How often does one get to say they hung out in Kate Middleton’s hotel room? It’s not an every day occurrence, but when The Goring collaborated with Gina Foster – creator of bespoke hats and headpieces – on a hat collection, it set the stage for The New Potato’s arrival to ‘The Royal Suite’ (where Middleton stayed the night before her wedding).
Foster’s collection was largely inspired by the suite itself. Like the hotel, her creations bring traditional back in style and make us wish headwear was more of a culture in ‘the states’…(can US residents call it that?). We followed the life of these five hats in The Royal Suite…
“I’ve made five pieces that reflect various aspects of the hotel. They’re inspired by this [The Royal Suite], but also by the various silks that are in the suites and the chandeliers in the dining room. They’re also inspired by the kind of customer that the hotel has, which is a very similar customer to mine: An English woman who is quite classic, but might have a little twist about her that makes her a bit interesting or quirky. I think that the hotel and my hats seem to work really well together.” – Gina Foster
“I wanted a collection of five pieces that would be suitable for five different characters. Some are big, some are small, some are more extrovert, some are a bit more couture. So I did five pieces that would work for different people.”
“The red and gold ones were inspired by the silks in the Belgravia suites. The blue one is also the color of one of the suites; same with the green one. I had the flowers [on the green] made to match the silk. The designs are very much around what I’ve learned are best-sellers for my customer, and therefore might be appealing to The Goring customer as well. I think our customers are so similar and overlap so well, that it seemed natural to do something together.”
“I think since the royal wedding, hats have become more popular to the Americans. I think people are much braver about wearing them to events. People used to say, ‘I love hats but no one in America wears them’, whereas now people are willing to be a bit more adventurous. There are people who wear them to church every single Sunday, and then some people will wear them to something like the Kentucky Derby, and then of course to weddings. A woman is much more willing to wear them to a wedding – especially if it’s her daughters wedding. So we’ve really seen business in America pick up, especially with all of the young royals wearing them.”
*Photographed at The Goring by Danielle Kosann. Styling and Art Direction by The New Potato.