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Britain´s royal wedding stirs hat fever
1.       tunci
7149 posts
 22 Apr 2011 Fri 12:26 am

Britain´s royal wedding stirs hat fever

PAISLEY DODDS

 

Love of hats has always been in a different league in Britain. It is a beloved tradition that will be in full force at Prince William and Kate Middleton´s April 29 wedding. Theories abound as to why the Brits are so obsessed with hats, with some saying the island’s lousy weather might be a cause, while experts say it´s the royal family that has kept it alive
Hat is a tradition in Britain and hat makers say they have seen slight increase in sales.

Hat is a tradition in Britain and hat makers say they have seen slight increase in sales

[ Şapka Britanya´da bir gelenektir ve şapka üreticileri satışlarda biraz artış olduğunu gördüklerini söylüyorlar ]

 

France has the beret, America the humble baseball cap, yet Britain´s love of hats has always been in a different league.

Bowlers, baker boys, top hats, boaters, deerstalkers and countless ladies creations have been worn by royals and commoners alike through the centuries. It is a beloved tradition that will be in full force at Prince William and Kate Middleton´s April 29 wedding.

Bookmakers are betting on the color of Queen Elizabeth II´s hat (the odds are on yellow), as well as the designer making the princess-to-be´s honeymoon headpiece. The salmon-colored tricorn hat Princess Diana wore as she left for her honeymoon in 1981 spawned hundreds of copies.

“We´re British, hats are just what we do," Shirley Hex, a milliner who made hats for the queen, the queen´s mother and Diana, told The Associated Press. "Choosing the right hat is important for the person wearing it, but it´s also important for a designer. The right hat can make a career."

Theories abound on why Britain, compared to other European nations, became a country of mad hatters, an expression referring to the Alice in Wonderland character whose loopy persona was based on the many milliners who suffered neurological damage as they inhaled the mercury used to cure pelts.

Britain´s lousy weather might have contributed to the national obsession, but experts say it´s the royal family has kept it alive.

"Hats have long denoted status," said Oriole Cullen, curator of a Victoria & Albert Museum 2009 hat exhibit that has since gone to Australia and heads to New York in September. "Up until the 1950s, a woman wasn´t even considered properly dressed unless she was wearing a hat and gloves."

The rebellious, swinging 1960s and its variety of hair styles, along with the cramped confines of the modern automobile, prompted a steady decline in global hat sales, Cullen said.

Many blame John F. Kennedy, one of the first U.S. presidents not to don a hat, for hastening the demise.

In Britain, however, the tradition has stayed strong.

Royals have long been painted or photographed wearing hats, the Queen Mother had a special fondness for flouncy feathered creations, whereas her daughter has generally worn the same blocked style. Prime ministers and lawmakers, too, have been shown wearing top hats and tails at Oxford or Cambridge.

Britain is also home to the Henley Regatta, Royal Ascot and Lords, the posh rowing, horse racing and cricket events patronized by royalty where hats are de rigueur. And then there are the weddings and funerals.

Although the dress for William and Kate´s wedding will not be formal, invitations advise men to wear suits rather than top hats and tails, there will be a sea of ladies in hats among the 1,900 people invited to Westminster Abbey, much like the 1981 wedding of Prince Charles and Diana in St. Paul´s Cathedral.

Designers say some women began placing their orders when the couple announced their engagement in November. They advise clients to be original, focus on their outfits, forget about the price and don´t outdo the bride or royals.

Some creations by designers like Philip Treacy, who made two hats for the Dutchess of Cornwall when she married Prince Charles in 2005 and several other creations worn by “Sex & the City” star Sarah Jessica Parker, can cost more than 600 pounds.

Treacy has been commissioned to do several of the royals´ hats for the wedding, as well as the bridesmaid´s headpieces. Hex, who taught the young Irish designer, said the pressure for an event like a royal wedding was extreme.

"I didn´t work for quite some time after Diana´s wedding," Hex, 70, said. "It nearly killed me."

Flight Lt. Al Conner, a pilot who helped train William and now flies alongside him on RAF search-and-rescue missions, is among 27 of the prince´s military workmates to attend the wedding. He says the airmen´s wives have all been talking about the same thing, "What kind of hat is everyone else wearing."

Retail chains said sales of some hats and fascinators, usually smaller pieces attached to a comb or headband, are down due to the recession.

But in honor of the royal wedding, and to boost sales, London retailers will stay open for business on the public holiday. Associations encouraged their workers to don hats and fascinators during their shifts.

Specialty hat makers, meanwhile, have said they have seen a slight increase in sales ahead of the wedding.

"There has been no recession in Mayfair," said Nicholas Payne-Baader of the James Lock & Co. Ltd, a hat company in one of London´s poshest areas, which has supplied hats to the Duke of Edinburgh and Prince Phillip. "We´re making about eight hats for the wedding."

 

Note : Hayatımda ilk defa üzeri envai çeşit pasta dolu bir şapka görüyorum. Bayağı ağır olmalı kızcağızın başı ağrımıyor mu ?

First time in my life I see a hat with lots of different kinds of cookies on it. It must be heavy.Isnt that giving the poor girl head ache ?

 


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