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 Tsuguko wore a chic green hat with vibrant feathered trim on February 27 to attend a UN Youth Forum in Tokyo.

Princess Hisako in a large black beret on Wednesday to open a photo exhibition and a purple silk jacquard covered hat today for the first day of the UN Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice in Kyoto.

 

The following new millinery designs caught my eye this week:
Scarlet tall-crowned trilby covered in guipure lace by Norwegian milliner Mona Strand
Fantastic felt fedora in the juiciest shade of orange by British milliner Dillon Wallwork
Exquisite headpiece of beaded white rolled sinamay leaves by Dutch milliner Wies Mauduit
Black woven leather halo bandeau with back bow by Australian milliner Sophie Allport
Beret percher covered in ombre folded ribbon with feather trim by UK milliner Louise Pocock
Chocolate fedora with bias stripe hatband, stitched star and leopard underbrim by Danish brand Hornskov Hats
White paper sparterie  hat with triple layered brim and cotton organdy ruffles by London milliner Anna Stefanou
Stunning bumper and percher designs both with leather flowers from Australian milliner Jill Humphries
Adore the braid trimmed brim edge on this acid yellow design with feathers by Norwegian milliner Ingrid H. Braten
Three toned pink and white sinamay hat with Dior brim and bow by US brand Amy Jo Original Hats
Striking red take on a cloche shape with high upturned brim by Estonian milliner Emma-Elfriide Kübarad
Mint straw hat with pleated crin brim overlay and fan by British milliner Sarah Ross
Such a creative scalloped petal crown shape on this aubergine felt cap by American milliner Mamie Raynaud
Quirky shape on this navy trilby with avocado hatband by British brand Little Sister Millinery
Wonderful autumnal ombre statement in this dyed sinamay design by German milliner Ulrike Strelow

 

Sweet snaps of Prince Oscar released by the Swedish Court to mark his 5th birthday

 

Nod of respect to the Duchess of Gloucestershire who are walking 11,000 steps each day this month to highlight prostate cancer

Commonwealth day message from the Queen

Images from social media as indicated 

This Week’s Extras

Princess Beatrice wore a burgundy velvet knotted bandeau for dinner out with her husband Edoardo in London on December 3
Princess Hisako in a purple hat December 5 for the 100th anniversary ceremony of Japan Society of School Health and a chocolate felt fedora on December 11 for the East Asia Youth Airgun Competition 2020

The Duchess of Cornwall repeated her slouchy black wool hat with faux fur brim from Lock & Co. on December 7 for a service in celebration of the 800th anniversary of the foundation of Salisbury Cathedral
Embed from Getty Images
The following new millinery designs caught my eye this week:
Sleek black felt wide-brimmed hat with white stitched binding & hatband by Polish brand Oktopus
Luminescent gold straw fedora with splendid striped hatband by Australian milliner Catherine Kelly
Magenta silk veiled cocktail hat with bow by British milliner Dillon Wallwork
Classic navy square-crown cloche with ribbon hatband by French milliner Clothilde Toussaint
Blush felt cloche with pleated brim and silk hatband by Swiss milliner Michaela Temperli
Leopard melusine felt trilby with leather binding and hatband by Dutch milliner Wies Mauduit
Cerise felt button percher with sparkling beads and double back bows from the studio of Rachel Trevor Morgan
Textured straw boater rimmed in black lace by Australian brand Jettah & Till Design Millinery
Burgundy felt capulet with draped and layered hatbands and side bow by Czech milliner Jolana Kotabova
Statement soaring headpiece of silk butterflies by Australian Milliner Cynthia Jones-Bryson
Cream straw sideweep saucer with silk roses and blue lace applique by Irish milliner Jennifer Wrynne
Chocolate and russet woven felt percher with feathers by French brand Mei Mei France Chapeaux
Purple straw calot with vintage veiling and the prettiest straw roses by British milliner Lucy Bowler
Stunning black and white statement hat with fuchsia feather trim by Australian brand Amelda Millinery

New portraits released for Empress Masako’s 57th birthday

Lovely photos of the Hereditary Grand Duke and Duchess of Luxembourg with wee Prince Charles

We end the week with the Duchess of Cornwall, who was aided at a Battersea kennel charity by her Jack Russel terrier Beth, who is an alumna of the organization. I believe a sausage was also involved.

Photos from social media as indicated

This Week’s Extras

Princess Hisako in a lovely green felt trilby with shaped crown and feather trim on Tuesday for a press conference for an upcoming exhibition at the Hungarian Cultural Institute
The following new millinery designs caught my eye this week:
Amazing grey button percher with aqua straw and crin vertical trim by Dutch milliner Wies Mauduit
Striking ivory felt button percher with black trim by American milliner Sally Casewell
Cognac felt cap with leather brim and slim hatband by Dutch brand Bronte
Tangerine straw hugger with ruffled brim, leaves and lace flowers by Australian brand Rachi Rach Hattery
Navy blue silk shantung pillbox with rose trim by British milliner Dillon Wallwork
Gold straw bandeau headpiece with dimensional flowers by American brand Lifted Millinery
Charming black straw cloche with stripe side bow by Mei Mei France Chapeaux
Raspberry felt teardrop percher with flower, feathers and folded bow by American milliner Jill Courtemanche
Midnight blue felt trilby with stiched side knot and textured hatband by Czech milliner Jolanta Kotabova
“Yin Yang Boater” in black felt and white straw by German milliner Felix Weber

 

Leopard print felt percher with large bow by British milliner Stephanie Gallen
Royal blue vertical looped bow headpiece in organza and crin by British milliner Stephen Jones
Grey felt crushable travel hat with orange stitching and brim binding by Italian brand Borsalino
Forest green velvet halo bandeau with handmade rose by London-based milliner Guilia Mio
Black button percher with magenta trim by British brand Queen Bee Millinery
For our dear gents, a smart camel felt fedora with chocolate and navy hatbands by Danish brand Hornskov København
Red felt hugger with ruffle and sparkling brooch by British milliner Karen Geraghty
Coral and boysenberry plaid straw bumper hat with flyaway brim & statement feathers by Australian brand Millinery By Mel
Dark blue felt beret with lovely side sequin trim by Italian brand Modista Stybel
Statement picture hat in natural straw with rosette covered brim by Australian milliner Cynthia Jones Bryson

And finally, Advent greetings from Crown Princess Victoria, Prince Daniel, Princess Estelle and Prince Oscar

Photos from social media as indicated