Hat-thought has occupied quite a bit of my brain-space – for two years now – though I’ve been intrigued by hats since the unveiling of some my Nana inherited from a Great-Aunt when I was a teen. I’ve read about, made, and researched hats and millinery history. For a time, millinery played a wallflower role, but now circumstances seem right again for hats to make an appearance.
Before attending the Savannah College of Art and Design fashion show this year, I created this small dressmaker hat “Cameo” – worn here by my charming model… but you’ll also see it in my shadow silhouette below.
Cameo has an asymmetric design defined with black piping and black buttonhole-twist hand-stitching.
The Cameo Hat perched fixed at an angle on my head, with the strength of a snapped-in-half dime-store comb and two bobby pins – all of which I stitched inside the hat using thin elastic thread. Since my hair is straight, not curly like that of my charming model, I twisted it into a ballerina bun and and anchored the hat against it with the comb. You’ll see the model is wearing a headband under the hat – but that was merely to keep her bangs out of her lashes.
For hat-security, I did consider using a millinery-specific elastic at the back of the hat, but didn’t have time to search for elastic to match my hair – although black would have worked fine.
Recent trips to Chicago, Illinois and Denver, Colorado prompted a lot of hat thoughts – as I wore a store-bought sunhat which was determined to either sail off my head or shield my vision like horse-blinders. It did however provide good sun-protection, shielding my eyes, face, neck and shoulders. The problems it created did set the gears of my designing-mind whirring: Is it better to have a hat that ties under the chin. How do you design a hat that protects the face without obstructing the vision in each turn of the head? What materials can be used to screen the sun and still permit air-flow?
As it seems most of our hat-wearing in recent decades has been either decorative (for instance, at the Kentucky Derby) – utilitarian sports or job-specific (baseball-type caps with tight bands or cowboy hats), these practical aspects of hat-wearing have rarely been addressed.
In the past, hat-wearers utilized built-in elastic or ribbon bands and of course – hatpins. The pinning of the hatpin seems to be a skill acquired through practice, but I did find a very nice Vixen Vintage post with hatpin how-tos, so here’s a link.