Sunday, June 25, 2006

Millinery: Black Hats

The first hat (viewed from the side): The hat that started it all! It was purchased from Fleur de Paris in New Orleans. A signed Nicole LeBlanc design, I was lucky enough to meet her and view her work shop later on. Feathers, ribbons, flowers, a curving brim and a whopping price tag, it had it all. It seemed like such an enormous statement that at first B. hesitated to have me wear it to events, imagining that it was just too much.

He got over that.

Waaaaaayyyyy over that.

He now considers it one of my more discreet chapeauxs.
It is the only hat I have ever worn to a funeral. Or actually, a memorial service. I was in need of a deep brim to shield my teary face. I began to understand why for centuries women have worn veils to funerals and other emotional occasions: No one really looks great when overcome with emotion to the degree that tears and mucus and blotchy spots festoon one's face.
Jackie Kennedy was so right to shield her face in that deep veil.

This, by contrast, is a black hat that would simply never work at a funeral...indeed, it is what is known as a cocktail hat. Cocktail hats perch jauntily on the crown of one's head, perhaps tipped a bit over one eye, and look as wispy as a passing flitation.
Certainly not correct for a funeral event.
I made this hat, and have enjoyed wearing it to several evening events.
The third hat was an ebay purchase. It really doesn't work on me, but many twenty something girls have modeled it with great saucy style.
People are funny: Children especially so. How many times have I shown a child, somewhere between 8 and 18, these black hats and had them inform me that these hats are "perfect" to wear to a funeral. And alarmingly, how many seemingly estute adults have instructed me with the same degree of brevity, that these black hats would "look really great" for a funeral.
Now I wonder if when I was wearing my Little Black Dress with my cocktail hat at a cocktail party, if everyone imagined I had just come from a sad event, and hadn't time to change.
I didn't wear a hat at all to the last memorial service I attended. Just a long sleeved black silk dress. But I couldn't help notice a twenty-something "Miss" wearing a T- shirt with sequines and flip flops, and other Young Thing in a clinging dress cut "down to here and up to there" in a style that suggested amorous encounters with strangers, for her, was a common occurance.
I wonder what they would have said if I had shown them a black hat? Posted by Picasa

1 comment:

Jonquil said...

Certain black hats you wear to a funeral solely in order to hook up with the widower.