Pinoy 'Hat Man of London' turns heads at royal wedding

Posted at 05/04/11 4:56 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The use of hats in formal occasions such as weddings has long been a tradition in the United Kingdom. No wonder then, that during last week's royal wedding, women came in various hats in all sizes, shapes and colors.

A Filipino hat maker, though, drew the attention of global media because of the unique hat he wore while having fun at a street party.



He said it was his gift for Prince William and his bride, Kate Middleton.

"This hat is for them really. See, you have this toothbrush here from my friend who used to push William's pram when he was two years old," Chito Salarza Gant said.

Salarza Gant has been given the title "Hat Man of London" for the unique novel hats he wears every time there is a street party.

Inside his house, there is no more space for the hats he has been continuously making since 2009.



"They call my hats 'the hat that rock the crowd.' They just go crazy with the hat. During New Year's Eve, people were queuing to try the hat on," Salarza Gant said.

He has done hats showing a piano and a mouse, among other things. Recycled materials from the Philippines find their way into his hats which create a statement especially during times when a political statement is needed.

"It's a hat with a message. So always use condom. I put the condom of famous people like Tony Blair," he said, showing off one particular hat.

Salarza Gant has done about 75 hats for different occasions, and he has won recognition for his work.

"It's the accolade that counts. Everyone wants to win. They want to be in the website," he said.

The hat that has earned much attention, though, is the one he made for the royal wedding. His creation has been shown around the world via TV.

Many people, thus, say 'hats off' to this "Hat Man of London". -- Report from Rose Eclarinal, ABS-CBN Europe Bureau