FrouFrou 4 YouYou

Millinery Postcard: It’s a great game January 9, 2011

Filed under: millinery,My Fair Lady,postcard — froufrou4youyou @ 11:41 pm
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There seems to be a problem for the fellow sitting behind the woman with the BIG hat. BIG hats were fashionable and some folks did not find that convenient. This card gives is the gentleman’s perspective.

What are the proper manners in hat wearing?

Men take their hats off indoors, when greeting a lady, or if they just do not want them on anymore.

Women take their hats of only when the do not want them on anymore. Doesn’t seem fair, but that has been the “rule” for a long time. Many people may do as they please, but most women would remove a hat if it created an obstruction.

Watching My Fair Lady is a wonderful lesson on millinery manners.

If you are not familiar with the movie, Wikipedia can help:

“My Fair Lady is a 1964 American musical film adaptation of the Lerner and Loewe stage musical, of the same name, based on the film adaptation of the stage play Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw. The ending and the ballroom scene are from the 1938 film, Pygmalion, rather than Shaw’s original stage play. The film was directed by George Cukor and stars Audrey Hepburn and Rex Harrison.

The film won eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Actor, and Best Director.[1]”

Among those eight awards was the one for costumes for Cecil Beaton, who designed the hats worn in the film. It would be interesting to know what became of those hats.

But if you really wanted any of the three incredible hats from the film you are in luck. They are available to you through the website

Baron Hats has been making hats for films for years, and created these reproductions based upon a request:

“It all started when one of the supreme “Grande Dame’s” of Atlanta High-Society contacted us earlier this year and requested that we make her exact re-creations inspired by the most famous of the “My Fair Lady™” hats for her world famous Grand Spring Cotillion and Ball. Our Master Hatter, Mark Mejia, took up the challenge and spent weeks researching the hats. He then spent many more weeks working and reworking the hats, until they finally met his hyper-perfectionist standards. His efforts were a smashing success, and having done all the “hard work” of discovering all the secrets of how to custom make these exquisite recreations, we now can offer them to you on our “World of Woman Hats of Hollywood” series, with a special “Eliza D Collection”!
“The astronomically luxurious and delightfully ostentatious “Ascot” hat from “My Fair Lady™” was originally designed by the legendary Sir Cecil Beaton, (who designed basically all the hats, costumes, as well as the production design of the entire musical!). This extraordinarily complex, classy, and capricious creation is the absolute personification of eloquence. Used in the eye-popping mono-chromatic Ascot horserace scene, the hat became an instant classic, and is without a doubt the most recognizable woman’s hat in cinema history. Sir Beaton had his work cut out for him, since the lyrics of the “Ascot Gavotte”, in which she wears the hat, described the event as a “smashing, positively dashing thrilling, absolutely chilling” spectacle, and he took those words to heart when designing the hat.

When we started our recreation, we discovered that in order to create the eloquently graceful “sweep” of the massive brim, and give the fabric a perfect “l’eau calme” opencast, Master Hatmaker Mark Mejia had to actually uncover the dimensions of the original blocks, and then rebuild these blocks to exacting specifications. He went to enormous expense and time to get these blocks just right, but it was well worth it, since the hat he created is like no other, and its grandeur and irresistible charm could not have been achieve any other way!

The “Ascot” is covered in specially treated silk-satin, and comes with hand-made silk-satin roses. It includes the two delightfully flamboyant hand selected and naturally harvested specially dyed ostrich plumes (one black, the other white, of course), along with a hand-wrapped silk-satin black-white ribbon swirls around the towering crown. It is finished with a hand-made churrigueresque silk- satin bow and black grosgrain hand-stitched binding.”

Hope you have deep pockets, as the Ascot, the most riveting reproduction hat of the movie, is available for $1,400.

Happy 9th day of 2011!