Friday, June 20, 2008


Hippies recycle. Old hippies still recycle. We recycle everything. I've been using antique ingredients on my hats for decades, because it was too painful to let a beautiful remnant of a Victorian gown go to a trash heap. Bits and pieces, old ribbons, embroideries, even hats themselves, can be deconstructed and used in modern application on anything. We'll leave the how-to's to Martha Stewart, but think about it: There are scads of embroidered dresses on the market at the moment.......wouldn't you just love that embroidery on a turban?
Depression era hats were remakes from their flapper counterparts, the cloches of a decade previous. Housewives redid their clothing, mended, patched, made quilts from cloth scavenged from the family worn-outs, and perked up her hat wardrobe by cutting and draping a new shape for herself. Let nothing go to waste was the motto.
In the WWII era, hats were made of everything you could think of: paper (no, not toy soldier hats), cardboard used as stiffener, sheet linen used for hand painted flowers, sequins recycled from gowns as hat pins....
Redoing had been part of our cultural heritage forever. the pioneer spirit mandated using everything, so as to conserve, and so we conserved, until the 1950's.
Keeping up with the Jones' meant new!new!new!, not recycle. The Love generation in the 1960's began a Renaissance that has culminated in a Green movement that would make any Hippie mother's heart proud.
Take a bit of old jewelry and stick it on your hat like a brooch. Wrap your silk scarves like turbans. Come in, I'll show you how, if you can't figure it out for yourselves. Hermes has a little book out that explains lots of different ways to use a scarf, by the way.
Let a new hat perk up an old wardrobe, too. It's an easy way to refresh, and see things differently.
Think about using what you have, and redoing what you have, and working your wardrobe to suit your lifestyle.
Spare me from the bucket hat revamp, though, please.

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