Hats…Hats…Hats… Always Classic, Always New
FASHION TREND REPORT EXCLUSIVELY FOR RANDOLPH STREET MARKET BY NENA IVON, nenasnotes
Ladies wearing their individual style for all seasons. One of the many ways we can express our individual style is by wearing glorious millinery. Spring has finally sprung so let’s take a look at a brief history of HATS, shall we!
The popularity of millinery supposedly began with Marie Antoinette’s dressmaker… the milliner, Rose Bertin (a story unto itself) and has continued to this day with Royals around the world wearing fanciful hats and inspiring designers and all of us to follow the in and out trend of wearing stylist millinery.
Now…Queen Elizabeth II
Charles Frederick Worth considered by many The Father of Haute Couture dressed the high society of the mid to late 19th Century including France’s Empress Eugenie. Bonnets were the style of the day Worth perfected the “hat”.
Considering himself quite the dandy he appears in this portrait with an artist’s beret a la Rembrandt!!
Charles Frederick Worth
A Worth walking costume…
Fast forward to the early 20th Century and a House that remains in business to this day….Chanel, and its founder Gabrielle Chanel who began her design career as a milliner in the South of France and Paris.
Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel in front of her millinery shop and a hat from her first collections.
And one of my favorite portraits of her in the 1930’s…
All of society wore hats at the time…men and women always in the latest fashion…here a couple strolling the Avenue….then Audrey Hepburn as Elisa Doolittle in the breataking Ascot Scene from the My Fair Lady film costumed by the genius, Cecil Beaton.
Thinking of parading down the Avenue in your Easter bonnet….just take a clue from yet another movie, the glorious Easter Parade…here Astaire and Garland all decked out in the finery for THE day of all days to don your chapeau. Back in the day truly through the 1960’s we always wore hats (I, for many years was a judge at Chicago hotels Easter Bonnet contests, great fun and very competitive) why did we stop wearing hats….more on that a bit later…
The 1920’s….and the cloche, easy to wear with the new short bobbed hair and easy to wear today.
Flirty, fun, fashionable fitting in perfectly with the emergence of the independent woman.
Definitely styles you can find at the monthly Randolph Street Market.
Talk about a perfectly turned out wardrobe…the charming Phryne Fisher (and Jack always in his fedora…something about a man in a fedora…much preferred to a baseball cap!!) in the Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries TV series…to die for…oops a pun!!
Another HauteCouture Designer who did fascinating hats perfect for the 1930’s Elsa Schiaparelli….all manner of Surrealistic creations many in collaboration with Salvador Dali…such as the shoe hat and, of course, the lobster atop madams coiffeur!
Isabella Blow In Phillip Tracey’s Lobster headpiece.
Lady Gaga in her Lobster fascinator…
What changed and why did women and for that matter men stop wearing hats…certainly women’s hair became bouffant and the styles of the times didn’t fit the “do’s”. Life became more casual. Enter the pillbox made popular by Jackie Kennedy, considered American Royalty….you can see a trend in this post. Hatted by the extremely popular Halston who had his start in Chicago and discovered by The Chicago Daily News Fashion Editor, Peg Zwecker, in his small boutique within the Basil Beauty Salon in the walkway between the Ambassador Hotels. Halston rocketed to fame when New York’s Bergdorf Goodman gave him his own boutique within its Fifth Avenue store and Barbra Streisand did her televised show from the Store wearing all the glorious hats. Catch it on YouTube it is truly spectacular.
Peg Zwecker with a very young Halston, of course wearing a Halston creation.
Halston in Bergdorf’s Millinery Salon.
Jacqueline Kennedy in Halston’s pillbox (he said he fitted the hats on himself because he and Jackie had the same head size…just saying!) and Kate in her version of the style…each looking modern and pulled together.
Another milliner was based in Chicago (there are several outstanding milliners currently creating in Chicago, that’s another post for sure!) and the Chicago History Museum’s Costume Collection has a huge collection of his whimsical creations. Benjamin Green-Field aka Bes-Ben was who the chic of Chicago (as well as Nationally) wore for years. You can always identify a Bes-Ben outrageous piece, if you find one treasure it…they are very special.Check RSM vendors…maybe you will get lucky!!!
This photo by the extraordinary Victor Skrebneski hangs in the Chicago History Museum.
A charmer…love it!!!!
A fabulous book on a huge tradition by the women who wear hats to perfection…..here some examples of that tradition that lives on exquisitely…
The two milliners who work closely with Haute Couture designers as well as celebrities…Philip Tracey and Stephen Jones, in my opinion, both creative geniuses.
With his (and Alexander McQueen’s) muse, Isabella Blow.
Princess Beatrice in her unique choice.
For an Alexander McQueen’s Haute Couture Show…..and on the cover of The New Yorker after McQueen’s death. Stunning…
Stephen Jones…worked with John Galliano for Christian Dior Haute Couture as well as many private clients.
Meagan wearing one of her many Stephen Jones pieces.
Two more books on the subject…
While I don’t think any of us will have 500 hats in our wardrobe they do add a dash of style, a pulled together look to complete outfit..
A spectacular Louis Vuitton hat box to “chicly” store your treasures… another collectible to be found…perhaps RSM…look and you will find…
I am seeing a resurgence of hats on ladies and gentlemen ….think fascinators, the fabulous hats for Ascot and our Kentucky Derby and the many hat luncheons both in Chicago, around the country and Internationally…the annual Service Club of Chicago Event springs to mind where ladies and gentlemen don their best chapeaux. I have just given you a very small picture of the world of hats…perhaps there will be a part two next Spring and a continuation on nenasnotes…who can tell!!!! To me hats are as welcome a sight as the glimpse of the first robin!!!!!
Something for me…I think so!!!!
All photos from Pinterest photo credits unknown.