Monday, June 25, 2012

Hats Off To Royal Ascot

The sensational win by Black Caviar in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at the Royal Ascot races has brought local attention to the annual British racing season. Ascot was made famous by the film My Fair Lady and the outfits and hats featured in the movie set off a trend that has just gotten more and more over the top over the decades.

One who set a standard that most have struggled to top was Mrs Gertrude Shilling. She was the mother of one of the UK's most inventive and famous milliners, David Shilling whose hats are now featured in the Victoria & Albert Museum.

 He was the guest of Myer at the Melbourne Cup one year  (courtesy of the Shuttle) where he judged fashions.

Here are some of the most over the top toppers that appeared this year and some pics of Dame Edna Everage when she arrived one year in the 1980s wearing an homage to the Sydney Opera House complete with circling sharks and up-staged Mrs Shilling.

Gertrude & Ronald Shilling at Ascot

Her husband Ronald Shilling was furious as the press flocked around Dame Edna taking photographs : "at least my wife is a real woman" hissed Ronald to the throng.

"We can't all be perfect" responded Dame Edna
right : David Shilling & his mother Gertrude