On 30th July Londoners and visitors woke up to the capital’s most iconic statues reimagined, adorned with breath taking bespoke headwear celebrating the best of British millinery talent.
As part of the visual spectacular that is HATWALK, Trafalgar Square’s most famous resident Admiral Lord Nelson received a new hat for the first time in 200 years – and none of this would have been possible without the help of MIRA.
Given the reputation of London’s often unforgiving weather, HATWALK’s organisers had to be able to prove that the new adornments would remain firmly in place atop the city’s iconic statues before the newly designed head pieces could be fitted and safely displayed. By enlisting the help of MIRA’s aerodynamic experts and the capability of our full scale wind tunnel, this important requirement was successfully achieved.
After positioning the hats on top of special mouldings taken from a number of the statues’ heads, specialist technicians at MIRA blasted the ornate head pieces with wind speeds of up to fifty five miles per hour in order to ensure that no deformation or deterioration occurred.
Curated by world renowned British milliners, Stephen Jones and Philip Treacy; HATWALK brings together 21 emerging and established designers to showcase British millinery at its very best. Culminating in Trafalgar Square, the project celebrates London’s standing as a global capital of millinery and brings to life these sometimes overlooked statues in new and exciting ways.
One of the companies that have contributed to the event, Lock & Co; the oldest hatters in London, established in 1676 and famed for making Nelson’s original bicorn hat, have created an updated version of the legendary Englishman’s hat complete with an Olympic torch. Nelson is one of twenty well-known statues from William Shakespeare to Winston Churchill, currently starring in the millinery extravaganza.
Other HATWALK creations appearing throughout the capital include:
• Phillip Treacy’s head piece for British General Sir Henry Havelock’s statue
• King George IV’s restyled golden-domed hat design inspired by the Brighton Pavillion
• House of Flora’s shards of neon Perspex sat atop the Duke of Wellington near Hyde Park
• William Chambers’ ‘A Red Red Rose’ headpiece for Robert Burns (inspired by his famous poem of the same name) on Victoria Embankment
• Noel Stewart’s fun and flamboyantly coloured turban for the dandy, Beau Brummel, in Jermyn Street
Once the fantastic display has finished all of the hats will be auctioned off to raise money for the Mayor’s Fund for good causes.
More information about HATWALK can be found here.