Thursday, 2 August 2012

"Hats Off" to London for showing us a bit of fun

Londoners and visitors are invited to visit some of the capital's most iconic statues. They are now adorned with bespoke head wear created by the best of British milliners. Launched as part of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad. Here are 10 of the 16 statues who have been dressed for the occasion.
Lock & Co, the oldest milliners in London, established in 1676, and famed for making Nelson's original bicorn hat, has created an updated version complete with Olympic torch as a nod to a summer like no other in London.
General Sir Henry Havelock wears a hat made by Philip Treacy
Queen Victoria resplendent in a new hat by J Smith Esquire 
Beau Brummell wears a gaudy affair designed by Noel Stewart
Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill having a friendly chat together wearing new hat designs by John Boyd and Herbert Johnson
King George IV atop his horse - a hat for himself and the horse by Stephen Jones
General Sir Charles James Napier wearing a hat by newcomer Sophie Beale - I wonder what he would make of that?
The statue of Sir Arthur Sullivan and The Lady dressed in hats by Gina Foster and Victoria Grant
Captain John Smith dressed in a flamboyant affair by Edwina Ibbotson
Lastly the well known statue of the 1st Duke of Wellington sitting astride his horse outside the Bank of England. Wearing an appropriately patriotic hat by Ian Bennett
courtesy Getty images

36 comments:

  1. Hello Rosemary:
    We knew nothing of this. And what great fun they indeed are and, as importantly, they highlight the work of their very imaginative and talented creators.

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    1. Hello Jane and Lance - My immediate reaction was that it was good fun, and would give visitors and locals some innocent amusement whilst wandering around London.

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  2. Fantastic, Rosemary! I had no idea London had gone hatty! Might trundle up to take a look....

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    1. I thought that it was worthy of showcasing Kate. I do not think that a lot of people have heard about the hat parade, it is fun, lighthearted, and humorous.

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  3. Oh, they are wonderful....FDR looks fabulous. My trip to the Olympic Park is going to have to be extended to include some of these. Thanks for the information about it, I hadn't heard about it anywhere else. J.

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    1. So pleased that you saw them before leaving for the Olympic Park where I hope that you have a wonderful time. For some reason they seem to be a secret, I expect it is because so many other more important things are taking place, but they are lots of fun, and appeal to my sense of humour.

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  4. Thank you for posting this Rosemary, it has made my day.
    For gorgeousity Victoria Grant's 'Lady' hat gets my appreciation, for smirkability John Boyds 'Roosevelt' gets my vote along with Noel Stewart making Beau Brummell look like Molly Parkin, love it! Such a shame Isabella Blow isn't here to see this.
    I wonder, is there any connection between Milliners Lock & Co and the embroiderers Hand & Lock?

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    1. Glad you enjoyed seeing them Paul - much more going on than just the Olympics - I loved this idea, simple but with much humour. Like your Molly Parkin comment, whatever happened to her? you never see her these days. Isabella Blow had her country house in hills near to me, she was a sad loss.
      I do not know about Hand & Lock and whether there is any connection, but Nelson's hat certainly looks as if it bears the hallmarks of some embroidery work by them.

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    2. I last saw a video of Molly Parkin a few weeks ago on Ari Seth Cohen's blog Advanced style of which I have mentioned before, shes alive and kicking wildly still. I think she is a wonderful creature, one of those British specialities that we breed so well.

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  5. This is brilliant! I hadn't heard about the hat show :-) Thanks for sharing...

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    1. Thanks Nat - it seems to be that hardly anyone has heard about this, so hopefully now the word will get around a bit more.

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  6. Dear Rosemary, I love them all. What a charming bit of fun. I have a few favorites: Captain John Smith, King George and his horse and Queen Victoria.

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    1. Dear Gina - glad you enjoyed seeing them. There are 6 more which I haven't shown. I like King George IV and his horse too, brilliant idea to give them both a hat.

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  7. I'd only seen a picture of Nelson's new hat on the BBC website, Rosemary. Thanks so much for showing us the rest. What a quirkily inspired idea. :-)

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    1. Great fun isn't it Perpetua? Apparently there are lots of things like this going on in and around London in the Cultural Olympiad. Lovely way to make people feel happy and smile.

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  8. Rosemary, they all are rather smashing. I would have a difficult time picking a favorite. Thanks for posting these images. Olive

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    1. Glad you enjoyed seeing them Olive, I liked the humour in them, and hope visitors to London will also.

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  9. What great fun, Rosemary! My prizes for second and third place go to Beau Brummel and Captain John Smith — they both seem quite appropriate for the wearers. But my favorite is the matching crowns for George IV and his horse - truly inspired!

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    1. So glad that you enjoyed seeing them Mark - a bit of fun and humour away from the competitive element of the Olympics themselves. King George IV is my favourite too it was the extra hat for the horse made it for me.

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  10. Hi Rosemary, When I was in London, although I have no interest in fashion, I was fascinated by the fashion window displays, which were creative and quirky even to the point of sometimes bizarre. I'm glad to see that mindset has not evaporated from the city.
    --Road to Parnassus

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    1. We have lots of young French designers living in London now, one of the reasons being the freedom to express their creativeness. Apparently they feel stifled in Paris where everything is beautiful and elegant but muted. They find London both colourful and outrageous, and this is probably a perfect example.

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  11. Really fabulous! Really cool! And so British. I love Philip Treacy's work....particularly his early pieces in Tatler styled by the late Isabella Blow.
    Cheers,
    Loi

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    1. Pleased you enjoyed the hats Loi - I wonder what Isabella Blow would have created if she had been alive? As I mentioned to Paul, she lived near me in a house designed by her husband's Grandfather, the architect Detmar Jellings Blow - a wonderful Arts and Crafts mansion.

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  12. Dressed up statues, not so strange of course. We have a little man here in Brussels, "Manneken Pis", very often dressed to the occasion, and not only in a hat ;-) He must have a whole closet full of costumes by now.
    It is a fun initiative to give so many statues colourful hats for the occasion. I hadn't heard of it.
    Bye,
    Marian

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    1. Dear Marian - I know the little statue you mean, and I understand he has several hundred different costumes. I have only ever seen him in the nude!!!
      It is a fun idea, and a way of getting visitors to London to explore where the statues are and see other parts of the city apart from just going to the Olympics.

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  13. Wonderful headwear! What a fun project!

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    1. Dear Lise - it is good to have a bit of fun and create a smile for the visitors to London during the Olympics.

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  14. Great, all these statues with special hats. Like the topic.

    Greetings,
    Filip

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    1. Dear Filip - glad you liked the statues with their fun hats.

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  15. Rosemary, thank you for that - there are several statues that I am sure were not there when I was last in U.K. in 1987

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    1. You are probably right Susan - 25 years ago is quite a long time now.

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  16. grand dress up for the occasion... they must be well chuffed for a while.
    ...
    you were wondering about my derbyshire episod? i had a friend studying in england, and i visited her as often as i could. she started out in chesterfield, but the crooked spire was too uninspiring. before moving to cardiff, she settled in derby for a little while. i remember the nature around the town very well. i favoured dove dale, but i also reveled at nottingham. what a place {in the eighties}. i don't know about now.
    n♥

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    1. Dear Nadine - hats on the statues was an inspired idea to bring a bit of humour to the activities in London for the visitors at the moment.
      I know Dove dale so well as you can imagine. When I was a child, my father would drive the family there for the day, and we would have the whole dale to ourselves - not like that anymore. I have a post showing a photo of Dove dale but I haven't posted it yet. Nottingham always had a reputation as a lively city, famed for D.H. Lawrence! Robin Hood! and noted for its pretty girls.

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  17. Can anyone beat the good old British sense of humour. I love them all. I especially like King George..wonderful
    and wellington.. all a very grand olympic affair.
    We dont get to see those things here on tv. I will have to buy some british magazine somewhere to see whats going on.
    I watched the Rowing and the skull events yesterday..i enjoyed it so much, and wish that i was there.
    seems the weather is not so bad.. I am sure all the hats of the famous will stay on.
    Thank you Rosemary.
    happy weekend
    val

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    1. Glad that you enjoyed seeing these Val, you are right, I think the British do have a good sense of humour, and I expect that is why our TV programmes are so popular around the world.
      The rowing is very exciting and we have enjoyed watching it too, in particular because H was a rower in his youth, so he knows how much effort goes into each race.

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