Anyone in London today will be treated to seeing some of the city’s most famous statues decked out in special headwear to celebrate the country’s millinery tradition.
Hatwalks, a combined project between Grazia magazine, BT, the British Fashion Council, the London 2012 Festival and the Mayor of London sees some of the country’s biggest icons with bespoke headwear which celebrates the best of millinery talent in the UK. It’s just one of several free, secret performances and attractions this summer as part of Surprises, a Mayor of London initiative celebrating creativity and culture in the capital.
The most notable figure to be hatted is Admiral Lord Nelson, of Trafalgar Square. Lock & Co, the oldest hatters in London established in 1676, famed for making Nelson’s original bicorn hat made an Olympic-themed hat, while London-based Universal Platforms scaled the 169 foot statue in order to dress the stone statue, and whose site surveyors managed the project. Nelson is just one of 20 well-known statues to be dressed across the capital, including William Shakespeare and Winston Churchill.
Lord Nelson wears a specially tailored hat for the Hatwalk
Hatwalks brings together 21 great designers to showcase British millinery at its best. Once the display is over the hats will be auctioned off to raise money for the Mayor’s Fund for good causes. Hatwalks also saw Philip Treacy crown British General Sir Henry Havelock with a headpiece inspired by an “old and new” theme, while Stephen Jones restyled King George IV with a golden-domed Brighton Pavilion-inspired headpiece. Ian Bennett has added a feathered cap to the Duke of Wellington, while Jon Boyd has designed a new headpiece for Franklin D. Roosevelt on Bond Street.
According to the British Fashion Council millinery is one of Britain’s great crafts, and has experienced a resurgent in recent years, as British designers dominate the catwalks of the world. The HatWalks project is designed to showcase the country’s excellent contribution to millinery.
The public will be able to see the complete collection of headpieces at BT London Live at Hyde Park until the 12th August. Check out the Grazia Hatwalk page to download a map of all the hats and statues.