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The Kate Middleton effect: the rise and rise of the fashionable headpiece

Milliner Jane Taylor talks hat shapes and styles, and her most famous customer, The Duchess of Cambridge...

 

I find inspiration everywhere, be it in a piece of beautiful jewellery, fine architecture or nature. Coral, aqua blue and mint are popular hues this season. It doesn't matter whether you're blonde, brunette or a red-head, it's possible to wear any colour, you just have to get the tone right.

In terms of style, big brimmed hats are back, while cocktail pieces are still popular. For the mother of the bride, it's her chance to be able to wear a statement hat, so it's nice to wear something on a larger scale. Although, I do advise them to be wary of wearing a hat with a sweeping brim, as it may cast a shadow over their face in the photographs, so I usually suggest wearing something to the side.

For bridesmaids and younger guests, cocktail hats are easy to wear. If you aren't used to wearing hats, it's important to find out how they should be worn. For instance, cocktail hats should be positioned a couple of centimetres above your right eyebrow – otherwise the trim is centred wrongly and it won't be flattering.

If you are wearing a design which sits on a comb, make sure you backcomb your hair a little so the comb grips. Don't feel you have to match all your accessories, it can be more flattering to go for tonal colours, or to keep your outfit simple and go for a pop of colour. It's vital your hat fits properly and you feel happy with it – otherwise you'll be fiddling with it all day.

I believe a hat should look as though it's part of you. Since I started working with the Duchess I have noticed the ‘Kate effect'. Some people ask for an exact copy of one of her hats, but the new shapes are just for the Duchess, so I won't be selling them to anyone else. 

I came up with the idea of discs on the Duchess of Cambridge's Diamond Jubilee hat when a friend of mine was attending a wedding and I designed a hat for her. Her dress was multicoloured, and nothing in the studio matched, so we dyed some material and made the discs in less than three hours. 

I find when I’m pushed and under pressure, I come up with the best ideas. My favourite design for the Duchess has to be the hat she wore in Australia because it was a new shape (pictured).

Jane Taylor's hats are stocked at Fenwick London and online at fenwick.co.uk. For more, visit janetaylormillinery.com.





jane taylormillinerykate middletonwedding ideaswedding stylewedding accessories




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