Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Millinery: Marie shares some treasures

Marie is a one of my dear friends in Houston. We met in millinery class back in 2001, and have been involved in the Houston Hat Net together since then, and avidly swap emails saying "Look at this one!" about great hat finds on eBay and on the Internet in general.

The funny thing about our millinery class; there were two law librarians (I was one) and two legal secretaries (Kate and Marie), a rather unlikely coincidence professionally. Maybe dealing with lawyers had put enough pressure on us that we just ran amok after the work day was done, via hat obsession.

Marie is moving and has decided to "de-acquisitioning" some of her hats that are just too tiny for her to wear.
Since daughter LauraRN has a 21 inch head size, and I know of others who also have petite noggins, I volunteered to take a few off of those tiny sized hats off Marie's hands, with the promise I would do my best to try to find them good home.

Marie is a typical hat fancier, that is to say she has a modest collection of around two hundred hats. As long as she was bringing over the tiny sized hats, she decided to also bring along a few treasure from her collection for me to enjoy seeing as well.

We trooped in the boxes and set them on the dining table, and started to unbox them.

This hat belonged to her mother, who had a very tiny head. "Joan" can't model it properly with her curls, it is a cloche felt that is designed to be pulled all the way down. I love the emerald green and royal blue combo, and the diamond self trim and wave design just is too cute! I think it is very early 1950 take on the 1920's cloche, but I will count on Marie correcting me in the comments if I am wrong.

Marie has a thing for feather hats. That is a rather sad way to be, if you live in Houston, as there is nothing warmer than a feather hat, and Houston has very, very few days when that much warmth is enjoyable.

The feather pattern on this hat was simply luscious!

I think this would look much better on a dark haired person, or even white haired.
Lately I have taken a fancy to pointed topped hats, but this hat really doesn't work too well on me. Marie keeps the feather hats just to enjoy their beauty.
They are incredibly beautiful up close.
Now here's an interesting hat, worthy of loads of millinery discussion.
Not only is it made from two different colors of Swiss braid, it actually is two hats. The white on the inside is the secondary hat.....

... which does not show on the outside.
Added to that quirkiness, we both have a hard time agreeing that a straw hat should be trimmed with velvet.
Velvet just is wrong in summer, yet often you do see velvet ribbons on straw hats.
Dramatic hat though!

I wish I could of figured out a way to photographed this one differently. The braid weave on the brim is open. Pink and black, the white squares are where you can see through to the tile floor.
A very pretty hat on; I love straws that leave shadow patterns on the face when worn in light sunlight.

A stunner! Usually feather hats are browns and rusts, or dyed a vibrant color. This one had white feathers, with natural pheasant color accent
The side view of the white feather hat was cute too.
I really wish everyone could see it up close. It really was remarkable.
How fun is this hat! Marie got it at her first Victorian Elegance show. Totally impractical to wear ...or maybe not. I can imagine a red suit with black trim, and this hat. A curvy suit.

It's a clip on hat. A figure eight design of wire clamps the hat to the head, one circle is on the back part of the top of the skull, the other circle on the front top of the skull, the tension between the two circles gently clamps the hat to the head, in a manner that is remarkably comfortable, sort of like a clam shell.
The V shape of the ribbon would hang upside down on the back of the head.
Darn it, now I want the Houston Hat Net to dream up an occasion where SOMEONE would actually wear this hat!

Here's the tip of another feather hat. In the 1950-1960 feather hats were very popular. I remember my mom wearing them, and my great aunt made one for her using the feathers from a pheasant that my dad had hunted. I still have those hats, the feathers were glued on to the hat base one by one. The top designers of the day did it that way, today feather hats are mostly made using feather pads, which are feathers attached to scrim, and then the scrim is attached to the base hat.

After we looked and marveled and discussed the hats at length, we shared a slice of Rhubarb bread, and Italian Pink Grapefruit Soda, and just got a little caught up with our lives.

Someday, after Marie settles into her new digs, I hope she invites me over for more show and tell from her hat trove.
If she does, you can be sure I will be sharing the experience via pictures with you.

Do you own any hats that you would want to share with friends?
Post one on your blog, and share your hat story.
Let me know so I can credit you and send folks over your way.
Hey everyone, it's a virtual hat party!


Ladygrande said...

I had a wonderful time at your place showing you my hats. I definitely will have you over to look at the other 180 or so when I get settled and have room to spread them out. I just love hats! Or could you already tell that?! You are a lovely hostess. Thanks again.

Kate said...

Oh what fun! I have many antique hats, as you know, but they are safely packed away until I come home again. Claremarie and I did go to Germany today wearing two of my hats and I find the Germans like my hats and say so - as opposed to most Swiss. A beautiful day! K Q:-)

Lovella said...

what a delightful show and tell. I'm just amazed that Marie has so many hats, it must be hard to choose which one to wear.

All the hats displayed today are so unique. Those feather hats are just amazing. I measured my noggin . .I'm in the running with a 21 incher. . .how fun.

Cristina said...

What gorgeous hats! A 200 hat collection, wow, I can only imagine what other wonderful hats Marie has among her treasures. Wouldn't it be nice to do a fashion show to show them out?... perhaps film it and share it in you tube? Hats come to life when worn. And Jill, the red feathered hat looks great on you.
Thanks Marie and thanks Jill!