Finally, what a lot of you have been waiting for, the report and pictures of the final that took place on July 2nd 2012. As you can see there was a country theme going on with bales of hay (echoing the theme for the exhibits outside of the hall). I must say that last year the setup was better, but perhaps this year there have been more people daring to look at the hats because they were more accessible.
There was a banner in French describing the competition and explaining the theme, which was “LUCK” but in the banner it had been rebaptized as “GET LUCKY”, not quite the same as you will agree.
The winner of this years competition has been Honoyo Imai, a japanese milliner. Her hats were inspired by “Omikuji”, Japanese fortunes written on pieces of paper that are bought at shrines and tied on branches of nearby trees.
(click “more” to see the rest of this post!)
Here she is in front of her hats, and she is wearing a smaller version of her couture hat:
Here is a closer view of her hats:
Second prize was for Mary Franck, from the UK. I’m happy I pushed her to wear her hat, she was not wearing it when she arrived, and when I asked she told me it was in her mom’s bag and she was not really planning on wearing it!
Here you can see her blocked hat and her knitted/pattern hat:
Third prize and popular vote was for Harvy Santos from London (originally from the Philippines), although strangely enough whoever printed the bios to go on the exhibit wrote FRANCE in big letters!
And here is a closer look at two of his hats:
Here is Beth Simpson in front of her hats. She won the industry prize that consists of a week of work experience at the Whiteley Hat Company in Luton.
Here’s a view of her hats:
Next is Kate Betts. You can see her here wearing her stamped sailor hat, the same as her competition pattern entry.
This is the couture hat from Kate Betts:
And last, but not least, my humble self. Here is how my hats were exhibited. Apparently some lady removed the pin that held my swallows hat in place and swiftly took it away to try it on in front of a mirror, when she was stopped and the hat recovered she did not understand what all the fuss was about, she just wanted to try it on!! (well, at least she did like the hat, but if a hat is pinned in place it usually means you cannot just go and take it!):
A side view of my hats:
The afternoon ended with the announcement of the winners, which was done by Nigel Denford (from The Hat Magazine) after a short speech in French by judge Marie-Claire Barban:
Finally a picture of all the finalists after the prize giving, sipping some champagne:
And to end, here is a picture of myself, Cristina de Prada, with the winner, Honoyo Imai: