Color Me Topped Off!

4 June 2008 at 9:55 pm 3 comments

Some weeks ago during an audition workshop for Hello, Dolly!, I was amazed at the number of auditioners who botched the line, “All millineresses are suspected of being WICKED women!” due to not knowing what a millineres is, or how to pronounce it. All together now, mil-in-er-ES-es! I was also quite bemused each time I heard someone say something to the effect of, “Does millinery have anything to do with the military?” NO, millinery does not have anything to do with the military, at least not directly (someone has to make the uniform caps, I suppose…)! Ladies and Gentlemen, millinery is hatmaking, or the art thereof, a millineres is a hat maker, and by this question it is painfully obvious that millinery has become quite the lost art!

That is, it had been becoming a lost art, until hats started cropping up all over the runways a few seasons ago. I do believe that since the Spring/Summer 2006 collection (at least) Marc Jacobs has produced quirky-chic hats every season!

While MJ continues to cover a broad range of head wear, other designers have chosen to channel only certain types of hats. A little less wearable in a day-to-day wardrobe but beautiful nonetheless are Balenciaga’s Fall/Winter 2006 hats…

 (So pretty!)

…  and Proenza Schouler S/S 2008, …

…about which Lazaro told British Elle Collections Magazine,

The shako hats were a collaboration with our friend, the milliner Albertus Swanepoel. These hats were quite a process, more sculpture than millinery.


This Spring/Summer season also saw millinery at Rodarte…

… and Alexander McQueen.

Now. I know what you’re thinking. You are looking at the McQueen millinery and thinking that they are more like headpeices than hats, and are hardly easy to incorporate in a “normal” outfit. I feel you. Susie of Style Bubble has quite the penchant for working quirky head things into her daily wear,

which may give some of you ideas. If you want to be adventurous and take a McQueen-esque headpeice out for a test run, the first thing to do is to make sure it works in the context of the place to which you will be wearing it. (Susie spotted these two girls at the UK club Dirty Dirty Dancing, which is known for the unique styles seen on visitors, so their funky headpeices were only head turning in the good sense.) Then, if it is a success, go back to Susie to see how to incorporate your charming extra into an eye-pleasing daily wear combo!

Even though crazy headpeices can make some stellar outfits, they probably aren’t our ticket to bringing millinery back into the everyday person’s life. One could opt for a more classic style of hat, and get creative with them in the style of Jessica from What I Wore

…some of the Style Scout‘s recent finds…

Gabby from StyleMob….

… Anthropologie…

… Indiana Jones…


… and anyone else you might know.

 Perhaps the easiest and most risk-free way to bring millinery back (that should be a t-shirt: BRING MILINERY BACK!) would be the thing Jessica, the Style Scout, Gabby, Indiana Jones and my people all have in common…


Fedoras! It’s hard to go wrong with a fedora.

So, dear readers, now you know

  • what millinery is
  • how to pronounce it
  • a selection of designer hats from the last few seasons
  • how to get away with a crazy head piece
  • how to join the cause and easily bring hats back!

But do you know where you can undoubtedly find the most shocking hats each year? You might not be expecting it. Yes, readers, the swankiest, chicest, most glamorous hats can be found at a very un-swank, un-glamorous place: the race track! Horse racing, that is. This year’s Kentucky Derby boasted such a beautiful variety of hats (as well as some…er…”other” hats) that NBC held a contest to see which hat they spotted was going to be America’s favorite. For you global readers that aren’t familiar with the pastime of horse racing, in America (and the UK) it is actually a very ritzy affair with rich old ladies sipping mint juleps with glamorous southern belles and socialites. Tres Chic! Some of this year’s Derby hats included:

It’s another reason completely to watch the races!


It makes for wonderful accessorizing in your daily wear and adds flair beyond compare to your evening looks and fancy outfits, so why not bring millinery back? Jump on the bandwagon (or runway) with Marc, Nicolas Ghesquiere, Alexander, Jessica, Susie, the Style Scouts and everyone else!

I’ll be looking for those tee shirts, people!


Entry filed under: accessories, designers, do it!, how to, musings, now you know, THIS IS FASHION SCHOOL PEOPLE!, Weekly Excitement.

Color Me… Gone… Color Me Muy Ocupado…

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. G & P  |  5 June 2008 at 11:42 am

    Just love the “hats”!!! Great job. Glad we checked on this site today. I think the model hiding under the BIG black hat was hiding because of the horror of the dress she had to wear. You really make our day!

  • 2. Jessica Schroeder  |  6 June 2008 at 10:12 am

    Nice wrap up of hats! Thanks for including me 🙂

  • 3. queentazo  |  8 June 2008 at 3:46 pm

    this reminds me of “my fair lady”. as for the fedoras…. my dad has an authetic indiana jones hat from disney world! he let me wear it openning nite to the movie… 😀

    ive always wanted a “swanky” hat as seen the in the Rodarte pics to wear with a sun-dress type outfit… hmmm


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