Topping it off: UK queen’s hat designer talks royal style

Royal milliner to Queen Elizabeth II, Rachel Trevor-Morgan, has designed 65 hats for the queen. (Photo courtesy: Getty/ AFP)

When you’ve spent the past seven years designing hats for the world’s most famous royal, you’re bound to know a thing or two about making a statement with a regal-looking headpiece.

With a melodious French harp recital in the background, royal milliner to Queen Elizabeth II,  Rachel Trevor-Morgan, sat down with Al Arabiya News to discuss the queen’s preferred style, her stint designing for a UAE princess, and how anyone can pull off a chic headpiece.

Q: You design hats for the Queen of England, can you tell us a bit about the challenges that entails?

A: It is a challenge because over the years - I have created hats for her for seven years - I’ve made about 65 hats. Considerations include what occasion it s for, although you don’t always know, and practical things like the size of the brim when she is getting in and out of cars and those sort of considerations.

rachel

rachel

Q Is the queen flamboyant in her taste or relatively sedate?

A: She’s not that flamboyant now (laughs). You’ve got to remember her position and what she’s doing, you can’t do anything too wild unless she is going to the races and then it can get a little bit more exciting.

rachel

rachel

Q: Why did you choose to  embark upon a career designing hats?

A: I sort of fell into it by mistake really. I wanted to go into theater costuming or something of that nature and hats are a natural sedgeway. So, I took a very traditional route and I took an apprenticeship when I was 19. I went in and I learnt my craft with a fabulous designer called Graham Smith.

I think if you really get a good grounding, beyond that design is an instinctive thing.

rachel

rachel

Q Hats can be adorned with almost anything, from feathers to flowers, what do you think is the biggest no-no when it comes to choosing a hat?

A: There’s many things you can put on a hat that would look dreadful (laughs) but I think you don’t want to be in a situation when you’ve put so much effort into your whole outfit and then let in down with the hat. So many people do that because it’s an afterthought and yet it is the most important thing because it frames your face and it’s the focal point.

It’s better to have a fabulous hat and a simple outfit!

rachel

rachel

QHats are seen as very “English,” but with the popularity of the races in the UAE especially, do you think they are making their way to the Middle East?

A: Hats are making their way to the Middle East! I think women love hats and they love to wear them and we don’t have as many opportunities as we would like and so events like the Dubai World Cup and Royal Ascott in the UK give people an opportunity to wear hats when everybody else is and you feel silly if you don’t. It’s an opportunity to be a little bit more daring.

rachel

rachel

QHave you ever designed for an Arab royal family member or socialite? Would you incorporate any Arab cultural inspirations?

A: Well I’ve designed for Princess Haya Bint al-Hussein (wife of the prime minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and daughter of the late King of Jordan). Regarding the design elements, it is something that is in my mind having come here and visited Dubai for the first time.

Rachel Trevor-Morgan’s has collaborated on a range of hats and headwear with British occassionwear brand Jacques Vert, now available in Dubai.

 

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:43 - GMT 06:43
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