In last weekend’s “Extra’s” post, we celebrated the December 5 official presentation of Princess Aiko following her 20th birthday, dazzling in a diamond tiara and necklace borrowed from her aunt, Sayako Kuroda.
It turns out that members of the Imperial royal family also gathered for this celebration, the ladies in hats as well! Princess Kako was seen arriving at the Imperial Palace in her pale sage green silk jacquard covered calot hat with cuffed bumper brim, trimmed with a spray of silk flowers on the side.
Princess Hanako repeated her dark green velvet hat with clamshell-shaped bumper brim trimed with an ostrich plume and bow at the back. Princess Yuriko wore a turquoise printed silk draped pillbox (or maybe a toque shape?) with rolled rose and leaves made of the same fabric, placed on the side of the design.
Princess Nobuko looked to be wearing a new dusty pink silk covered pillbox high on the back of her head. Princess Yoko repeated her tall salmon pink silk covered pillbox wrapped in a double fringe of feathers in the same hue. Princess Akiko looked to be wearing a new cream hat with shallow crown and brim covered in a beautifully draped hatband that tied in a side bow.
Princess Hisako repeated a salmon pink velvet pillbox with indented pork pie crown, trimmed in pink, peach and burgundy velvet applique flowers that also embellish the neck and shoulder lines of her matching gown. An interesting note from Imperial family expert Prisma- while this ensemble dates back until at least 1992, it was worn, most recently, in January 2014 by Princess Noriko
! Princess Tsuguko looked to be wearing a silvery blue silk covered pillbox that I believe is new.
Sayako Kuroda was also in attendance in a pale green silk calot covered in a ruched dotted white veil.
On December 9th, Empress Masako celebrated her 58th birthday. She arrived at the home of her parents-in-law in a pale blue silk covered bumper hat.
Sayako Kuroda was also seen arriving at the Imperial Palace to greet the Empress on her birthday in a pleated ecru calot hat.
Which ones of these eleven hats stand out most to you?
Images from social media as indicated
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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!
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.
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; 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.
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