Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Vintage Hats Part II

Dovima in the center, photo by Richard Avedon

I got a PR pitch this morning alerting me that next month (January 15th) is National Hat Day and that I should be posting something about it. Their suggestion was that I feature a particularly unappealing brand of woolly hats, but that's not how I do things. So instead I decided to continue the Vintage Hat series with today's post and a third installment on the actual National Hat Day, because, why not?

Anne St Marie in 1956 Photo by Erwin Blumenfeld

Brigitte Bardot in 1968 on the set of Shalako.  Sean Connery was also there, but who cares?

Fashion illustration for Bruyere, 1946. The house also had perfumes that go well with these hats (and gowns)

A 1960s shot of a brunette Catherine Deneuve. I had to do some googling to verify it was really her.

I love the atmosphere in this 1962 photo. I want to be her. Via myvintagevogue.com

This 1959 ad is for Christian Dior shoes but the hat steals the show.

An ad for Coty cosmetics from 1943 (notice the "Buy war bonds" at the bottom. The hat is as awesome as it gets. 
Dior. Who else? Bleu de Perse’. Autumn/Winter 1955-56, photo by Regina Relang.

More Dior, from the legendary 1959 photoshoot in Moscow, by photographer Howard Sochurek for Life Magazine

A couple of decades back: Douglas Fairbanks, Jr and wife Joan Crawford, 1932

Dovima wearing a fuchsia silk dress by Dior.  Photo by Henry Clarke, 1956

Prim and proper, Givenchy 1960 for Ladies Home Journal.

Not exactly the finest fashion moment of Princess Grace. First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy seems to agree, 1961.

A modern classic, model Helena Christensen. I wish I had saved my copy of  Vogue September 1991 issue with the Wild at Heart fashion spread by Peter Lindbergh.

And the inspiration: Marlon Brando in The Wild One, 1953.
Any vintage hat post needs a Jacques Fath hat from the 1950s.

Jean Patou coats and matching hats from the 60s. 

Why not match your hat to your eye shadow? Detail from a 1981 Lancome ad.

Among the things I didn't wear in 1986: Laura Ashley.

Mia Farrow in the 60s. Perfection.

Photos via several sources, including myvintagevogue.com, Life Magazine, and Conde Nast archives.


  1. Hats, perfume, and lipstick -- that's like my version of a perfect combination (was actually going to write hat trick, but....) Love the Dovima photo (well, actually love them all). And I wore lots of Laura Ashley in the early 90's! The fabrics were so beautiful - wish I had all those dresses now, if only to reuse the material.

    1. I never looked right in Laura Ashley style patterns, but I know what you mean about the fabric quality. I actually remember trying on a modern Laura Ashley cocktail dress in black & white oversized polka dots in the early 90s. It was gorgeous, but I couldn't find a size that fit me across the chest, all the while the three sizes I tried on had enough room for two of me in the hip. I was kind of heartbroken.

  2. Gaia, what an amazing post - incredible photographs. Such elegance. The Jacques Fath photo is just quintessential elegance. Thank you. Glad you didn't post those wooly hats!

    1. Those woolly hats were so unattractive and nothing I'd ever wear, no matter how cold it gets outside. It just made me want to post something that's more my style.

  3. A hat post! Yay!
    We don't have the space or money for me to start another collection (I have the collecting gene - not good according to DH), but I would absolutely love to start collecting vintage hats. I've given up on ever living in a place (or time) where people wear hats purely for fashion, but a glorious collection? I continue to dream of it.

    1. I was talking to my mother today and she told me how her mother and grandmother had collections of custom-made hats. They'd go every year to their milliners and order new hats, which they often decorated with hat pins. They sold everything when they left Lithuania, which makes me incredibly sad. I would have loved to get those collections, both for style and for the family connection.

  4. What a gorgeous and elegant compilation! Perfect. Now I'm going to dream I have a wasp waist and that I look wonderful in a Jacques Fath hat. I adore hats.

    1. The wasp waists are killing me. Make me want to shove myself into a girdle. Or a corset. Or one of Khloe Kardashian's waist-trainers. Or maybe not.

  5. I admire those who can wear hats well, I can't wear them, my hair just won't cooperate.....

    I remember that Vogue/Peter Lindbergh issue, what a glorious photo spread!


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