Toronto milliner heads to U.K. with his hats for coronation parties

Some Canadians heading to London for their coronation festivities hired an important professional, a skilled hatmaker, to ensure they looked their best for the royal family.

Headwear designer David Dunkley says he expects to offer a range of fascinators and couture hats to fashionistas attending a gathering honoring King Charles III and Queen Camilla.

Gold features stand out on several of his handcrafted headpieces, he said, and one hat design was inspired by an RCMP horse named Noble that was unveiled last month as a gift to King Charles III.

“Gold is my favorite color for coronations, and it’s the color of coronations, so there’s a lot of gold flying around at the moment,” Dunkley said as he geared up for “Nonstop” at his Toronto store and studio. Talked about his inspiration: David Dunkley Fine Millenary.

The story continues under the ad

“I’m looking forward to the historic nature of the event. I’m looking forward to seeing London in all its glory….it’s going to be fun. Really like a once-in-a-lifetime event. I feel it.”

Dunkley declined to say whether his clients were among the 2,000 guests invited to attend the coronation at Westminster Abbey on May 6.

However, he has remained relevant, including events at Canada House, the home of Canadian diplomats in London’s famous Trafalgar Square, and a pre-coronation cocktail party that Dunkley himself will host across from Kensington Palace. He said he helped dress for the event.

“It’s a really interesting, eclectic group because we’re throwing parties with really attractive and interesting people – clients, artists, poets, corporate presidents – and we’re partying across the street looking at Kensington Palace. So how grand and luxurious would that be?

The 52-year-old designer completed a diploma program in hatmaking at George Brown College nearly 20 years ago. Because of that, Rose, the late Queen’s mother’s hatmaker, he says, gave him the confidence to ask Corey to take him on as a student.

He says Corey created the royal family’s favorite style—the upturned brim with a large plume embellishment—and taught him to view hat-making as a couture art form.

“It wasn’t just a craft, it was like a high art,” he said, noting that an elaborate piece can require 15 to 25 hours of work.

The story continues under the ad

Dunkley, the official hatmaker for the annual Toronto horse race known as the King’s Plate, set on August 20th, recently released an updated line inspired by the coronation.

When it comes to special royal events, the dress rules are a little different, he said, adding that fascinators generally can’t be smaller than six inches.

“You don’t want it to be too big or too small, and you don’t want it to block people sitting behind you, so it’s probably a different type of hat than you would wear to a race,” he says.

Dunkley will leave for the UK on Friday and will spend part of this time honing his craft with further research into couture hat making.

In general, Canadians were fairly conservative with their headpieces, and eventually found a generally more conservative approach to dressing inspired by coronations, a relatively low-key religious ceremony.

“It’s a celebration in a conservative way. The last few times we’ve had a royal wedding, when we’ve done something for it, we’ve grown a little bit, but people don’t get that big.” We’ve noticed it’s scaled down,” he says.

“Gold seems to be pretty popular. I mean, I design a lot with it. That kind of richness, that little richness, people seem to like it.”

The story continues under the ad

Toronto hatmaker David Dunkley, who specializes in making couture hats, poses for a photo in Toronto Wednesday, April 26, 2023.

Canadian Press/Nathan Dennett

For those unfamiliar with headpieces but wanting to experiment with additional embellishments, Dunkley stresses the importance of wearing something that “makes you happy and makes you feel good.” .

“It can feel a little strange if you’re not used to having something on your head. If you wear something and the color makes you happy and the scale makes you feel good. , it works for you.

“At the end of the day, they’re little expressions of yourself, let’s not take them too seriously. They’re the fascinator and the hat. You’re crowning yourself, have fun.”

© 2023 The Canadian Press

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button