We know you’ll have been busy with the serious business of calculating probabilities to back a winner, but Royal Ascot is at least half about the outfit and, more to the point, the head candy.
Move over equine beasts and enter, then, the milliners, for it is these often-flamboyant creations that give the Ascot its je ne sais quoi. And for your convenience, we’ve rounded up the top three in west London.
A hat may well be the difference between looking good and feeling spectacular, and it is in pursuit of just such sparkling form that Jess Collett has been creating marvellous millinery in her Notting Hill atelier since 1999. Here she crafts each piece individually to make sure the finished product is as sensational as the people that wear them.
Her new SS14 collection ‘Japanese Garden’ includes the use of pheasant feathers amongst others, and is stylish as ever. You can expect to pay between £260 and £900.
Jess Collett Milliner, Studio 4, 18 All Saints Road, W11 1HH, jesscollettmilliner.com
Belinda Briones, launched Bells and Whistles Millinery in June 2013. Having started life as a ballet dancer, her head pieces speak of elegance and sophistication, making them the ideal fit for Ascot. Even better, they range from £100 to £300 – which means you’ll have plenty left to bet on the races.
We love ‘Flora’, the new collection inspired by the floral colours and themes found on fine china.
Bells & Whistles, bawmillinery.com, +4407891418948
Last but not least is Victoria Grant. The quintessential London milliner, Victoria’s hats have adorned the heads of Kate Moss and Beyoncé and been photographed by that most haughty of haute couturiers, Karl Lagerfeld. Visit her showroom in Notting Hill for a champagne design consultation, during which where Victoria will work directly with you to create the perfect piece.
Victoria Grant, 326 Kensal Rise Road, W10 5BZ, victoriagrant.co.uk
All you now need to do is show up, look good and shout for the right horse!