Saturday, April 30, 2011

Royal Wedding Hat Parade

So the wedding is over, the bunting is gone and we have all woken up to hangovers. Was the dress the best part of the wedding? It was nice and she looked lovely but the best part of the wedding had to be the parade of hats on show. As Philip Treacy told ABC news "You have to wear a hat because it's tradition. Thats what England's about."

Unfortunately some of my favorite hats were on the heads of the 'commoners' at the wedding and so, it would seem, there are no pictures of them available on the web thus we will have to make do with the more famous heads.

First up is Mother of the bride Carole Middleton. Her dove grey Cathrine Walker suit with matching hat by Jane Corbett is a safe bet and though her hat isn't knocking me to the floor it is very mother of the bride-ish. Rumor has it that this was a bit of a last minute choice after deciding she didn't like her original outfit with expensive matching hat by Jess Collett. I wonder if that was more extravagant?

Next is Camilla in the first Philip Treacy hat of the day. I do like this hat and love the size of it though again I am not floored and the height and roundness of the crown is a little Laurel and Hardy for my liking but a good effort all round.

Princess Anne (who has to be my favorite hat wearing Royal) looked stylish as ever with this purple floral number. Love the coat! This set a trend for well dressed Royals with Princess Ameerah, The Countess of Wessex and Princess Maxima of the Netherlands all looking stunning in hats varying from turbans to feathers and crinoline.

The Spanish Royals brought their A game.

Amelia, Eliza and Kitty Spencer (daughters of Earl Spencer) all donned Philip Treacy and stood out as the belles of the ball.

Sophie Winkleman, Zara Phillips and Princess Marie Chantal of Greece went for big and tall in shades of blue and black.

Not everyone hit the mark though. Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice have been universally dissed for their choice of half crab half ribbon sculptured piece and strange renaissance outfit. Personally I don't think the hats are too bad this is just a good example of how to wear a hat badly. If either of these girls had pulled the hat up and to the side a bit they would have looked a lot better (scrapping the outfits and washing off the panda eyes wouldn't have hurt either).

I was also less than impressed by both Princess Victoria, who looked like she was going for a job with easy jet in a hat that was too big for her head, and Victoria Beckham who, as well as having a wierd hat (I am still on the fence about this one), looked in a foul mood the whole day which just annoyed me.

I am also on the fence over Tara Palmer Tomkinsons blue moon/gravy boat number. I like statement hats but I think the outfit blew it for me. Blue hat, shoes, dress, bag, gloves, shawl just too much too much.

But for me there was one clear winner and it came as a complete surprise. Miriam Gonzalez Durantez wife of Nick Clegg shone in her black turban (I love turbans) adorned in huge bright orange and black flowers. STUNNING. She gets extra points for wearing a hat at all as David Camerons wife, while wearing a lovely dress, was hatless...BOOO. Perhaps we are being to harsh. Maybe she saw Miriams hat before the wedding and thought there was no way she could compete with that and so to save herself the embarrasment of being completely outshone decided to stash her at in the cupboard under the stairs before anyone saw it.

It cannot be denied that the Royal wedding has done nothing but good for the hat industry both at home and abroad, but there was one slightly depressing aspect to the day. In total there were 36 Philiph Treacy hats on show, most of these on the most photographed heads. While I do love Treacy and his creations it highlights, for me, the lack of modern milliners in Britain. What once was a thriving industry can today be whittled down to two or three notable names. Here's hoping that a renewed interest in hats means that by the time Harry gets hitched there will be more than one milliners name being thrown around. Maybe Aka Tombo will even get a mention.

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