' Cinema Romantico: Re-Appraising Keira Knightley's Hat in Love Actually

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Re-Appraising Keira Knightley's Hat in Love Actually

Last week, to coincide with Britain’s Red Nose Day, a biennial telethon, a quickie sequel to “Love Actually” was released. Naturally this left me, author of the definitive Keira Knightley’s Hat In “Love Actually” Could Engender World Peace If We’d Merely Let It piece, wondering if she would also be sporting a hat in this “Love Actually” Red Day sequel, especially since in these fraught times another headdress-styled plea for amity felt necessary. And while she is, based on images filling up “Love Acutal”-ist corners of the internet, sporting a sweatshirt touting LOVE, rendered in rainbow colors that one might connect to the LGBTQ movement, her head, sadly, remains sans hat.

Keira Knightley Does Not Wear A Hat in the “Love Actually” Sequel
But the story does not end there. No, for the “Love Actually” character, played by Andrew Lincoln, who famously pined for Knightley’s Juliet does return, apparently outside her door once again, though in the company of another woman. She is played by Kate Moss. Kate Moss is wearing a hat.

Kate Moss Wears A Hat in the “Love Actually” Sequel 
In her book “Magical Fashionista: Dress for the Life You Want”, Tess Whitehurst delineates between the “Confident Hat” and the “Incognito Hat.” The former, she explains, “Direct(s) the energy of (confident) thoughts and feelings into the hat” while with the latter, she writes, “People notice me when I wear it, but I don’t feel like they notice me exactly, at least not my innermost self.” And so while at first having Kate wear a hat but not Keira seemed a shot directly across the bow of all us Keira Knightley “Love Actually” hat-ologists, I found myself, upon considering the words of Ms. Whitehurst, re-evaluating. It got me to thinking that even if Keira Knightley’s hat in “Love Actually” could engender world peace if we’d merely let it, perhaps there was something else behind the hat, something artistic, a costume design choice that I failed to glean given all my inane Keira In Hat memes.

In “Pirates of the Caribbean”, for instance, Keira channeled all her confidence into the hat.


In “Love Actually”, however, given that the scene in which she wears the famed hat, arrives at a particularly delicate moment, when she is trying to make peace with the person she doesn’t think likes her, though she quickly realizes that is not the case, leaving her that much more vulnerable, the hat becomes a symbol of sudden desire to go incognito, to disappear.


In other words, it’s not simply that Keira wears hats; it’s how Keira wears hats.

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