Ascot Ladies Day

Branston Pickle Ascot Commission



Earlier this month I was asked by a creative agency to design and make a Branston Pickle themed hat to be worn at Royal Ascot Ladies Day.

To give you a little insight into the processes that are involved in creating such a hat, I took a few snaps along the way.



The agency chose this design out of a selection so I set to work.



I blocked the hat with sinamay and hand carved the jar and pickle structure. 


I then painted the detail onto the jar and pickle. I made sure to paint slight pickle detail and the reflection of the glass jar to increase the realism. It was then varnished. I hand painted some cream duchess satin with a red gingham check to cover the hat base and worked on the slice of bread.    

It was then time to put the structure together, adding a ribbon lettuce and slice of cheese along the way!





This is of course a very simplified version of all the work that created the hat but it was certainly all worth it to hear such wonderful feedback from the creative agency. 



Ascot Ladies Day 2014- A Painterly Affair

This year was my fifth year at Royal Ascot Ladies Day and was certainly one of my favourites. I opted for a ‘hand painted portrait’ theme for my set of hats and as always, they went down a treat with the press and the fellow hat lovers in attendance.

I was particularly happy with the new shapes of the hats that I created and I plan to work on some more (less decorative!) pieces along these lines.

Here is my photographic tour of our day with some of my favourite press clippings. 


Arriving at Royal Ascot. This year we were stopped by so many photographs, it took an hour to reach the actual gate! 


Once finally making it into the Grandstand, another hour was spent satisfying the requests of the press photographers and journalists.


Five of us manage to get a quick snap for ourselves. Every hat featured at least three straight edges as the shape of a canvas would morphing into a hat. 


You can catch a snippet of the above interview here >>> 


Each hat had accenting paint brushes splodged into dollops of vibrant paint. I created drips of paint falling from the brims and even added little tubes of paint.


Constance Peach featured in Grazia's coverage of Ascot ladies day waering The Libertarian's fascinator




Constance Peach featured in The Daily Mail newspapers Ascot coverage wearing The Libertarian's fascinator 


Sandra Tang manages to catch a selfie with the press. You can see Sandra's blog about the day here and her street style blog of the day here 


Angela Tinkler poses for the camera wearing a Libertarian Hat. I hand painted all of the portraits on to my hats by hand.


The Libertarian hats make it into MSN's top ten images of the week 


An abstract shot of the hats in situ 





Constance Peach featured in Vogue Italia's coverage of Royal Ascot 


My Mandatory shot of a crowd of hats




To see the hats in action, click on the image above 



The press looking to get a photos of the Royal box



The Queen watching the Gold Cup Race from her private Royal box




The Libertarian hats featured in ITV's coverage of Ascot Ladies Day 


Image above: Courtesy of The Metro Online 


Image above: Courtesy of The Metro Online 


Hope you have enjoyed the photographs, it was certainly another memorable year and a very special experience.

We had some wins, some laughs and even a new romance was born!