Sunday, June 27, 2010
Vintage Hats: All-Out Deliciousness
Tying her bonnet under her chin,
She tied her raven ringlets in;
But not alone in the silken snare
Did she catch her lovely floating hair,
For, tying her bonnet under her chin,
She tied a young man’s heart within.
-- from "The Love-Knot" (first verse) by Nora Perry (1832-1896)
German fashion plate - "Moden Z. 1829 - Lohse sc(?) - No. 50"
Throughout history hats have held an important place in the world of fashion. Whether the year was 1829 with the pretty - and enormous! - German bonnets (above)...or 1960 with a fresh floral spring hat on the cover of Vogue (below).
Vogue, Feb. 15, 1960. On the cover: "First glimpse of the hat situation - through a little-evening cage of green leaves, white stephanotis, and a rose-coloured rose at brow-level. All-out deliciousness is one of the self-evident truths of the hat situation this spring."
Here's what Vogue had to say about hats in its 2/15/60 feature article: The Truth About the Hat Situation:
The truth about hats is: like diamonds, they're not among the necessities of life, but are among the tonic pleasures, and they add a tremendous charge of dazzle. In another generation, we heard "you're not dressed if you don't wear a hat," but the obvious truth is that many smart women are now beautifully, though hatlessly, dressed, wearing marvellous hair as a substitute.
What we are getting at is this: hats are golden chances for a chic woman to acquire extra chic. This year, designers are coming up with a special surge of hat excitement - spectacular bulky shapes, or tiny toy hats, in featherweight substances of straw, organdie, silk, with results ravishing enough to tempt even the most diehard of the no-hat cult.
About no-hattism: we have often found this to be simply the fact that, as the lovelorn columns say, the right one hasn't come along (this, a corollary of the principle that you can't marry a millionaire unless you first meet one). Our advice to the hatlorn is to keep trying; each fresh batch of hats holds fresh chances to look wonderful..."
If you've gone hatless most of your life, but are feeling a little bolder these days and would like to add a "charge of dazzle" to your fashion life - here are some more hats to inspire you...
Taffeta striped beret - a fresh edition of the paperbag beret in brilliant Roman striped silk - purple, orange, beige. Vogue magazine, 2/15/60.
Fez fare...in felt, with a new head-on approach to flowers - a spray of tulips stemming from box pleats at the front. Vogue magazine, 2/15/60.
Gilbey's Vodka ad - Life magazine, April 20, 1962
Spring...and a New Hat for Audrey Hepburn. Life magazine, 4/20/62.
Montgomery Ward Catalog - Spring 1939
A few more hats from the 1939 Ward's catalog. I love hats from this era! I wish they were easier to find...
Pictured below are a few hats that I have added to my collection (and then sold) over the years...
Above is a vintage 1950's turban hat with glam movie star appeal...
....and below is a stunning peacock blue hat with rows of pretty pleats and a tuft of netting and sequins on top!
Pictured below are the newest additions to my (very small) hat collection...
The soft yellow straw hat above is wrapped in a pretty ribbon, and has a Dayton's label inside. Dayton's department store was a favorite Mpls./St. Paul fashion destination for years. I'm always happy to find vintage clothing with one of their labels because it brings back good memories of shopping excursions there when I was younger.
I love the glamorous vintage look of scarves worn over the head. Here's a fabulous Oscar de la Renta find with wonderful stripes and bold geometric shapes....
Truly a work of art. Don't you agree?