The Royal Wedding: The Mad Hatter
May 5, 2011 by Lisa Waller Rogers
In its coverage of the fashion displayed by guests at the British Royal Wedding of William and Catherine, The New York Times wrote that the outfits of the guests “were generally tasteful and royal-friendly. A few things stuck out. The exotic costumes of foreign dignitaries, seeming throwbacks to imperial times. The hats worn by the ladies, which resembled, variously
overturned buckets, flowerpots, lampshades, fezzes, salad plates, tea cozies, flying saucers, abstract artworks or, in one case, a pile of feathers. There were also a number of fascinators, decorative shapes with flowers or feathers, that are stuck in one’s hair but are not hats.”
It now appears that 36 of the wild headpieces worn at the royal wedding can be traced to a single eccentric Irish milliner, Philip Treacy, referred to by the UK’s The Daily Mail as the man “responsible for all this fashion roadkill.”
In this 1999 photo, milliner Philip Treacy poses with the late hat fancier Isabella Blow
Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice arrive at Westminster Abbey for the Royal Wedding in their much-ridiculed hats by Philip Treacy. Beatrice's hat was described in the Daily Mail as "beige pretzel-like" and Eugenie's as a "catastrophic confection...with a rose the color of dried blood."
For more pictures of royal wedding hats on this blog, click here.
Princess Beatrice wore this Treacy creation to another wedding. A swarm of butterflies seems to be attacking her head.
At another fancy occasion, Princess Eugenie wears a feather headpiece designed by Philip Treacy
Victoria Beckham wore one of Philip Treacy's creations to her husband David's O.B.E. ceremony. Note that Mrs. Beckham is showing her teeth, something rarely seen in her photos.
David and Victoria Beckham arrive at Westminster Abbey for the royal wedding. Victoria is wearing one of Treacy's hats, perched precariously on the front of her head. Though almost seven months pregnant with their fourth child, she opts for fashion footwear, wearing sky-high Christian Louboutin heels. David proudly wears his O.B.E. - but on the wrong lapel!
Once inside the Abbey, you can see that David Beckham has switched his O.B.E. medal from his right lapel to the left one - the correct one. Someone must have mentioned the faux pas and he made the swap. He's chatting up a Beefeater, rather nervously, I think!
While we are on the subject of propriety, let me mention that several people have remarked that Kate Middleton chose to wear a wedding gown with sleeves so that she didn’t bare her arms in the Abbey, which is firmly against the dress code.
Royal Wedding: William and Catherine are shown in the Abbey with best man Prince Harry of Wales and maid-of-honor Pippa Middleton.
I checked this out and there seems to be no such rule, at least in writing. Here is the dress code recorded on the Abbey website
There is no specific dress code for the Abbey. For services we ask that you dress in a respectful manner, although we are aware that some people are on holiday – bear in mind that during the winter months it can become quite cold inside.
Besides, if Abbey rules require covered arms, then how was Pippa Middleton exempt?
Newsweek magazine clarified the matter. Royal protocol requires that the arms of a royal bride must be covered.
Prince William wore the scarlet coat of an Irish Guards mounted officer, the uniform of his senior honorary army appointment. He wore gold sword slings, but no sword. Although unconfirmed, my sources report that no weapons are allowed in the Abbey.
Back to the mad hatter and more of his crazy, over-the-top designs for The Rich and Famous:
American Actress Sarah Jessica Parker wears a Philip Treacy design. Saloon girl? More unpleasant things have been said about this hat like, "What do you get when you cross a small cowpat with a pair of yellow butterflies, a sickly green rose and a clump of brown chicken feathers?" (the Daily Mail)
British model Jade Parfit allows another Philip Treacy odd creation to rest on her right ear.
You knew it was coming.
That's Lady Gaga in the wreath by Treacy with Beyonce.
Jodie Kidd wears a Treacy saucer hat with pheasant feather antennae.
In this 2005 photo, Prince Charles and Camilla Parker-Bowles, newly-minted as the Duchess of Cornwall, are just married. She wears a Philip Treacy "wheatsheaf halo" hat for which Prince Charles later awarded him an honorary O.B.E. Camilla is so chummy with Treacy that she sent Treacy's dog a Christmas card every year until the dog's death. At the dog's funeral, Grace Jones sang and Kate Moss sent flowers. (the Daily Mail)
On this site, read, “Kate Rocks the Fascinator.”
For more pictures of Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge (Kate Middleton) in hats, click here.
For more posts on the British Royal Family and the Royal Wedding, click here.