Category Archives: millinery

What to do with a short leading man…

Humphrey Bogart was 5’7″, and his leading lady in Casablanca, Ingrid Bergman, was 5’9″ — so how do you get them to appear nearly identical in height in scenes like the one at the airport ? You start with the … Continue reading

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A hat with pithy nuance

Critical tweets and hashtags quickly filled social media this past Friday when Melania Trump wore a pith helmet for a Safari tour in Kenya. The New York Times quoted Kim Yi Donne, a political-science professor who specializes in African politics … Continue reading

Posted in Classics, Faux Pas, millinery, Myth Information, sportswear | Leave a comment

The Perfect Dent

Anyone with a mild case of OCD can drive themselves mad perfecting symmetrical dents and folds (without creases or kinks) in soft felt fedoras. I thought maybe I just didn’t have the right touch, but if you look at 1940s … Continue reading

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Myth Information – The Merry Widow Hat

Exaggerations of truth plague the history of fashion, none more than the Merry Widow Hat. The story is that Lily Elsie, the English stage actress (and Kardashian of her day), donned a large hat to play the lead in the hit … Continue reading

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The First Fashion of 2017

Last year’s trend for making political statements through dress continues to be a strong influence in 2017. The National Mall in Washington may become a sea of pink tomorrow. For two months, Krista Suh and Jayna Zweiman, founders of the Pussyhat Project, have … Continue reading

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Canadian Fashion Connection – Karyn Ruiz, Lilliput Hats

The Fashion History Museum’s second annual fundraiser Chapeaux et Champagne has been scheduled for February 11 – tickets are available through Eventbrite. We will be once again featuring an array of vintage hats as well as the work of one contemporary Canadian … Continue reading

Posted in Canadian dress, millinery | 5 Comments

Myth Information – Toque Blanche

As part of our occupational dress collection, the museum recently acquired a chef’s uniform worn in 1959/1960. In reading up about how the costume developed I found a lot of apocryphal stories about why the chef’s hat, known as the … Continue reading

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Canadian Fashion Connection – Stetson

As an integral element of the lone cowboy – the Stetson hat is a symbol of America – but a large part of its history played out in Canada. In 1902 the Union Hat Works of St. John’s, Quebec agreed to … Continue reading

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A must see film – Falbalas 1945

This film should be required viewing for students of 1940s fashion! The title Falbalas, which means frippery (ostentatious decoration), is translated into ‘Paris Frills’ on IMDB. The film was released in France in June 1945, shortly after European hostilities had ceased … Continue reading

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Bill Cunningham – 1929-2016

Fashion photo-journalist Bill Cunningham, pictured here pointing his camera while wearing his signature French workman’s jacket, tried to be an inconspicuous observer of New York fashion, but he was as well known to New Yorkers as the naked cowboy. He passed away … Continue reading

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