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

ย 

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,ย  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, 2019;ย Apr 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

Last Week’s Extras

On Monday, Princess Nobuko visited Meiji Jingu for the shrine’s 100th anniversary. She wore a pale bumper hat.

 

On Tuesday, the Akishino princesses arrived at the Imperial Palace for a Rikkoshi-no-Rei luncheon in silk covered bandeau headpieces.

The Duchess of Cornwall repeated her black tweed hat wit ruched crown and faux fur brim from Lock & Co. yesterday in Berlin where she and the Prince of Wales are participating in Germany’s Day of Mourning commemorations.
Embed from Getty Images
The following new millinery designs caught my eye this week:
Brown button percher with crin, veil, swarovski crystals and an ammonite fossil by London-based Agnes Millinery
Burgundy ruffled velvet bandeau headpiece by British brand Camilla Rose Millinery
Lovely blush straw hat with crisply formed crown and side knot by Australian milliner Keegan Mae
Headpiece of oversize black feather dahlias and curling silver quills by British brand Stephanie Elizabeth Millinery
White button percher with beautiful floral trim by London-based milliner Inna Walker

 

Burnt orange wool beret with whimsical pompoms by British milliner Rachel Trevor Morgan
Pink and blue ombre stylized fedora with statement feather trim by Australian brand Melissa Gaye Designs
Ethereal headpiece of silver crin petals off a sparkling button base by Australian milliner Catherine Ellen
Cranberry wool felt wide brimmed pork pie hat with luscious velvet hatband by Rose Cherie Paris
Navy straw saucer with white brim binding and curling quills by Australian brand Monroe Millinery
Rose velvet beret percher with ombre silk abaca fans by British milliner Tracey Miller

 

Luxe chocolate felt fedora with twists, stitched leather hatband and feather by Dutch milliner Mirjam van der Welle
Mini button percher with fantastic twists, all in graphic stripes, from Australian milliner Carrie Jenkinson
Smart grey plaid visored cap by German brand Hutmanufaktur
Coral felt fedora with dove grey hatband (love this unexpected scheme) by Maria Monica London
White parasisal straw bandeau headpiece with blue feather birds by Australian milliner Chris Mullane

 

Nicholas and Alina Medforth-Mills welcomed a daughter, Marina Alexandra, on November 7

The Countess of Wessex took part in the Girl Guide’s “Act Your Age” challenge

Now…. how many of you started the new season of “The Crown” yesterday? Thoughts?

Photos from social media as indicated

Imperial Crown Prince Proclaimed

Last Sunday, the Imperial royal family celebrated Rikkoshi-Senmei-no-Gi,ย 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, 2019;ย Apr 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 beย  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, 2018ย 
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-giย stood out to me- weren’t they wonderful?!
Photos from social media as indicated; The Asahi Shimbun, The Asahi Shimbun, The Asahi Shimbunย via Getty;ย 

This Week’s Extras

Princess Mako and Princess Kako in cream silk covered bumper hats on Friday to worship at the Meiji Shrine for its 100th anniversary

Queen Elizabeth in a repeated black cloche with diagonal felt crown wrap, side bow and feather trim by Angela Kelly (made by Stella McLaren) at Westminster Abbey this week to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the burial of the Unknown Soldier.
Embed from Getty Images
The following new millinery designs caught my eye this week:
Chocolate straw brimmed hat with amazing leather interlooped crown overlay by Dutch milliner Mirjam van der Welle
Leopard print fur felt trilby with emerald velvet hatband and side bow by Italian brand Batog Couture Millinery
Black lace applique bandeau headpiece studded with Swarovski crystals by UK brand Maria Monica
Tan straw stylised top hat with rolled brim and ringed trim by Australian milliner Liza Stedman
Teal velour felt percher with bows and pink straw flower trimmed bandeau by British milliner Rachel Trevor Morgan
Raspberry felt hat with bumper brim and interesting off-the-face twist trim by Japanese brand Maxim
Wide brimmed saucer in black & white herringbone sinamay with fantastic bubble detail by British milliner Karen Geraghty

 

Scarlet beret percher with apricot veil overlay and velvet floral spray by UK-based milliner Guilia Mio
Charming vintage-inspired denim blue straw cloche with ribbon hatband by British brand Little Sister Millinery
Cream and magenta parasisal bumper hat with veil by Australian milliner Lisa Hughes
Statement turban in orange and purple silk abaca with cascade of flowers by Australian brand With Grace Millinery
From Dutch milliner Wies Mauduit, an exquisite white fantasy with striped silk chiffon bias brim, lace applique, sculpted bow, beads, sequins and all kinds of incredible detail that took top prize at Palma Hat Week. See other entries here.

Did you see British Vogue’s editor-in-chief Edward Enninful speaking with the Prince of Wales about his style?!

 

Photos from social media as indicated