The world’s most expensive hat, a $3m headpiece adorned with diamonds and green beryl, was a head-turner at Australia’s most fashionable day of racing, the AAMI Victoria Derby Day, on Saturday. Designed by Myer milliner Natalie Bikicki and jeweller John Calleija, the headpiece was worn by Myer ambassador Kate Peck on the race day. Bikicki said she was initially overwhelmed “the sheer possibilities” of designing the world’s most expensive hat, but was then inspired by the Roman Goddess of the Hunt, Diana.
“I began to wonder what I could design for a modern woman that I would also create for Diana,” she said. “The final hat design was chosen after months of conceptual focus, with dozens of designs culled in the creative process.”
Once completed the leather and woven latex ribbon headpiece was then handed over to Calleija for completion.
John Calleija and his design team then spent over 80 hours sketching dozens of diamond designs before the final creation evolved.
“I had to take into consideration the flexibility of the leather and weight of Calleija’s exceptionally high quality gold and jewels whilst all the while maintaining an undeniably fashion-forward momentum,” said Callieja.
The finished design boasts a 37.53 carat green beryl jewel surrounded by three, four and five carat D-coloured diamonds as its centrepiece as well as over a 1000 smaller diamonds set on white gold weaving through the leather strapping.
According to Callieja, the diamond setting alone took over 150 hours of work to ensure the exactitude of such a worthy, international design.
“Only the highest quality, ethically sourced white diamonds and gemstones were used in this collaborative piece,” he said.
“I wanted to craft the most stunning jewels into a unique, sustainable, yet accessible design that would appeal to the racing community: wearable, fashionable and iconic.”