I HAD a little cultural and fun escape when I stepped in to the Palma Hat Week Exhibition at Hotel Saratoga. 

Austrian organisers, Count Karl Maria Kinsky and Countess Judith Margarethe Kinsky created Palma Hat Week in 2019 to bring together milliners from around the world to celebrate what is surely the epitome of style, glamour and a nod to the days when women wore hats and gloves as part of their daily attire. 

Terenia Taras
BEAUTIFUL: Terenia loved modelling the gorgeous hats that were on show. Copyright Robert Pilsner @robert8pilsner

Being English we too have that fashion history when men wore top hats, which were regarded as a status symbol, way before the cliché sports car. For women, hats were used to imply wealth. Today hats serve a more practical purpose, to shade and protect us from the elements. But I for one, and I’m not alone as the exhibition proved, that despite the sometimes impracticality of hats, feel they are one item which can instantly make you feel glamourous and unique. 

Austrian Art collector, Count Kinsky, who has Arte & Casa Gallery in Port d’ Andratx and lives in Mallorca, also exhibited 30 original art works of SALVADOR DALI at the second International Palma Hat Week Exhibition, where the international hat designers entered hats and imaginative face masks, making this exhibition unique to this unprecedented year!

All pictures courtesy and copyright of Robert Pilsner @robert8pilsner

This season, the Palma Hat Week theme was ‘Fifty Shades Of White’ and as Countess Kinsky explained: “In February, when we announced our theme we could not foresee if 2020 would be the ‘Black Friday’ for the millinery industry because all horse races, countless weddings and garden parties were cancelled, meaning many milliners didn’t get any more orders and lived at the subsistence level.”

Count Kinsky summed it up perfectly when he said the theme, ‘Fifty Shades of White’, “is the colour of hope, a light in a time of absolute darkness, in a world that has gone off the rails. A torch as a sign of love and solidarity.” 

For me, I felt liberated from the stresses this year has brought upon us as I was surrounded by such stunning millinery creations and fabulous art. I’m already looking forward to next year’s International Palma Hat Week, not just because I’d wear an extravagant hat everyday if I could, but because we must support all industries, especially ones which simply bring us joy.

The winning hats were presented at a gala dinner held at Hotel Saratoga, Palma; 

First Place – Wies Mauduit, (Netherlands)

Second Place  – Kinga Erdely (Germany)

Third Place – Olivia Rose Millinery (UK)

Other millinery entrants included; Audrey Doherty (Ireland), Judith M. Countess Kinsky (Germany), Antonio Guardiola (Spain), Cornelia Palzer (Germany), Julita O’Toole (Ireland), Debbie Wiseman (UK), Haidee Neill (Australia), Megan K Hughes (Canada), Antje Lücke (Germany), Bethany White (UK), Jane Fryers (UK), Roisin Kelly (Northern Ireland/UK), Amber Van Thull (Netherlands), Shirley Anderson (Sweden) Arieli Marcondes (Brazil) and Katie-Scarlett Gentry (US).

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