Royal Ascot’s Chicest hatter
Ascot begins today and for many that means one thing: Hats. England has witnessed a veritable hat revolution in the past year thanks to the Royal Wedding. And, as racing season reaches its climax, our head pieces are getting more extravagant than ever. (Not least because Ascot celebrates its 300th anniversary this year.)
“It’s such fun to wear a hat. The older generation have always known this, but now younger people are realising how fabulous they can look,” says fashion hat designer Stephen Jones. Jones is fronting Royal Ascot for the third year running this week (his magnificent hats on the iconic Ascot poster, inspired by Cecil Beaton’s designs for Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady.)
As part of the event he’s also created a series of special headpieces, alongside his own collection, which will appear at the Royal Ascot Fashion Show as accessories to fashion by British design talents Amanda Wakeley, Todd Lynn, Julien Macdonald, and Vivienne Westwood.
Jones knows a thing or two about hat design. The London-based milliner is the genius behind hat creations for Jean Paul Gaultier, Christian Dior, L’Wren Scott and Jasper Conran alongside his own highly successful line. This year he’s already warming up to create pieces for Marc Jacobs, British designer Giles Deacon and Comme des Garçons at their autumn catwalk shows. He’s also known for designing personal hats for Dita Von Teese, Gwen Stefani, Beyonce Knowles and Alison Goldfrapp among others.
How would he recommend wearing hats? “It’s about trial and error,” he says. “Make sure you go to a department store or hat shop and try on every single one. Take a hand mirror with you. The thing people forget is that most people will be looking at you from the back, so you need to see every view. Always clip your hear behind your ears, or your face will disappear. Make sure your hat is proportionate to your outfit, too.” He concludes: “Most of all, make sure it fits properly.” Bonne chance ladies! See you by the racetrack.