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LONDON: STREET STYLE

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September 30, 2007|Booth Moore

London

OFTEN what's on the street is just as inspiring as what's on the runway, and this season it was all about hats -- newsboy caps, berets, fedoras, a top hat or two, even a spiraling cotton-candy-like confection that turned up in the audience of the Eley Kishimoto show.

Of course, there is a long tradition of hat-wearing in Britain, and the queen is rarely seen in public without one. Hats came into focus earlier this year with the death of eccentric British fashion editor Isabella Blow, who discovered so many designers, including milliner Philip Treacy. She wore his artful creations faithfully, which is perhaps what got everyone, designers included, thinking about hats.

On the runway at Giles Deacon, another British milliner extraordinaire, Stephen Jones, furnished skullcaps, silk toppers and even a pair of kitty-cat ears dyed to match the dresses for a retro fabulousness. At Basso & Brooke, Jones' hats were more sculptural to match the painterly vibe of the print-heavy collection. One of the best was shaped like an artist's palette.

At Topshop, the high-street barometer for all things cool, miniature hats by the British brand Chapeau Claudette are for sale on the accessories floor -- tiny top hats with fishnet veils à la Anna Piaggi, the eccentric Italian fashion editor famous for her headgear. In a few seasons, when hats aren't all that, it will look perfect on the dog.

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