Mad Hatters


Written by James Read
31 Tuesday 31st May 2011

This beauty, named Anthill, explores the idea of London as a hive of insect activity. It was made by Ritta Ikonen in connection with architect-turned-milliner Gabriela Ligenza for a pop-up exhibition called Hat-itecture with the London Festival of Architecture. Ikonen didn't stop at just the hat however, later adding an entire anthill suit. Mmm, itchy.

Perhaps referring to the weird red hats called Pukao that were added to some of the Easter Island statues. The method of moving the gargantuan stone figures has been a major source of archaeological argy-bargy over the years, and it looks like this lady has taken precautions with a fetching blue neckstrap.

Beatrice's hat at the slightly lower key 2008 Royal wedding between Princess Anne's son, Peter Phillips, and Canadian Autumn Kelly was anything but! Is this some kind of ongoing gag? A superb royal trolling by designer Phillip Treacy? Perhaps - his hats for the rest of the Royal family are far more tasteful.

Kate Cusack's Marie Antoinette-style designs, originally created for Tiffany & Co's Mother's Day display, tread the line between the hat and the wig. What percentage of hair negates a piece it's hat status? And what if the 'hair' isn't actually hair? in this case, it's actually clingfilm. The Royal Society of Millinery was not available for comment at time of press. Whatever, let them eat cake.

Speaking of cake - what weird hats article would be complete without that most important milestone in the milliner's calendar, Aintree Ladies' Day? Designer Jean Ellis hit a home(r) run this year with her doughnut-inspired creation, which she says was "in tribute to moreish treats Krispy Kremes."

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