Stephen Jones, Ascot’s official milliner for 2011, has made an impact with his feathered orange and purple hat adorned with poppies, worn not by a lady but a filly (to non-equine followers that’s a female horse). The hat, worth £8,000 which was worn by the female horse ‘Ambers’ at Ladies Day, was specially commissioned to celebrate Ascot’s 300th anniversary. Jones’ designs also boasted a 1840s style meets lilac jockey hat with an exaggerated brim, a 1980s style black and white hat combining large exaggerated bows and red flowers and finally a 1940s style veiled maroon hat in which a tight woven structure exploded out into a fan of wine red strands.
It was hard to grasp if some ladies actually realised they had walked out the door to this year’s Royal Ascot with an i-pad, merry-go-round or massive milk bottle on top of their head. The Dame Widow Twankey and Lady Gaga take on My Fair Lady didn’t shade the more tasteful themes which included all things feathered and bird like. One party of ladies decided feathers weren’t enough, sporting whole bird sculptures upon their heads, including a flamingo, a dove, a black swan and a parrot. Hat designer Lucinga Hostombe encompassed the feathered theme with her elegant ‘golden nest’ hat reminding us of the true meaning of Royal Ascot- high class style.
When it comes to headpieces not everyone thinks like Isabella Blow, former magazine editor and muse of hat designer Philip Treacy, and wants to let a lobster rest on their head. Headpieces can be toned down yet still retain a head turning look by staying away from the candid whilst allowing a sprinkling of Lady Gaga. Get ready for the summer waves by dressing your head with a black turban from Asos for a mere £12. Take a more simple approach with shallow straw boaters available in floral, veiled and bow designs from Topshop for £28. Subtly follow the Ascot bow trend with a vintage inspired patterned or pirate themed headscarf from New Look most retailing below £4.