 2015

Princess Nobuko topped her denim blue beaded gown with a matching pillbox covered entirely in feathers and worn back on the crown of her head. It’s a lovely scale and colour on Nobuko and the movement and texture provided by the feathers makes it a fantastic piece to accompany her gown. Princess Akiko repeated her pale yellow bumper hat trimmed in a wrap of pleated crin and generous spray of silk flowers at the back.

Designer: unknown
Princess Nobuko’s hat:  I believe it is new
Princess Akiko’s hat was previously worn:  Nov 8, 2020;  Oct 25, 2019; Apr 10, 2019

 

Princess Hisako repeated her vibrant green low-crowned bowler hat with curved brim and slim hatband, trimmed wiht a mass of green feathers at the back. The different shades of green on the feather trim makes this hat come alive, linking with the green embroidery on Hisako’s gown and giving the monochrome ensemble lightness and lift.

Designer: unknown
Previously worn: Oct 29, 2019; Jan 16, 2019

The only new hat at this event was an ice blue, short-brimmed design on Princess Tsuguko. The small scale design gets visual impact from the trilby-esque curved brim and hatband of silk leaves that encircle it, linking with the vine pattern in the silk jacquard of her jacket and skirt. It looks to me like the hat is covered in plain silk and the leaves cut from the printed jacquard silk (same as the gown), a subtle touch that makes the all blue ensemble less one note.

Designer: unknown
Previously worn: I believe this is new

Again, these closer views of these hats show great detail and utterly impeccable finishing. They are so very, very,  beautifully made.

Which hats here stood out most to you?

Images from social media as indicated

Imperial New Year’s Lectures 2021

The Imperial New Year’s Lectures (Ceremony of the Kousho Hajime) were finally held Tuesday at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo.

Crown Princess Kiko repeated a grey-blue silk brocade gown with shimmering beaded bodice. Her half hat, in the same silk, features crisp pointed corners on each side and stripes of slim silver beads across the crown. Princess Mako repeated an ice blue silk jacquard and matching half hat with short, upfolded brim. The closeup photo seen below shows beautiful detail on the hat- tiny sparkling beads around the brim edge like those around the collar of Mako’s gown, and the loveliest white and blue silk flowers. Princess Kako rounded out the Akishino’s trio of blue in her deep royal silk gown and matching bumper hat with intricately beaded brim edge.

Designer: unknown
Crown Princess Kiko’s hat was previously worn: Jan 12, 2016; Jan 15, 2014
Princess Mako’s hat was previously worn: Jan 16, 2020; Apr 30, 2019; Jan 15, 2016
Princess Kako’s hat was previously worn: Jan 16, 2020; Oct 29, 2019; Apr 30, 2019; Jan 9, 2015

Princess Nobuko paired her terra cotta pink gown with an oversize silk floral headpiece. It’s a departure from much of the Imperial millinery we see, making it a favourite for me!

Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: Oct 29, 2019

Princess Akiko Princess Yoko repeated pillbox hats, Akiko’s in lime-yellow silk with beaded detail on the side and Yoko’s in salmon pink with layered stripes of feather trim.

Designer: unknown
Princess Akiko’s hat was previously worn: April 30, 2019; Jan 14, 2015; Jan 10, 2014
Princess Yoko’s hat was previously worn: Nov 8, 2020; Oct 25, 2019Apr 10, 2019

Princess Hisako wore a deep purple stylized bowler hat with ostrich plume at the back. The lattice printed silk of her gown is repeated on the hat’s wide hatband. Princess Tsuguko repeated her green silk jacquard covered pillbox hat with layered sash across the top of the hat embroidered with the same vine pattern as on the collar of her gown. The lily-of-the-valley blooms that originally embellished this hat have been removed, a detail I’m a little sorry to see.

Designer: unknown
Princess Hisako’s hat was previously worn: I believe this hat is new
Princess Tsuguko’s hat was previously worn: Feb 23, 2020; Oct 25, 2019; May 4, 2019

The views of these hats show more detail than we usually see and my, are these details impeccable. The beading is particularly fine and makes me wish we could see all Imperial hats at close view simply to admire how beautifully they are made.

It’s been a long while since we had such a group of hats to admire- which designs here stood out most to you?

Images from social media as indicated

This Week’s Extras

Princess Akiko in a charcoal cloche with wide burgundy hatband on Monday for the National University Rugby final

Nicholas and Alina Medforth-Mills and Princess Tatiana of Greece shared snaps enjoying time outdoors in warm knit winter hats
Buckle up- there’s a long parade of new millinery designs caught my eye this week:

Adore the graphic and colourful hatband on this lemon-lime felt split-crown fedora by US milliner Kristin Silverman
Wonderful hand painted flowers on this pink leather bandeau by Australian milliner Milano Imai
Ivory straw hugger wit black dotted veil studded with feathers by Irish milliner Marie Galvin
Lovely shapes on this blue cloche with leather bands and this felt floral-trimmed bandeau by Italian brand Nadine Millinery
Statement leopard print fedora with asymmetrical brim by British milliner Carrie Jenkinson
Channeling spring with this floral embroidered bandeau from UK brand Emily London
Fantastic texture on this handwoven (not knitted!) wool beret by American milliner Jennifer Hoertz

The prettiest picture hat in layered grey and aqua straw with stacked hatband and lilies by British milliner Kerry Kernan
For our dear gents, a handsome olive Pork Pie hat with lighter green hatband & wind cord by Hornskov København
Dimensional laser printed flowers on the brim of this electric blue Garbo hat by Italian brand Borsalino
Black bound ivory felt cloche with flyaway cutout brim and back twist by Romanian brand Decorina
Deep red velvet bandeau with statement side silk flower and veil by Rachel Trevor Morgan
Ivory felt embroidered fedora with yellow and peacock blue layered hatbands by American milliner Cassie MacGregor
Absolutely wonderful ribbon pleating on these colourful berets by Dutch milliner Wies Mauduit

Palest slate blue wool beret with lace applique, embroidery and dimensional silk flowers by French brand Katoushti
Black and tan woven boater with pearl brooch studded hatband and statement bow by British milliner Felicity Gee
Firey tropical floral trim on this ivory straw saucer hat by French milliner Céline Tastevin
Gold lattice embroidered halo bandeau headpiece trimmed in pearls by British brand Stephanie Elizabeth Millinery
Adore the curving seams on this red wool cloche with leather panels by British milliner Karen Henriksen
Sleek petrol blue felt fedora with side knot and saucy angled brim by American milliner Laura Del Villaggio
From British milliner Yuan Li, an uplifting message in ombre-dyed rainbow straw

Charming photos of King Harald and Queen Sonja (at home like all the rest of us!) released to mark the 30th anniversary of the King’s accession today.

Have you seen Carolina Piteira’s recently completed portrait of Queen Elizabeth? It’s so lovely.

Images from social media as indicated

Imperial Crown Prince Proclaimed

Last Sunday, the Imperial royal family celebrated Rikkoshi-Senmei-no-Gi, the final ceremony in the Emperor’s enthronement that officially proclaims the new crown prince which had been postponed seven months due to the global pandemic.

Empress Masako arrived early in the morning to prepare for the day of ceremonies in her oyster silk covered bumper hat.

Crown Prince Akihito and Crown Princess Kiko followed an hour later, Kiko in a pale lime silk jacquard floral gown with matching bumper hat. The cuffed bumper brim on this design is covered in wide bias stripes of smooth silk and silk smocked in the same fine pattern as the waist on Kiko’s dress. This smocking gives some textural dimension to the hat, especially when punctuated with the small shiny silk stripe between each section. While a subtle detail, it is impeccably executed and once again, shows incredible quality and millinery skill.

At eleven o’clock that morning, the Imperial royal family gathered for the Rikkoshi-Senmei-no-gi ceremony where the new Crown Prince was officially proclaimed. Emperor Naruhito and Crown Prince Akishino wore traditional sokutai robesand the distinctive black kanmuri hat. Empress Masako and Crown Princess Kiko wore junihitoe multi-layered kimonos with the triple pronged golden headpiece and elaborate sculpted sweeping ponytail that is worn with this costume.


Members of the extended Imperial Royal family were in attendance, the ladies in court dress (gowns and hats).

Princess Mako repeated a blush dotted silk jacquard gown and matching bumper brimmed calot hat. Princess Kako repeated a scarlet bandeau headpiece trimmed with silk flowers.
Princess Mako’s hat previously worn: Nov 16, 2019; Jan 13, 2017; December 23, 2015;
Princess Kako’s hat previously worn: Feb 23, 2020; Oct 25, 2019
Princess Hanako topped her apple silk gown with a matching saucer percher hat with pleated rim, embellished with ivory feathers and silk leaves. Princess Nobuko wore a bandeau headpiece covered in periwinkle blue silk, trimmed with feather flowers on the side.
Princess Nobuko’s hat previously worn: Feb 23, 2020
Princess Akiko of Mikasa wore a lemon yellow bumper hat wrapped in a swath of pleated crin and trimmed with a spray of silk flowers across the back. Princess Yoko repeated a pale coral textured pillbox.
Princess Akiko’s hat previously worn: Oct 25, 2019; Apr 10, 2019
Princess Yoko’s hat previously worn: Oct 25, 2019Apr 10, 2019
Princess Hisako wore a standout hat with crown in the same vibrant green silk as the cuffs on her gown. The hat’s cartwheel brim appears to be  covered in overlapping ombre leaves and an overlay of veil. Princess Tsuguko repeated her burgundy bumper hat with veil and side silk floral trim.
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Princess Hisako’s hat: I believe this hat is new
Princess Tsuguko’s hat previously worn: Apr 30, 2019; Feb 26, 2019; Jan 10, 2018 
Following the ceremony, the Crown Prince and Princess worshipped at Kashiko-dokoro shrine which is located on the grounds of the Imperial Palace. They were joined by several of the Imperial princesses who wore pale gowns and repeated ivory hats.

That evening, the emperor, empress, crown prince and princess took part in the Choken-no-Gi (First Audience ceremony), the women in glittering diamond parures complete with impressive tiaras.

The vibrant hats worn by the Imperial princesses at the Rikkoshi-Senmei-no-gi stood out to me- weren’t they wonderful?!
Photos from social media as indicated; The Asahi Shimbun, The Asahi Shimbun, The Asahi Shimbun via Getty;