Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Helmet Hats, Part One

One of the hat styles I fell for early on in my 1960s research was helmet-style hats. They vary in shape and style significantly, but I love every one I see.

I already mentioned helmet hats in my Made in Paris review, although I didn't watch that movie until after I made my versions. That one was at the tall end of the spectrum.

Gosta Peterson 1960s fashion photo

“Lunar Whites”, Harper’s Bazaar, August 1966, from Gosta Peterson Images. The helmet hat appears in two main contexts - as space age, or connected to motoring style. This ridiculously gorgeous photo gives us a clean white helmet hat in a very futuristic context.

Audrey in helmet hat from how to steal a million

Audrey Hepburn in How to Steal a Million (1966). Again the focus in left on the shape of the hat with pure white colour for the hat and the accompanying outfit. I haven't actually seen this one, I'll have to add it to my "to watch" list, so I can see this hat in action.

Norman Parkinson sixties fashion photo

Fashion photo by Norman Parkinson, which I found at Annie's Fashion Break. Another very tall version of the helmet hat, still quite simply decorated, this time with large spots. From the shine, I imagine it is leather. I don't have a context for this photo, but the scarf makes me feel it is more driving-around-in-your-convertible than exploring-the-moon.

On to the first of my versions. It's funny how you look at your inpiration images, then go off and make your own with them in the back of your mind, but you take it somewhere else. When you come back to look at your original inspiration, you've gone wandering further off that you thought. Sometimes it's disappointing, sometimes exciting, sometimes just weird. I'm not sure what this one is. A bit of all three perhaps?

1960s vintage style helmet hat

I started with the pink and purple felts and my basic helmet shape in mind. I wanted to add a strap to this one, and I found a lovely bright yellow belt that popped against my colours and looked great. (Unfortunately, the belt is too short and I can't fit this hat on myself, but luckily Ruanne has a smaller head than me.) I then drew inspiration from a hat with a large spotty flower by James Wedge in 1964 for my final trim. I kept my flower smaller for this hat, but I'd love to make a simpler hat with a giant polka-dot flower on it in future.

Sixties inspired helmet hat with flower

I'm a little concerned it's ended up a bit Pony Club, but I guess that's ok too.

Pink purple and yellow felt helmet hat

The important this is that it's super cute. And that you can pose like Audrey.

Audrey Hepburn pose in 1960s style helmet hat

The other helmet hat I made was a collaborative project with Nicole of Manic Pop, who designs and makes gorgeous sixties-style dresses in bright colours and bold patterns. She has designed a dress to go with the hat I made her, and it looks incredibly cool. You'll be seeing the results of our combined design efforts soon!

1 comment

  1. Your lovely, vibrant, and very cheerful version is perhaps my favourite that I've ever seen. So often they were done up in neutrals, which are totally fine, but perhaps a bit lackluster at times. No such a worries here with this fun, punchy gem! Great work, dear Tanith.

    ♥ Jessica


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