Sunday, July 6, 2008

Hollywood or Bust

Glory days of films.....picture this:  every single star, starlet, hopefull, extra, and tourist wearing a hat on the back lot of  a movie. Stars had major hats designed for their particular image, and character, but even the extras sported fanciful concoctions, given the wardrobe mistress, and the scene.
Eve Arden, in "Cover Girl", starring Gene Kelly and Rita Hayworth, wore some of the most desirable 1940's dolls hats on screen, outside of "The Women"...from feather to flower, her color combos were on the money, and pitched for glorious technospectocolorific brilliance.  Headpieces abounded, since it all took place in a Brooklyn nightclub/bistro, and the chorus girls had to wear something , after all. 
Silly hats were frequent in the War years, since folks needed cheering up on any front possible.  Humor, wit, and design wisdom compounded to create an eras worth of unbounding joy in the hat world.....more seen in the WWII era than had been around since the Gilded Age.  Hats became accessories not just to the outfit, but to the hairdo, and to the face.......stars created their characters based on silly hats.........Myrna Loy in "The Thin Man" series of the 1930's had established the talisman of the hat for actesses, well and good.
Hats are not the same as headpieces, our modern society, anything beyond the norm can be viewed as a headpiece.......not so, ceiling watchers, not so.........a headpiece is something for a specific occasion, such as: wedding, costume accessory, performance piece.  An out of the box hat can be just as normal to the wearer, if she is used to things a bit odd, different, or eccentric.
so, the next time you see me walking the dogs, with a strange group of fruits, flowers, or feathers perched atop my head, think of it as a mere hat, and enjoy the moment.  In fact, try one on for size the next time you're in my shop.  think silly, think fun, but think's a good thing.


Mamma Mia said...

Oh! Let's make a list of hats we can't take our eyes off of when we watch the movies. For me the list includes:

1. Holly Golightly's big hat with sash, but also her pink tiara and the black hat with powder puff fluff in the front of it.
2. Scarlett's sunbonnet with green sash, but also the green hat Rhett brings her from Paris.
2. Anything on Roz Russell in "The Women."
3. The black cloche with sash on Laura Fiorentino in "The Moderns," and if you don't know what I'm talking about, rent the movie about lost-generation life in 1920s Paris.
4. Waves/Wacs hats in any of the 1940s war movies.
5. The Vegas girl headpiece that Sharon Tate wore in "Valley of the Dolls," another rental for you to look up.
6. Get a load of all the 1930s cloches on the head of Tatum O'Neal in "Paper Moon."
7. Ilsa's white hat in "Casablanca" when she tells Rick she's already married.

This is just a starter list. Please add!

Ellen Christine Millinery said...

I'd like to add a few.........
anything worn by Carmen Miranda
anything worn by Hedy Lamarr
Myrna Loy's hats in "The Thin Man" series
opening headpieces of "the Cotton club"
Queen Elizabeth's headpieces......pick a movie, any movie, new or old..........
Faye Dunaway's caloche in "The Three Musketeers"


Mamma Mia said...

Yes Yes Yes on Carmen, Myrna and oh, those feathers in the Cotton Club headpieces. How I long for something like that.

I think we should say something about the headbands on the flappers in "The Great Gatsby." And let's toss a nod to Brad Pitt for the hot cowboy hat in "Thelma and Louise."

Plus if The Divine Miss Ellen would watch "The Joy Luck Club" and recreate the brown cloche seen on one of the mothers near the end of the movie, I would be entranced.

Ellen Christine Millinery said...

now I have homework......okay, "The Joy Luck Club" it is............cloche is my middle name..........