Friday, August 3, 2012

London Hatwalk

For all you lucky people in London for the Olympics (or because you always live there) grab your funkiest hat and get your walking shoes on as, thanks to good old Boris, London is blooming in hats.  

All the lovely milliners involved

Commissioned by the Mayor of London in partnership with Grazia magazine, BT, ad the British Fashion Council Hatwalk has rounded up the best British Millinery has to offer and sent them out to hat the statues of London Town.

Speaking about his piece for George IV, Stephen Jones told Grazia: "My hat was the last to go up at 4am and I was so nervous that it would fall apart or fall off! It was so complicated to make it to scale, waterproof and stable."  

The hats were put up in the middle of the night and by the following morning two had gone missing.  William Shakespeare's baseball hat (designed by Paul Bernstock and  Thelma Speirs) is presumed stolen while Beau Brummell had his removed by London street cleaners. I presume they have now put it back?

There are 20 statues sporting new head gear handily within walking distance of each other as the map below shows.  The "hatwalk" starts at the Duke of Wellington near Hyde Park and finishes at the Duke of Wellington outside the Bank of England in the Square Mile.

There will also be copies (the real hats are being auctioned off for charity) of all the hats on display in BT House at BT London Live in Hyde Park until August 12th.

Frank Roosevelt by John Boyd and Winston Churchill by Herbert Johnson

Beau Brummell by Noel Stewart

Captain John Smith by Edwina Ibbotson

Duke of Wellington by Fiona McLean

Duke of Wellington by Ian Bennett

Sir Charles Napier by Sophie Beale

Lord Nelson by Sylvia Fletcher

Queen Victoria by Justine Smith Esquire

Robert Burns by William Chambers

William Shakespeare by Emma Fieldon

Sir Arthur Sullivan and the Lady by Gina Foster and Victoria Grant

The Young Lovers by Shirley Hex 

Sir henry Havelock by Philip Treacy

The Angel of Peace by Rachel Trever-Morgan

Charles James Fox by Pip Hackett

Francis Duke of Bedford by Piers Atkinson

King George IV by Stephen Jones

My favourite is definitely Sir Arthur Sullivan and the Lady by Gina Foster and Victoria Grant.  Which do you guys like best?

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

London Olympics: The opening ceremony and it's hats

Saturday morning saw the rare miracle of me actually getting out of bed before hubby and stumbling downstairs in a sleepy stupor to plop myself on the couch with a cup of tea and an imaginary union jack in hand.  Yep, the time difference meant that I watched the Olympic opening ceremony at 5am and I must admit half way through I did have to pinch myself to check that I hadn't fallen asleep again and was dreaming that Mary Poppins was flying in to vanquish the Harry Potter guy.

Not only did Queenie have the best entrance of the night she also by far had the best hat.  Not at all your typical Queen hat I loved how soft she looked (her outfit at least, her face was a little harsher than usual) and the subtle flower detailing at the side.

And this was merely the first hat of the evening. As the Olympic teams marched in I was amazed to see how many outfits included a trusty topper from Ralph Lauren's team USA beret to Cadella Marley showing off the flat cap and trilby in one very funky Jamaican team outfit.  Although there were trilbies, panamas, flat caps and even a couple of bogarts my favourites had to be the huge colourful turbans of some of the African teams that I think put all others to shame, apart from team Cameroon that is who's whole outfit was leagues above the rest.

Team Cameroon

Team Nigeria

Team Senegal

Team Benin

Team India

Team Mali

Team Rwanda

Team Belize

Team Bulgaria

Team Colombia

Team Costa Rica

Team Germany

Team Jamaica

Team Latvia

Team Lesotho

Team Marshal Islands

Team Puerto Rico

Team Spain

Team USA

As much as the fashions of the teams has been analysed over the last few days I must admit that I by far prefer the countries wearing national dress.

Who knows, if Scotland votes for independence in 2014 maybe one day we will see Olympic Team Scotland marching proudly in kilts with Alexander McQueen style Glengarry hats.  

and we all know how that story ends :)