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Hats inspired by History

I don’t know about you, but I believe there were two golden decades for hats, where creativity and boldness were at their peak: the 1920s and the 1940s.

At the end of the nineteenth century, hats were huge, sculptural and covered in veil, feathers and flowers. Victorian hats had to match all the different outfits a woman could wear in one single day. A rich woman could, for example, change her outfit more than five times a day. There were morning dresses, walking dresses, visit dresses, cocktail dresses, race dresses, opera dresses… The list is long! Their hats participated in exposing to the world their wealth and status, and so, the bigger the better!

But their hats were as huge as their rights were small, and what I like the most about the 1920s is how women went from being strictly ruled by society to defying and overthrowing these moral codes society dictated them. The American actress Colleen Moore (worldwide known in the 1920s), used to say about women from her generation that “they were smart and sophisticated, with an air of independence about them, and so casual about their looks and clothes and manners as to be almost slapdash.”

With the influence of Gabrielle Chanel, “Coco Chanel”, women freed themselves from their corsets and adopted an androgynous look, cut their hair and showed their ankles. New types of hats emerged to match these new hairstyles: cloches and exotic headbands started to pop everywhere in the fashion industry.

These cloches could be worn during the day, in felt decorated with ribbons and small flowers, or at night with crystals and precious jewels.

Headbands were precious, daring, and exotic. They were made of extravagant fabrics, pearls, ribbons, feathers… Put one on your head and you are transported to Gatsby’s house ready to dance the Charleston all night long.

That decade inspired one of my bridal collections but most of all I realised that I wanted to teach people how to create their very own headband to wear at parties, weddings and occasions so I started to do just this…….

If you are interested in creating your 1920s headpiece, with the Millinery House Events, we are proposing 1920s oriented millinery courses and bridal showers. We also designed corporate packages offering companies a team building hat making class 1920s oriented for them to have a Great Gatsby inspired gala following the class, where everyone can where the headpiece they created!

Josephine by Katherine Elizabeth - Bridal collection
Juanita by Katherine Elizabeth - 1920s headpieces collection

More info on the Masters Classes and Corporate Events sections of

But if you are still with us (thank you, you are awesome!!), and if you recall the beginning of this post (even more awesome!), I talked about two decades I particularly cherished! Well, the second one is the 1940s.

Remember how I talked about the 1920s being about women freeing themselves from corsets? Well, history is just a great pendulum, and under the influence of Christian Dior’s “New Look”, women soon reintegrated corsets into their wardrobe. As for their hats, they expanded once again!

I just love the shape of this second hat, the wave is absolutely marvellous and so elegant! As a result, this decade, just like the 1920s, also inspired one of my winter collections and I started giving lessons on how to create a 1940s inspired felt hats. A theme is running here don’t you think?

If just like me, this period of fashion is a delight to your eyes, and if you would like to have your very own 1940s hat, The Millinery House Events proposes various forms of courses, from one-on-one session to bridal showers and corporate events.

These lovely ladies just had a private party with us and three of them are wearing 1940s felt hats they’ve just designed and created. It was so much fun!!

I hope next time, you are the one smiling and wearing a beautiful hat you just created with us at our studio!!!

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