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Hats

  • My Favourite Hat

    I bought one newspaper yesterday, which I have been studying hard this morning. What was it?  The Racing Post.  Why?  The Festival at Cheltenham, the most important event in the Jump Racing calendar kicks off on Tuesday and I need to brush up on my horses!  In general I stay away from the bookmakers unless I am at the event itself (where I can see the horses in the parade ring on the day...I have a certain method of spotting the winners which works to the point that I have considered it as a career option) but Cheltenham, so exciting whether you're there or not, is one exception.  Hopefully I will turn it into as profitable a week as I did last year!  And as Cheltenham holds the first major British racing event of the year, it brings me to think of hats.  Proper hats.  The hat below is not the most opulent feathered example of a Ladies' Day hat but it is my favourite hat all the same.

    One of my most treasured possessions, the summer before last, I came home from work to find this hat sitting quietly on my bed.  I couldn't believe my eyes - the most fantastic surprise!  A very generous present from my cousin who was interning at Philip Treacy at the time.  It is indeed by Philip Treacy (and therefore I could possibly call it an indirect gift from the man himself!), the genius Milliner and one of Ireland's proudest exports to the international fashion ring (and racing circuit!).  He is without doubt, the finest and most original hat designer in the world.  In fact, given his sense of perfect balance and proportion, sweeping curves that seem to continue in infinite circles around one's head and meticulous calculation that obviously goes into every piece he designs, I would call him more of a hat Architect than Designer.  Well this hat, from his Ready to Wear 2009/10 Autumn/Winter collection is my little piece of Philip Treacy and I am so proud of it.  In soft leopard print felt, it's a little bit fun, a little bit elegant and a little bit boho.  I just love it!  I find it particularly useful to wear to Portobello Market on sunny Saturdays (like today in fact)  when the road will inevitably be crowded with legions of tourists and half of London because for some reason, people quite miraculously give space to a wide-brimmed hat without any hesitation.  It's really quite amazing to watch from underneath - like watching the sea part!  And also, wearing an eye-catching hat in the general scheme of things is an interesting experience - a mix of the feeling of being hidden and the feeling that everyone is looking at you - definitely one worth trying.  So if you go down to Portobello Market today, be sure to wear a wide-brimmed hat!  And be sure also to buy the Racing Post...  Get ready.  Get set.

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