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Hats! That’s the subject of a wild and wonderful exhibition by British milliner Stephen Jones, running at the famed London Victoria and Albert Museum.

 

The show covers a broad time and place geography, from an ancient Egyptian mask of Anubis, God of the Underworld, through Balenciaga hats from the fifties, along with the work of a bevy of modern milliners whose names are just now rising on the couture landscape, such as Nasir Mazhat and Justin Smith. The show is also inspiration for style drama in very hot new hats.

 

It’s not very often you get to see a fascinating museum collection devoted exclusively to hats.  Of course, there are many at the Smithsonian, but they tend to be of a somewhat limited scope and focus mainly on America.  These hats (and masks and crowns) are intriguing, and limited only by the anthology imagination of the main designer.

 

                                                Status and Power

 

“Hats denote status and power,” declares Jones.  “The ultimate symbol of royalty is a crown.” 

 

Of course, most people don’t think of crowns as hats, exactly, but you might say they’re headpieces, and that’s more or less what designer Jones is displaying. Others fit the head like a mask, like the Stephen Jones-designed Egyptian masterpiece shown at Dior’s runway show back in 2004.

 

YOU CAN ASSEMBLE YOUR OWN IN-STORE OR ON-LINE COLLECTION OF HEADWEAR QUITE EASILY. TRY THESE GREAT PRODUCTS.  THEY ARE GOOD-LOOKING AND WILDLY POPULAR RIGHT NOW:

 

 

 

 

  • Upbrim summer hat in cool colors with charming plaid lining in upturned brim.

 

 

 

  • Ladies hat with down brim and front floral design.  Ohhh!  This is delightful!

 

 

                                         

                                     Ballerinas to Serfs

 

One piece in the museum show is an off-beat Dior arrow cloche that belonged to prima ballerina Margot Fonteyn.  Another is a not-so-royal hat from the Tudor period, a knitted cap worn by serfs. It seems he found the caps in the museum’s archives.   Smith says the hat is knitted exactly the same way as some hats he was going to do for couture designer Galliano.

 

Many of the exhibition hats are from collections made by Jones for top design houses such as Christian Dior and Comme des GarconS.  Jones’ newest collection for Spring of this year has been inspired by the different themes of the museum show:  Inspiration, Creation, The Salon, and the Client.

 

YOU CAN FIND COMPARABLE HAT THEMES IN WONDERFUL CHAPEAUX AT A FRACTION OF DESIGNER PRICES.  LOOK AT THESE FOR EXAMPLE:

 

  • Polka dot cabbie hat has real designer appeal.  Comes with puffy crown and jaunty bow on the side.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comments (0) Posted by Mary McGarry on Friday, May 1st, 2009


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