Friday, November 10, 2006

Millinery: Desperately Seeking Vera Whistler

Whistle bait? On me, not so much.

On a cute 20 something, in lean jeans, sassy heels and a tight tank top...probably.

Grandmama Fay would have been scandalized. It was her hat, back probably in the wild 1960's, probably her attempt to be groovy. The hat's designer Vera Whistler was known for being up with the times, during the times that were "a'changing".

It is hard for me to picture The Southern Baptist Belle of Memphis wearing a rebellious style. I never personally saw her in this hat. She probably wore it with a suit, that had just those colors.

She had a pair of kid gloves in that shade of turquoise. I know that for a fact, because those glove are now in my possession. Probably the hat and gloves went together, perfect accent assessories for church, or a Ladies' Luncheon.

Check the ombry dyed ribbons woven into a foundation mesh, that when peeked at by separating the ribbons, appears to be crocheted.

A sophisticated use of tie-dye?

The faceted beads scattered over the hat are plastic, and the three larger green leaf beads are glass. Wonder why plastic was used?
Kind of tacky...

The hat pattern is a simple circle crown, with a slight dart to give the crown some height. The side band is wider in the front, narrowing in the back, and pleated with a single catch stitch, once on both sides, at about 4 and 7 o'clock, if 6 o'clock was the back of the head.
Whistler used a structural devise to hold the front of the hat up a bit. Otherwise the weight of the hat would have collapsed the design into a pancake layers.
Posted by PicasaThe hat is heavier than I usually care to wear, and is just a bit too small on me to comfortably pull down low on the brow.

I think it would be a perfect hat to wear on an autumn day, with a long belted cardigan sweater and maybe even cord jeans.

I've been trying to research Vera Whistler. There isn't much out there about her that I have found. Her hats show up on ebay from time to time, not often, and not demanding much price-wise as a designer either.

Anyone out there know about Vera Whistler?

Does anyone know whatever happened to Vera Whistler?

PS to daughter LauraRN: This hat would fit you...interested????


Ladygrande said...

You lucky milliner you! I have a Vera Whistler also, but not in that good condition. Will have to find it again - it's packed still. Not much published on her. Will do some back-up research and let you know. I have several books at home.


Anonymous said...

I just bought a gorgeous Vera Whistler. I have been trying to find out more about her too. I love my black hat with feathers. It is much older than the one you have posted. Mine looks like it is from the 40-50's. Very Hollywood movie star.

April said...

Hi there,

We've just recently uncovered many Vera Whistler designs from the 1940s & 50s with a smaller label than the 1960s one you showcased. These were from an Arkansas estate, though I am not sure whether this was Whistler's home state. Definitely some whistle-worthy hats though!

Happy hat hunting!

Amy said...

Hello there,

I just bought a Vera Whistler at an antique store in Roswell NM. I am hoping to wear it at my wedding in two weeks. I have never worn a hat other than a cowboy hat. I am not sure how to attach it to my head. It doesn't have any combs or pins...Can I send you a picture to get some advice?

Amy Pint

Sherry K said...

I have a Vera Whistler what looks like faux fur with a gorgeous almost gold looking ribbon all the way around the bottom. with the front in to a bow. I am trying to find out how old it is? does anyone know? It has a label in it. Could anyone tell by looking at the label?