Continuing on with the recent photo shoot images, today I want to show you two of my own 1950s-inspired designs that my friend Ruanne modelled for me that day. (I'll be getting back to my genuine vintage collection later.) These are a couple of very wintery models, appropriate as we say goodbye to winter (although there is still time for more - that snow in October will not quickly be forgotten) and in the other hemisphere Autumn is beginning and maybe some are looking forward to cool-weather fashions.
You may remember a couple of fashion illustrations in my 1952-1954 hat fashion trends post that featured pompoms. Very shortly after posting that, I had a go at a hat inspired by these shapes.
After the fun I had starting to re-use my old favourite red coat, I decided it was time to retire my white/cream coat as well. Some bits were not so white anymore, even after cleaning.
Between some of the whiter parts of the coat fabric, a couple of its buttons, and a bit of lovely white faux fur I had left over from cossack-hat-making, and the crown from an old synthetic straw hat (that's one lazy and quick way to get a crown to start draping on), I put together this homage to the pompom hats of the 1950s.
Despite being a very wintery hat, it managed to pair well with some very colourful dresses on an unusually sunny and warm winter day.
I wore it myself the other day to the Norman Lindsay gallery with my grandmother for an exhibition of World War I photographs. It was fun and cute hat to wear out and about. You can't help but feel cute with a pompom, I think.
This second hat is where the cheating comes in.
I'll start at the beginning. I love the big flat or slightly rounded fifties hats trimmed with fur or feathers that hang like a fringe over the wearer's face. One example, although from the sixties, is the fabulous hat from the first scene with Deborah Kerr in Marriage on the Rocks, which I talked about here.
I found a lovely big round wooden bowl for a few dollars at an op-shop, and I knew it would be a great shape to block this type of hat on. I also found the fabrics I needed by op-shopping - a long-pile fur from a vest (oh yes indeed, it was really something!) and a long velvet skirt.
I had one thing I wasn't sure of though. I didn't know how best to
shape this hat, on the underside. How would it actually be worn? I debated a variety of ideas, and in the end just made the thing and hoped for the best.
This turned out to be not such a great idea. Being flat on top, it is almost impossible to wear!
So why did I continue and take it to the photoshoot?
I guess it is a test-of-concept. I wanted to know if it would be worth altering or re-making this hat, and how best to do so, by seeing it in action, with the right outfit, model, makeup etc. I could see how it looked at different angles.
A hat often doesn't show its true strength and beauty without being worn. As tricky as it was to play around with this awkward hat on the day, it was worth it.
Although it is always going to be a statement piece, I love some of these photos so much, that I believe I can make the hat work after all. And if I can't, I got some beautiful images from it anyway!
What do you think? Do you think the fur hat is worth an attempt at redemption? Would you ever actually wear it?
And how desperately do you want a hat with a pompom? It's ok, you can admit it.