December 1, 2010
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.