Leading British milliner Stephen Jones OBE is looking forward to Royal Ascot’s iconic fashion once again this year.
Royal Ascot is very egalitarian. Even in the 1820’s it was described as being something for the farm girls and something for duchesses – it really is a week for everybody. No matter what the social background, you will have a fantastic day at Royal Ascot.
Hats were once seen purely for elegance but now they are for having fun and you can see that at Royal Ascot.
I love watching the horses and the hats throughout the week.
Being British, the social season is important so you can use a hat for summer events maybe you can’t later in the year – but often you can wear a hat more than once during the summer.
For most people, they don’t wear hats on a day-by-day basis so what I try to do is to show as much face as possible. If you just take away all of the hair into a hat people will become uncomfortable so I like to keep half of the hair out, showing their ears so they feel comfortable.
A woman will be elegant if she feels comfortable.
Of course it isn’t just about the week at Royal Ascot it is all the preparation before-hand.
For me as a milliner, there are many clients who come in at the last minute and say ‘Oh I am going to Ladies’ Day tomorrow at Royal Ascot’ on the Wednesday night.
So for a Milliner, Royal Ascot is our Christmas, New Year and Birthday all rolled into one.
The interesting thing about the way we live now is that we can see the past, present and future at the same time and that is epitomised at Royal Ascot. Around the world, Britain and Royal Ascot is seen as the centre of millinery, mainly due to The Queen. It is a symbol of Britain.
Times have changed but the fashion is still iconic.
From the beginning of Royal Ascot, it was all about how your carriage was dressed up. From there people tried to match their clothing to the interior of the carriage and then hats became the main thing as it is today.
Of course Royal Ascot was created by Queen Anne – and that legacy is more than continued by The Queen who loves her racing and you should see the delightful expression when her horses win.
The Queen is the patron saint of Millinery; she is an inspiration. Who else can wear all of those colours in a week?
Tickets for this year's Royal Ascot are proving as popular as ever, with the Queen Anne Enclosure sold out on Thursday 16th, Friday 17th and Saturday 18th June. The Windsor Enclosure has sold out on both Thursday 16th and Saturday 18th June, with limited availability on Friday 17th June.
We still have availability on the opening two days of the Royal Meeting, while upgrades that include Queen Anne Enclosure admission are still available across all five days.
For all latest availability and to book please click here