Hats On! London's Statues Get Olympic Makeovers Courtesy of the U.K.'s Top Milliners

General Sir Henry Havelock models a hat by milliner and Hatwalk curator Philip Treacy
(Photo by Martin McNeil/Getty Images for Mayor of London's Office)

London’s statues of historical figures like Captain John Smith, Queen Victoria, and the 1st Duke of Wellington received a playful makeover today for the 2012 Olympics. Commissioned by London Mayor Boris Johnson, the project – titled Hatwalk – features the work of 21 established and emerging milliners who designed hats for the statues to wear during the Games.

Ian Bennett created a modern cocked hat for the 1st Duke of Wellington, complete with fanciful red, white, and blue feathers, and a wavy rendition of the Union Jack. In Trafalgar Square, Sir Henry Havelock sports an iridescent Philip Treacy circular headpiece similar to the one Lady Gaga had on during the 2011 MTV Europe Music Awards. Stephen Jones conceptualized elaborate crowns for King George IV and his horse. Franklin Roosevelt has a comical giant Spam hat topped with feathers by John Boyd, while the Winston Churchill statue perched beside F.D.R. is topped with a bowler by Herbert Johnson.

“I am thrilled to be able to showcase British millinery during the year of the Olympics in London,” said Jones, according to British Vogue. “Britain has long been credited as being the center of the modern millinery world and these hats are the work of our most celebrated and inspired creators.”

The hats, which also serve as a tribute to the United Kingdom’s rich millinery culture, will be auctioned off for charity after they come off on August 2.

Click on the slide show to see the statues wearing hats in Hatwalk.