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Monday
May022011

A Sorry Selection of Sinnamay Sculptures

British Vogue, c.1990; click on image for larger version

What better time to discuss ‘aristohats’ than just a few days after the Royal Wedding? It should come as no surprise to my regular visitors that I love hats – particularly vintage chapeaux. However, I was sorely disappointed in the fare on offer on Friday.

Autumn KellyWhat a sorry collection of sinnamay sculptures! Nearly all of the hats were constructed from this gauzy plant fibre, and the trim – be it feathers, antlers, horns, wriggling tentacles, or gargantuan loops – was almost token. Everyone was wearing virtually the same hat – in a different colour. Boring. And almost EVERY hat was worn dangling from the forehead. What was with that? Did they all have the same stylist?

I found many of the outfits even more of a yawn. What was with all the monotone dressing head to foot? And so many conservative, sensible suits? Boring, boring! Were the guests really – as my friend Lulue suggested tongue-in-cheek – given a sartorial rulebook?

Everyone was wearing virtually the same hat – in a different colour

Princess BeatriceFor all the controversy Philip Treacy’s hat for Princess Beatrice has provoked, at least it seems to have some concept behind it, rather than consisting merely of a sinnamay base, decorated with a bit of trim.

The hats in this page (top) ripped from a British Vogue circa the early 1990s look more interesting – or could it be just Lawrence Mynott’s lovely illustration style that makes them look so gorgeous? (I really like numbers 5, 7 and 8.)

Interestingly at the time this article was written, Philip Treacy was fresh out of the RCA, and the leading British milliners were Frederick Fox, Graham Smith and Philip Somerville. David Shilling states that ‘he designed nothing silly for spring’. If only we could say as much for some of these confections.

Treacy’s hat for Beatrice has proved wildly unpopular in the online community, but I wonder whether it is the fact that it is perched on the princess’ royal forehead, and the antlers stick straight up that makes it look silly? It looks like an oval picture frame with a bow stuck on top. Perhaps if it sat differently it might have looked interesting rather than ridiculous.

Scroll down for more of the same. Really, I don’t think I would have spent several hundred quid on any of these! 

Gravity-defying Hats

Tara Palmer TomkinsonVictoria Beckham

Spikes to Have Someone’s Eye Out With 

Justine Thornton

The Flying Saucers

Zara PhillipsSophie Winkleman

Underwater Perils 

Coral, squid and sea-snake: all are represented here

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