FrouFrou 4 YouYou

Claire’s Millinery Club? December 19, 2010

Filed under: millinery — froufrou4youyou @ 10:14 pm

Saving stamps to get a hat, how clever.

Searching for treasures of a millinery history kind brought this curiosity along to puzzle me.

For starters one has to wonder who was this person who shopped in the 60’s and bought hats in northern IL. How sad she did not get that final hat to fill her card and get the treasured free hat. Perhaps she filled many others and enjoyed this process and all those hats. We know she had at least these 9 from Claire’s.

The wonderful ebay seller, Barbcity, acquired this some years ago in the northern IL Dekalb area. I am so grateful this was listed on a cold wintery day or I may have never come to find it. Fate, for sure.


Claire’s, the mega-company of accessories, began as 60 stores in the Chicago area, according to their corporate website info. A buyout in 1974 took them on the path of becoming a household word in the vocabulary of tweens and teens.* Could this card be from one of those first 60 stores? I hope there is a business historian who can answer that burning question. My heart says yes, and my brain wants confirmation.

Have you seen Claire’s hats? Lots of fun there, and that blog is busy with hat talk too.

Purchasing items at stores and saving stamps has been a long practice (Anyone else saving those Jewel stamps for cookpots? Yes, me too!) But when it comes to saving them for hats, I had no clue this had been going on years ago. Anyone ever hear of this before? Do tell, please. And if you have any of these cards around in some stash of forgotten paper ephemera please dig them out. I’d love to take them to the Claire’s to see their reaction-there is no expiration date from what I can tell. But then again I wouldn’t want to part with this oddity of my Chicago millinery history obsession.

Perhaps we need a campaign to bring this process back to Claire’s with a line of vintage hats designed by a Chicago milliner. Is anyone out there volunteering?

* “1974 FT Industries, Inc., a company founded by former Chairman Emeritus Rowland Schaefer, bought Claire’s Boutiques, Inc., which operated approximately 60 stores in the Chicago area.”

Happy 353rd day of 2010.


Raymond Hudd’s Birthday December 15, 2010

Filed under: millinery,Uncategorized — froufrou4youyou @ 5:41 pm
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Happy Birthday Raymond!

2010 was a fascinating millinery year. You may wonder what happened with all the plans for this blog back in Jan. The best part was being sidetracked by my chance to get to know Raymond Hudd. Last Feb I was happy to think I could be able to buy a couple of his hats, and gather information for the 100 Hat show done March 2010 in Evanston. Online research led to the Chicago History Museum website.  It has one of his 100 hats from their collection online, the Potato hat. I read the blog, and found Ivan, his brother. On a wild hope I googled Ivan’s name and called his number, leaving a message. He called back that night, which led to lots of other fun with members of CHIC, Charming Hats in Chicago, and visiting Raymond. With the annual drive by Ivan from CA to MI in July came a chance to give Raymond a hat show of his hats.

The inside of the hat Raymond made with Ivan for the 2010 Hat Show

Three trips this year to MI have been wonderful. The last one was to finish the lining of this hat. Not my best work, but there is only so much one can do balancing it on your lap holding a glue gun!

I can’t wait till the snow melts in spring to get back up there. Millinery is still alive and well in his heart, so in the meantime I have compiled a bit of Raymond history with the hope it makes it into Wikipedia. Now that I have something worthwhile to put in this blog, I shall add some parts as 2011 goes along. Much of it is derived from my conversations with Raymond, Ivan, Nancy Remick, Iris Sholder, Janice Koerber, Laurie Kennard and Eia Radosavljevic. Reviewing copies of about 60? newspaper articles Ivan has had the wisdom to retain has also given me rare insights that tell us just how famous and fabulous a milliner is Raymond. So famous, Phyllis Diller still writes him a card now and again.

December 19 is his birthday, and if anyone sends good wishes to this blog, I shall be glad to print them and mail them to him.

Just so you are the first to know, there will be another hat show coming up in July 2011 in Muskegon. Ivan has four hats a friend of his has given him from EBay listings, but we need at least another dozen loaners. If you would like to offer to lend your Hudd hats, please do,  there can never be too many.

Those four of Ivan’s may also find a way into another hat auction as a fundraiser for the School of the Art Institute Raymond Hudd Millinery Award. Finding a location in Chicago is a goal, tho it is probably a far fetched dream to hold it at 2545 N. Clark, the location of his last shop.

Of course I will be working with Raymond to create another new hat as he did with Ivan for last years show. Maybe we can set our sights higher than one…


Labels in Hats December 1, 2010

Filed under: millinery — froufrou4youyou @ 12:39 am

December  1, 2010

Happy FrouFrou4youyou!

Hat Labels: Works of Art?

The labels in hats serve a purpose to inform the viewer just who gets credit for this delight, or perhaps disaster. Some felt hats have printed info on the felt by the manufacturer, other old silk linings are also printed. The most interesting are tags added that tell us the designer, the store, or both.

Designers often started by working for someone else. Hattie Carnegie worked for Macy’s and those hats would have the store label. One could wonder if any of these artists labeled their works inside the structure that would reveal the secret identity. Not quite “Sam was here” scratched into the foundation of a building by a construction worker, but something subtle. Perhaps a small pink thread knot for the last stitch in the lining. When some special hats were made for a client even after a milliner had an established clientele there may not have been a label, but there may have been a signature, of sorts. There may be things we see inside a hat that could clue the antique shoppers towards the “better” hats, as if they couldn’t tell by design and materials.

Martha Weathered hats had a white daisy with a yellow center.

Raymond Hudd had a purple violet, to honor his mother.

Pictures of  hats with a label:

Have a happy 335th day of 2010.