FrouFrou 4 YouYou

Chicago Millinery History: Raymond Hudd, An Overview October 4, 2017

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Raymond Hudd (Huddlestun) was born Dec 19, 1924 in Custer, MI, Mason County, and died July 20, 2010, in Muskegon. MI. His parents were Glenn and Vilma Huddlestun.  Glenn Sr passed away in 1981 but in 1972 compiled a family history which goes back before Norman the Great in England, of landed gentry.  Later early ancestors, in the US, relocated primarily to VA, where there is a town named Huddlestun.

Early Years

Raymond’s father had moved to Michigan as a child from IL. When he grew up he became a carpenter, and had a farm. Raymond loved to tell the story of his mother’s affection for violets. In spring, when the first of the violets appeared the children were then allowed to go barefoot outside. Vilma passed away in 1946, and of a total of five boys, Raymond focused upon helping his younger brothers, including Ivan. Raymond worked locally, at the Campbell Wyon Cannon Foundry after high school, but moved back to the farm when his mother passed away. The favorite pastime was listening to dance music broadcast from Chicago.

“In a 1988 interview with the Tribune, Mr. Hudd said his first creation was a mud-and-leaves hat for his two mules, Jack and Fanny. It took a while to train them to keep on their hats, but they finally caught on and wouldn’t leave the barn without them,” Mr Hudd said.”

“From barnyard mules, Mr. Hudd advanced to Gold Coast socialites. In 1948, he left Michigan to study at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. After two years creating millinery displays for others, he opened a shop in 1950 and shortened his name to Hudd.”1.

This photo is dated 1950, the photo at top in undated but is likely at least 10 years later.

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He had been working on State Street in large department store window display, and came to feel he could make hats at least as good as the ones he was featuring in the windows. His efforts began on a small scale.

Early Professional Years

Inspiration is part of success, and he looked to the works of others, having kept news clippings from as early as an eight page millinery section in the spring of 1949 of the Chicago Tribune. He acknowledged learning as he went along while buying supplies from Fox Millinery on Lake Street, an established wholesale supplier.

The only opening he had a pre-printed announcement paper for was the opening Aug 19, 1950, at 20 E. Chicago. Photos from his personal album from that day.

 

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In 1962 he seems to have moved to 6 E. Division for a short time. Mid 1960’s he was at 22 Elm Street in Chicago. It is unclear when he opened at 40 Oak St, in what is still one of the toniest shopping blocks just west of the famed Magnificent Mile, Michigan Avenue. Some of the dating of his locations comes from a three inch binder of letters and notes from the comedian Phyllis Diller, including some sent to a box number at Merchandise Mart, tho nothing indicates he sold from there. During the mid to late 70s he sold wholesale at Charles Stevens, and Wieboldts, on State St, and Saks Fifth Avenue on Michigan Ave.

His last shop was opened in 1981 at 2545 N. Clark St, which closed in 2000. This was the only location he had a business card made for his use.

Successful Career

Advertising was not a big part of Raymond’s approach to finding customers. His papers had only one tiny undated newspaper ad from the Division location, tucked between two of his business cards. In one black on cream paper four page booklet Raymond created an invitation to a three day special event Nov 3-5. No year is given, but it is likely 1960s, at 40 E. Oak. His one room, one artist Little Gallery adjoining his millinery section featured Patricia Babcock from Miller, IN.

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This booklet is the only indication of a store assistant, Mr. Del, whose last name remains a mystery. For almost all of his creations Raymond did it all. In the mid 2000’s I had the pleasure to meet one gentleman, Mr. Eugene Wright, who had sewn many a pearl on a hat design by Raymond.

 

He was an active retailer along with several who pushed to create the first Chicago Gold Coast art fair, an outdoor street experience which still continues, 60 years later.

“Seven times, he won the Easter bonnet contest at the Drake Hotel in Chicago, so many times, in fact, he was forbidden to enter an eighth time.”2. In the 1960s there was extensive newspaper coverage of social events of brunch and fashion shows with hat contests on Easter. There were years Raymond hats won at different events across the city. The Drake Hotel was literally down the block from his shop at the corner of Oak and Michigan Ave. Typically the prizes the hotel restaurants provided were modest, such as a cake or bottle of champagne. The news coverage was the icing on the cake for Raymond.

“One of his first high-profile customers was Lee Phillip Bell, a famous Chicago “weather girl” who wore a different hat every day to reflect the weather. All were designed by Hudd.”2. He rented the hats to the studio, and tho they were returned, it is unknown what became of them. Few would recall Lee’s weather girl days, but many are familiar with the TV creations of her and her husband. “After leaving her TV show, Bell joined her husband to co-create the popular CBS soap opera The Young and the Restless in 1973 and its sister show The Bold and the Beautiful in 1987.” 3.

Although hats were owned by Joan Crawford, it was Phyllis Diller, who topped over 500 hats.

“Among the more outrageous objects Mr. Hudd placed on his hats were a burlap sack of potatoes and shredded computer printouts used for the Oliver North 1987-News-in-Review hat.”4. Each year on New Year’s Day Raymond revealed a store window display with a hat inspired from news issues during the previous year. They were not intended for use, although on occasion a brave woman did add these to her wardrobe. They were intended to showcase his windows, and serve as Head Art. Even after his retirement and shop closing were announced in 2000, customers and passersby wrote him notes of appreciation for the eye catching windows, as that was the start of his 50+ year career.

Each hat had a label inside, increasing in size from a black ink rubber stamp in the early 50s to produced labels with his name. In the center of the hat crown he placed a violet, to honor his mother. From 1981 onward he included a hand printed number. It started with the initials of his brothers who had passed away, followed by a number to represent which hat it was of the year. It ended with an initial to represent the year. Thus   GMB=527-M  indicated his honoring his brothers, the five hundredth and twenty-seventhth hat of 1993. He had a less expensive line of hats called Huddettes for three years, 1958-60.

Photo of Raymond working on a buckram base typical of the Huddette style, and appears to likely be from that 1958 era:

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In the 1960s color photos became popular and this 1968 one shows Raymond outside his shop, possibly beaming over the news coverage he posted in the window to draw more attention to the shop:

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In 1968 Raymond mailed this flyer to his father Glenn in Muskegon, from the shop address of 22 E. Elm in Chicago:

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The ongoing press coverage of events and awards added to a large pile of mementos of acknowledgement.

 

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For a Chicagoan, the name Bill Kurtis is synonymous with TV. In 1969 he MC’d the Easter event at the Camellia Room at the Drake Hotel when Raymond had won for a creation of black edged white ruffle covered hat. This picture shows he wore a matching tie, gaining him his own personal attire award, for most unusual tie.

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“And, yes, there was also that olive-size gallstone that Mr. Hudd had surgically removed and made into a hat. That cost me $10,000,” he said of his most expensive ornament, which was painted gold and dangled from a rhinestone-studded wire.”4. The $10K was the cost of his surgery for the gallstone removal. That hat is a part of the collection owned by his remaining brother, Ivan.

The gallstone hat, and many from his annual feature hats were part of an exhibit. In 2001, the Chicago History Museum honored Mr. Hudd with an exhibit called “Raymond Hudd — Hats Over the Edge.”

In 2005 an event was held to primarily honor Raymond by Chapeau: The Milliners Guild in Chicago. It was entitled “Falling Head First” and spanned three days of events at the Chicago Cultural Center, The Chicago Athletic Assoc, and the Fairmont Chicago.

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Eia, of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago also established the ongoing Raymond Hudd Millinery Awards to help support aspiring careers of head wear students.

Although Raymond did not do much advertising, he did compile a small booklet of his favorite hat thoughts. The face page of the booklet of fifteen pages, 3″x4″, had a title: “What is a hat….? Some comments about hats….A hat is a flag…a shield…a bit of armor…a badge of femininity. ”

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The stylized signature of his name was used in many ways, tho this is the only one where the end of the final letter d looks like thread through a needle.

“By the end of his career, Mr. Hudd estimated that he made 50,000 hats.”4

But what else is there to know about the man, besides making hats? He liked to draw his designs, and to photograph his store windows.

A set of pen drawings on linen stock 3×5 cards reveals dozens of designs. Some are labeled so one knows the year from his code used inside hats, one has the word
Special, which may have been a window piece or custom design. Others have no notation at all, making one wonder if they were ever created.

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Raymond loved to write poetry, and explore the popular 1960s focus on extraterrestrial life. “Hudd had served as president of the Space Age Club of Chicago, which he founded in 1959.”5. “The Visitor” was one of his poems. Here are photos of two 1998 hats inspired by his ongoing space interests:

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Raymond’s love of nature outpaced all others and that was likely a long held memory of his life on a farm in Michigan in the 1930s-1940s.

Some hats are still in closets, and some are in collections and museums, like the Chicago History Museum, Columbia College fashion collection, School of the Art Institute Fashion Resource Center, Wilmette Historical Society, and The Fashion History Museum of Cambridge, ONT, Canada.

The lack of photos of Raymond’s actual HATS is evident in this overview. More posts will follow to display a wide array of styles and the HEADLINER series.

Other posts on this blog with information about Raymond and his hats:

https://froufrou4youyou.wordpress.com/2014/07/16/chicago-millinery-history-raymond-hudds-paper-ephemera/

https://froufrou4youyou.wordpress.com/2014/05/08/chicago-millinery-history-school-of-the-art-institute-of-chicago-millinery-awards-2014/

https://froufrou4youyou.wordpress.com/2013/03/01/chicago-millinery-history-cats-pajamas-vintage-clothing-jewelry-and-textile-show-and-sale/

https://froufrou4youyou.wordpress.com/2012/05/12/chicago-service-club-luncheon-raymond-hudd/

https://froufrou4youyou.wordpress.com/2012/05/05/chicago-millinery-history-the-raymond-hudd-awards-for-school-of-the-art-insitute-of-chicago/

https://froufrou4youyou.wordpress.com/2012/03/18/chicago-millinery-history-raymond-hudd-lives-on/

https://froufrou4youyou.wordpress.com/2011/07/20/chicago-millinery-historyraymond-hudds-last-millinery-consultation-the-end-of-an-era/

https://froufrou4youyou.wordpress.com/2011/05/06/raymond-hudd-and-the-spring-hat-2011/

https://froufrou4youyou.wordpress.com/2011/01/05/angelas-wonderful-raymond-hudd-presentation/

 

  1. http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2011-07-26/news/ct-met-huddlestun-obit-20110726_1_raymond-hudd-milliner-barnyard-mules
  2. http://www.mlive.com/entertainment/muskegon/index.ssf/2010/08/mason_county_native_raymond_hu.html
  3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lee_Phillip_Bell
  4. http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2011-07-26/news/ct-met-huddlestun-obit-20110726_1_raymond-hudd-milliner-barnyard-mules
  5. https://www.chicagohistory.org/raymondhudd/

Additional sources:

  1. http://www.obitoftheday.com/post/8065533475/raymondhudd
  2. http://www.windycitymediagroup.com/lgbt/Raymond-Hudd-A-look-back-at-the-milliner-of-the-millennium/33267.html
  3. https://www.pinterest.com/mrobak/vintage-hat-raymond-hudd/

 

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Chicago Millinery History: Spring 1958 April 23, 2015

The Spring of 1958 had many drawings and photos of millinery during the weeks preceding Easter in the Chicago Tribune. This look back is focused on the advertising and news coverage in that paper. Since many folks did not advertise nor gain exposure, this is only the tip of the iceberg. Benjamin Green-Field is not mentioned once, tho BesBen hats were selling like hotcakes that year. Sometime there will be a more inclusive version of the world of millinery here for 1958, but for now here are some tidbits.

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Peyton Place, the movie, was playing the spring of 1958. It was the second highest grossing movie of 1958, mostly because of the leading lady, Lana Turner. Not only for her acting, but because her daughter killed her mother’s abusive lover, a mobster. Her daughter was not charged. The movie, tho considered racy in it’s day, was a sanitized version of the earlier book. Sadly the movie, not rich in hats, was not a fashion trend setter, as it was set in the early 1940s.
One of the actors in this film was Lee Philips, not to be confused with Lee
Phillip, who had a most wholesome image in Chicago. She had been the hat ambassador, Miss Easter Bonnet, in 1955 and 1956 for the Luci Puci line of Chicago made hats.http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0050839/

Fashion was facing a trend to a new style of dress, and the term chemise shows up in the description of many hats advertised in the Chicago Tribune newspaper from March through Easter, 1958. The chemise was a straight-line waist-less sheath dress with a below the knee length. Some versions had a loose or manipulated feature in back as a focal point.

HATS IN ADVERTISING
Hats could also be used in advertising other things. Frozen food was pretty new in the scheme of things for the homemaker. Most refrigerators until recently were only able to hold ice cubes and a pint of ice cream.
Libby Foods advertised frozen peas with the photographed model wearing a John Frederic’s hat. She states “I’ll eat my hat if these are not the freshest tasting peas you have ever enjoyed.” One can only hope those peas were delicious. It was a crime to ruin that hat.http://archives.chicagotribune.com/1958/03/30/page/238

THE GOOD OLD DAYS OF HATS
Instead of just looking forward in fashion, the newspaper also carried a regular feature to appreciate the good old days. “When Chicago Was Young” by Herman Clark, is a special column in the Chicago Tribune for a peek at history revealed in a letter written in 1910. The writer laments of the oversized hats worn by women in church the Sunday before, which had been Easter Sunday that year. She was referring to the fashion trend called Merry Widow hats, which came to fashion after worldwide success of an operetta of the same name. At least anyone writing such a column looking back at 1958 would not be voicing that complaint, as it was a rare sight to see a wide brim hat featured in any Chicago Tribune advertisements in The six weeks leading up to Easter.

IMPORTED HATS
To be up to date, one would want to read the noted fashion columnist, Evelyn Livingstone, with her article in the women’s pages, “Today with Women.” On March 31, in the Chicago Tribune, she has “Hats That Bloom in Spring.” Featured are a modified bowler by Dior, a spoon shaped black hat of starched mesh, accented by yellow-orange roses by Jacques Heim- Svend of Paris. Two floral calotte and cloche hats are also photographed by Gigi of Milan, Italy. These hats were available in the import collection at Marshall Fields. Imports held much appeal to the fashionistas of the day. Especially if it came from Paris, women paid top dollar to wear an imported hat. The less well heeled, or thriftier, bought one of many thousands of knockoffs sold each season in Chicago. It was not socially unacceptable to manufacture copies, and some manufacturers added value to the item by putting it right on the label.

MILLINERY CLASS
Millinery class at Chicago park district field houses were offered, for the budget conscious woman. At Horner Park on Montrose, they were taught by Mrs. Robert J. Stack of 3300 Dickens. Classes were popular with neighborhood women who wished to design their own hat. The classes, twice per week, had begun in February. They were free, except for the cost of supplies. Mrs. Stack had worked in the millinery industry for years.http://archives.chicagotribune.com/1958/03/20/pg/57

FASHION SHOWS
Just as in 1957 there are luncheon fashion shows the week before Easter. The Drake had Blum Vogue doing the honors, and Bramson’s was at the Sheraton lounge, who also did the Kungsholm Restaurant later in the week. The Sheraton brought out several individual collections, which included hats by Betty Owens at the end of the week. Sadly not a word has been found online about Betty Owens, tho this day must have been a thrill for Betty.
The Imperial restaurant was covered by Martha Weathered.
The Van Cleef and Arpels jewel collection was at Stanley Korshak, which might have had a few hats worn for good measure.

Not to be left out of the fashion show parade, Marshall Field’s held shows at both Old Orchard and the State St stores.
Earlier Marshall Fields had hosted an even bigger fashion show on March 10, at the Sheraton-Blackstone. Fashion Director, Mrs. Kathleen Catlin, brought the import collection of 52 dresses. It heavily featured the chemise, the newest look. Several hats adorn the drawings included in the Tribune article. Two were specifically presented by Givenchy. ” …high crowns: Wide brimmed silhouette is fashioned completely of black netting; towering pillbox of white organdy trails two full blown windsocks.”
This had the attention of the Chicago society elite. The hats worn to the event were well described. The room was “a sea of flowers.”
Some of the women were mentioned:
The attendees:
Mrs. Hughston M. McBain, and Mrs. E. Hall Taylor – mimosa
Mrs. Byron Harvey – beret draped with hundreds of white rose petals;
Mrs. William F. Borland – white straw beret (photographed);
Mrs. Kellogg Fairbanks – wide brimmed cabbage rose;
Mrs. Bruce Thorne Jr, Mrs. Maurice P. Geraghty, and Mrs. John A. Prosser – “black veiling with birds or butterflies”;
Mrs. Robert A. Gardener Jr- ” row of tiny brown velvet bows atop a veil”;
Mrs. Wesley M. Dixon – “white feather birds” head veil;
Mrs. Herbert P. L. McLaughlin and Mrs. George S. Isham – Bachelor buttons

SAKS FIFTH AVENUE
Saks Fifth Avenue brought in their milliner from NY, to offer consultations in-store. On March 6 and 8, Mrs. Virginia Wallace was on hand to reveal the loveliness of the “Sweet butter straws prepared to melt.” These flower covered hats were priced from $10.95 to $14.95. They were available on the fifth floor in the Young Elite Hat section.
BONWIT TELLER
Bonwit Teller starts off March with a special event featuring a visit from Irene of New York, on March 3, and followed with a visit by Miss Alice on March 11 and 12. Miss Alice had also been there in 1957.

The article by Marylou Luther, “These Hats of Spring Revamp Vamp of 1920s,” provided an in-depth explanation of the Miss Alice hats at Bonwits. The hats to reflect the 1920s cloche and turban were from $45 to $65. The “Katy” hats of sailors and Bretons was exemplified by a green and white “houndstooth” straw with upturn brim and velvet ribbon bow for $39.50. It was called the Beau Catcher. A roller silhouette of organdy went for $45.

Bonwits Teller, located at 830 N. Michigan Ave. regularly advertised womens fashions, including millinery. March 21 had an ad for a straw cloche, Daisy Crazy for $9.95. http://archives.chicagotribune.com/1958/03/21/page/2

Bonwits silk organza with veil Merry Go Round by Betmar for $7.95 was advertised on March 24, 1958.

Bonwit was back to bringing in star milliners, by hosting Mr. Arnold 3/26 and 3/27. Seen in an ad was the “chemise cloche.”

The Thurs paper of that week showed a “puckish cap” of green fabric leaves with single rose in front center from Mr. Arnold and mentions his appearance at Bonwit.

BRAMSON
Mr. Arnold may well have paid a visit to Bramson’s too, if he stuck around to the end of the month. At least one of his hats were featured in an automobile advertisement. It was a wide brimmed hat by Mr. Arnold in a tie in ad with the Premier Landau Lincoln car, which it seems was on display at the Bramson store, along with the hat.http://archives.chicagotribune.com/1958/03/30/page/6

MARSHALL FIELD AND CO.
It was a grand day when Miss Sally Victor visited Marshall Fields on March 4 and 5. Her hats were said to be a good balance for the shorter skirts that season. The one shown in the ad was priced at $85, available in the French Room on the fifth floor.

Marshall Fields has an ad identified as at Old Orchard, featuring vibrant Paris pink accessories. The cloche hat at $16.95 is drawn in black with white dots, so it impossible to know if the black was the pink or the dots. Other items in the ad were white gloves, necklace, carnation, and white with black dots silk shantung blouse, still leaving the question unanswered as to what was pink.

Another Field’s half page ad has three hats featured, described as skimmer, bubble and breton. These were available on the 5th floor in the
Debutante Room.

Rarely are ads seen for millinery on the lower level Budget Floor of Marshall Fields, but the March 2 ad has $9 hats. They had 163 styles of hats in this offering, which must have been a splendid sight to see.

LYTTONS
A recurring column of the Tribune was Fashions By Angela. In a box article there were three hat drawings. G. Howard Hodghes hats of light straw from Lyttons of a wreath motif. http://archives.chicagotribune.com/1958/03/21/page/2

MANDEL BROS DEPARTMENT STORE
Mandel’s started off March with three days of in-store special informal modeling of John Frederic’s Charmers, the modest priced line. Miss Charmer from New York was doing the honors of modeling. The article covering the Mandel’s event referred to Mr. Frederic as Mr. Fred. Perhaps only the established fashion writer Evelyn Livingstone was allowed to use that name.

Mandel’s ad for March 9 has 470 hats available at the price of $7.70. On March 23 the Flower Chemise cloche $8.95. On March 27 Mandel’s shows a chemise Breton with flowers and veil for $5.95. On March 31 the ad was for the Chemise Brim, at $10.95.http://archives.chicagotribune.com/1958/03/31/page/27

It is clear that many sellers felt putting the hot word of the season, chemise, in front of any style made it the most fashionable hat of the year.

Mandel’s also had a price cut from $6.95 and $7.95 down to $5.85 the week before Easter. Perhaps the earlier advertised hats at $5.95 and $8.95 had already sold out.

But more than ads this time of year was the good will earned by Mandel’s for a hat fashion show held in their store. They had six college girls modeling hats made by patients of the Hines VA hospital and sponsored by the Red Cross. The winner was the Miss Vanguard hat which featured an Outer space theme. Other winners were a Hang it Yourself hat, equipped with a hanger, and one with fishing lures. http://archives.chicagotribune.com/1958/03/30/page/8

NEIGHBORHOOD MILLINER
Rollback the brim by Hats by Sue $5-$75 3152 N. Central and 4902 W. Irving Park. This local milliner ran ads in spring, and this year only two were found. It is still common to come upon a vintage Hat by Sue on the Northside of Chicago. What is hard to find is the history of Sue herself.

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THE FAIR
Early in March the Fair featured an ad with a list of milliners they carried, and a drawing of one hat for $79.50 by John Frederics. This straw hat is described as a cloche, tho the drawing shows a wide brim hat, unlikely called a cloche by today’s assessment. The hats they carry run from $22.98 to $89.50. The milliners listed were G. Howard Hodge, John Frederic’s, Norman Durand, Mr. D, Suzy Lee, Phil Strann, Vincent DeKoven, Leslie James, Yvonne, John Andrews.

The Fair is showing a chemise roller of an upswept straw Breton by Roberta Bernays for $10.99. Another Roberta Bernays for $10.99 of rippled cloche, of pleated veiling was available in orange, white, pale blue, pink, mint and black on thier third floor milllinery salon.

BONDS
Bonds at State and Jackson has a millinery department on their 4th floor featuring hats from $5.95 to $35 pg 22 two are shown, featuring flowers and veils. Another ad the next week on 3/31 for a $7.95 value for $5 for a Chemise Cloche of imported Toyo straw.

CHARLES STEVENS
Charles Stevens was proud to advertise their new Hat Bar on March 7, 1958. It was on the second floor, with three hats shown. They ranged from $5.95 to $7.95.

WIEBOLTS
Wiebolts, celebrating their “75th year” had sample hats marked down to $5.97 from $8.99 to $12.99. The fine print box also tells of reduced hats to $2.97.

Wiebolts flower covered rippled trellis frame hat for $15.99.

Weibolts shows a full age Easter ad on March 27, with three hats, ” deep cloches and saucy Bretons, ” priced $7.99 to $10.99 pg 26 On March 31 they share their two “young hearted breton” hats but are certain you are aware that the $7.99 hat will gain you 79 S&H Green stamps as well.

CARSON, PIRIE, SCOTT, AND CO
Carson’s advertised matching hats and purses, dyed to match byEverett. The prices ranged from $3.99-$5.99 for the hats, as presented by the manufacturer’s representative, Betty Donoghue.

Carson, Pirie, Scott and Co launched an irresistible contest featuring a hat covered in diamonds, on display in the Junia Room on the third floor, at the State Street store. Entries with the three closest guess won grand millinery prizes. The third closest won two Sam Budwig hats, the second won three hats, and the closest won a hat a month from Sam Budwig. Miss Lee Phillip was making a personal appearance at the store to model the hat on March 10. She was photographed wearing the hat, with diamonds worth between $10,000 to $100,000. The winner was to be announced on March 14 on the Miss Lee television program. http://archives.chicagotribune.com/1958/02/28/page/13/
The four hats in the ad were by Sam Budwig ranged in price from $20 to $25.
A word about Miss Lee. Starting in Chicago by doing flower arranging demonstrations on local Chicago TV, she became the Weather Girl on the 10 pm news nightly. To improve her image, or create a hook to keep the local Chicago women watching, she had a new hat for each evening to reflect the weather. These were rented by the station from Raymond Hudd, a milliner who began in 1950. This was a pivotal boost to his career.
Miss Lee went on to marry, and became Mrs. William J. Bell. Together she and her husband created the top daytime soap opera TV programs, the Bold and The Beautiful and the Young and the Restless. They did well, and she still lives in CA. They had owned the Howard Hugh’s mansion.

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GATELY Department Store
Gately’s department store on the south side of the city featured two Jane Morgan hats, a cloche and an upswept breton for $4.99.

GOLDBLATTS Department Store
Goldblatts featured six drawings of hats in their ad of many styles ranging from $4.99 to $12.99. Each of the six drawings were labeled: $4.99 ripple sailor chambre soi, $5.99 bouffant breton sewn straw, $7.99 Breton Swiss straw, $10.99 deep cloche bamboo straw, $12.99 imported toyo cloche, $12.99 chemise cloche grape wreath. In small print they also mentioned other hats were available for $1.99 to $3.98.http://archives.chicagotribune.com/1958/03/30/page/11

Another ad from Goldblatts for Easter hats also on March 30 showed five styles in prices $4.99 to $8.99 with a special mention that the hat could be purchased with the Hot Point Certificate. It seems when a customer had purchased a Hot Point product, of a stove, refrigerator, washer or TV, they were provided with a coupon type certificate for a hat at Goldblatts. The “OK IKE” program by Hotpoint was an incentive marketing plan to increase post war production of appliances. The program participants, Goldblatts along with other local appliance dealers such as Polk Brothers, advertised a free Easter Bonnet for the week before Easter of 1958. What woman could resist a new appliance without interest payments for a quarter of the year if one found themselves unemployed, no down payment with a trade-in, and deferred payments till July 1, plus a new Easter hat!http://archives.chicagotribune.com/1958/03/30/page/45

The Easter Sunday paper brought out the big guns. A full page ad from Goldblatts with 50,000 hats marked down to $2. It seems there must have been far too few hats selected with the Hotpoint certificates.

SEARS, ROEBUCK AND CO
Sears ran an ad March 6, 1958 with an interesting combination, all for only $3.99, regularly $4.99. “You’d expect to pay this for the hat alone.” The hat was a natural straw banded to match the dress. The “Gondolier” was a sleeveless narrow waist, full skirt dress, with a matching straight brim hat. How did they come to have dresses at such a low cost, and with a hat as a bonus? Perhaps the hook was the hat, and the dress was the bonus. The time for sleeveless dresses was nowhere close to appropriate to the temperature of March in Chicago.
One might surmise that this style of dress could easily be out of fashion as the chemise style of a waist-less dress was gaining popularity. Perhaps their fashion suppliers felt the “New Look” of the late 1940s into the early 1950s from Dior would sit on the racks as women shifted focus to a straight line dress. Give them a hat and make the dress worth the risk of looking old fashioned. Certainly there were plenty of women across the US who would not consider the new style worthy of their limited fashion budget, and there were still plenty of Chicagoans who adored the silhouette of eight years earlier.

Sears had drawings of eight hats, marked down the week before Easter from $3.98 to $3.30. Hats were a common part of of full page advertising done by Sears.

LANE BRYANT
Lane Bryant hat of flowers for $3.99. This ad was repeated a few times during the weeks before Easter. Most people may think of plus size clothes as the claim to fame for this company. In its early days it covered many fashion areas, long before plus size existed. What made their name tho was a focus on selling maternity clothing. Far more ads for such clothes were seen in the 1950s from Lane Bryant than all others put together. The baby boomer generation mothers of Chicago knew that store well.

CHILDRENS HATS
What about the future women of Chicago? Little girls had hats for Easter too, but there were no big name designers, nor big price tags.
Kresge at their Chicago and 15 suburban stores shows two girls tie under the chin bonnets for $1.95.
Earlier in the month Sears had been selling similar hats for girls for $1.44, marked down from $1.98.

http://archives.chicagotribune.com/1958/03/27/page/35

EASTER BRUNCH HAT CONTESTS
Before the swing to news coverage of brunches, women were mentioned in the papers for their finery at church. One consistently covered church was the Fourth Presbyterian Church, on Michigan Avenue, of what is now called the Magnificent Mile. When several hotel restaurants offered a contest with prizes for hats, and contests sometimes also for children’s outfits and men’s ties, it shifted the fashion reporting focus from church to mealtime.
Monday after Easter is the news report on the Easter brunch hat contests. The Drake had started their Easter brunch in 1933. Somewhere there must be a clue yet to be found as to the first contest. The Drake clientele in 1958 had some fun in the lobby with the hats worn by Miss Petrine Ronning and Miss Dahana Wood. Miss Wood is created with designing both hats, as well as those of Miss Helen Harrison and Mrs. Christopher C. Porter.
One thing is known, Raymond Hudd hats were winners time and again. A spring hat from Raymond had become the favored Easter bonnet. Tho not mentioned in the Tribune, the contests were covered by other papers as well. Raymond got his glory in the Chicago Daily News, now long gone.DSCN3124

 

Chicago Millinery History: Raymond Hudd’s Paper Ephemera July 16, 2014

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A couple of years ago it was a thrilling day when Ivan, Raymond Hudd’s brother gifted a part of the collection of memorabilia papers, news clippings, binder of correspondence exchanged, and assorted photos. This week he returned with the bulk of the goodies. Before he left on another leg of his journey, I took photos of the things that returned with him.
Here is an assortment of the treasures that will return to California:
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Chicago Millinery History: School of the Art Institute of Chicago Millinery Awards 2014 May 8, 2014

011The annual awards for millinery were held May7, 2014 at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. A large array of pieces, with great range of style. The faculty wizard of many things, Eia, arranged an enlightening event. (Please click on each photo to see it in it’s entirety.)

Glad I was not in the judge seat for this event. Fortunately a former Raymond Hudd award winner, Angela Morano was on the panel.
The items on display were so abundant that two classrooms were used for display. Some works were from students who had only taken one class, and others have had more than that.

IF I had won the lottery before heading downtown, I would have wanted to take a few home. In no particular order they would be:
The Dupioni silk at the top of the page really caught my eye.

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If I could give an award myself for best display I loved the sense of imagination used to create a worldly travel by this milliner:
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If I could give an award for student with the awareness that presentation is even more than the hats on the table, it is this student who had 4 wonderful pieces, but is showing how to make this unique cream satin headdress wearable:
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Lovely hat, best mannequin head.

Lovely hat, best mannequin head.

And finally the table of hats by a milliner who had a large body of work, with temptations to my partner guest attendees, Lorraine and Iris:020

When you look at Iris, Lorraine and Angela, you can tell they are in their element:
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Raymond Hudd would have been proud of all the creations.

 

Chicago Millinery History: Cats Pajamas Vintage Clothing, Jewelry and Textile Show and Sale March 1, 2013

This event brings lots of hats to the general Chicago area, in Elgin, IL each February. As exciting as that is, the good news is that they return to Elgin in Sept.

Waiting in line on Friday behind a velvet rope the conversations around us were a fun way to get to hear how devoted folks were to vintage, and hats in particular. Several spoke of their spreadsheets documenting their collection of hundreds. On Fri the admission fee is lowered for those attending in vintage attire. That is like watching a vintage show in motion as these guys and gals explore the newest old goodies to be had.

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The best display of hats, and stocking the best selection of antique hats must go to the booth just inside the door. I believe my hat buddy, Iris, who loves this shopping extravaganza as much as I do, bought three from this booth.

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Here are photos from many booths of glorious hats.

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Wish I could remember which booth this was, so nicely arranged.

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Iris bought a Saks hat with an Iris from a grand fellow, Joe from New Orleans, with the booth Eojnola. Joe is also a milliner, and someone it would be fun to know. The bird hat above was just one of dozens we left behind.

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I loved this hat, but so did a gal I saw the next morning wearing it. What fun when you can put your purchase right on your head.

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Carries, Fabulous to Funky, from Campaign, IL had feather fans, which caught my eye initially, but sadly she had not brought along her stock of feathers, tho there were plenty of wonderful feather hats.

Across from Carrie’s was the one place I bought a hat the next day. I always ask for Chicago hats, especially Bes Ben or Raymond Hudd, although there were no Hudd hats anywhere we could find this year,
The seller was Karen Renfrow of D. Brett Benson, Inc of Chicago, exhibiting routinely at Broadway Antique Market booth 763 at 6130 N. Broadway in Chicago. There was a Bes Ben, which was so distracting I forgot to take photos of her booth! A little green leaf hat with tiny fruit and berries. Hard call, but I waited till she brought in another on Sat AM, a red moonstone. That red hat just added the needed pop of color to my display for my presentation on Chicago Hats at noon. IF you check with Karen she may still have that green leaf BesBen yet.

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Downstairs were so many more treasured sellers of hats, and much better lighting:

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Iris is just torn between this black felt Bes Ben with pearl bead edging from Jenstyle chic vintage ( jennifer@jenstyle.com) This treasure was still there when we left on Sat, so maybe it is still available. It was so hard to leave it behind.

But then I fell in love at the next booth, Musser’s Atomic Antiques from Rockford. Here I am taking a photo of the display wearing my biggest hat, if you can find me below, in the mirror:

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Not sure now just where these were from!

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Happy shopper, Iris as she entertains the idea of a hat from Woodland Farms of TX.

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Just above is the tip of the iceberg of beauty in hats from Woodland Farms Vintage of Dallas Tx. This group takes up two booths for the most exquisite collection of fashion. Here are SOME of their treasures:

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There are great photos, but perhaps bigger is better:

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Alas it was time to move on to other sellers:

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Susie’s from Schaumberg, IL had hat boxes of flowers, and they were a great temptation.

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Swell Stuff from Evanston had hats, and trims.

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Fun was had with the presentation on Chicago Hats. What a great opportunity to meet some fine folks, and share some tidbits about Gage, Fisk, Edson Keith, Hats by Sue, Mildred Reed, Shelia, the Perfect Hat, Luci Puci and Lemington, Bes Ben, Raymond Hudd and more.

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Coming to Elgin Sept 27 and 28? Hope to see you there. I may even wear my BIG gold felt hat with feathers. Will you be wearing a hat? Hope so!

 

Chicago Service Club Luncheon Raymond Hudd May 12, 2012

Once again, Sherry Lea Holson, the chairman of the event, has brought millinery back on the mind and on the heads of Chicago’s most fashionable women, at the annual Mad Hatters Luncheon on May 10,  2012, in Chicago, Illinois.Sherry Lea Holson with milliner, Jenny Pfanensteil of Forme` Millinery

This photo shows Sherry with  Jenny Pfanensteil of Forme` Millinery, the speaker on the life and work of Raymond Hudd. The lunch was over, some guests have departed, and both are still smiling. In other photos you may see Sherry at the podium making announcements of winners in contest categories, wearing a black velvet Raymond Hudd hat with fluttering feathers, but here she models an original design by Jenny.

The sign that graced the last store of Raymond Hudd at 2545 N. Clark St, in Chicago, at the entry to the exhibit of his hats held before the luncheon.

An “Egg” hat designed by Raymond is displayed on a hat box that shows his logo of a wide brim hat. This hat was lent by Eia, a well regarded Chicago milliner and friend of Raymond’s. Eia created the Raymond Hudd Millinery Award in his honor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. This hat is destined to the School’s fashion collection, where aspiring milliners can hatch their own hat designs.

Top photo of three bright straws, in yellow with iris, orange with flowers, and red with poppies are from the collection of Iris Sholder, a friend of Raymond’s, hat collector and wearer. Atop that group is an alligator hat, headed for a future fundraiser for the Raymond Hudd Award. Bottom photo of alligator hat from above.

Three teddy bear hats were on display, the top left catching the edge of the green brim hat, the center black satin, and right corner black edged with bears hat.

In the center is a black hat covered in feathers, and sprouting a fountain of feathers in the center, destined to the School of the Art Institute. On the left is a light straw with wide brim, gold lame trim and unique ribbon work.  Lower center is the teal and black feather with the oldest label of Raymond’s, part of the collection of Mary Robak, blogger, milliner wannabe, Chicago millinery historian.

Cheryl Bollinger is wearing a hat that makes a tall feather statement. A perfect match to her top, it was designed again by her favorite florist in Paw Paw, MI,  Sherri Taylor owner of Taylor’s Florist. Last year that florist created Cheryl’s award winning hat to match her dress. This is only the florist’s second hat. Now that is talent and Cheryl has found a fine milliner, even if she herself has not come to that conclusion.

The moment you look at this Anthropology top, you know the hat was meant for it. This creative attendee, Tammy Beeler, made the hat herself, I believe her first. It was memorable enough that the judges selected it a winner this year.

Hazel Barr in her award winning Raymond Hudd hat, from her extensive personal collection.

At the end of the exhibit there was another room for dining, with a lighthearted elegant feel to the room.

The flowers were arranged to appear to be a handbag, an essential accessory to the HAT! The flowers were done by Lord and Mar of Lake Forest.

Table favors of notepad and pen atop a sovenier booklet created just for this luncheon. It features a black and white image of the painting created for the luncheon by  Inside are pages of photos of hats from an issue of Pulp, Winter 1988, story by Janet Moredock, with portrait by Francisco Caseres, and fashion photos by J. B. Spector with some of the most unique Raymond Hudd hats. The Headliner Series. There was one new article each year that Raymond selected as inspiration which was revealed in his shop window on New Years Day. Some reflected the Rebellion in the Philippines, with a flower encrusted shoe on top of the hat (rather reminiscent of a  Schiaparelli shoe hat), Spam Turns 50, and the Tylenol Maker Scraps Capsules, which are in the Chicago History Museums costume collection.

Moments before the drawing of a gift card from Ralph Lauren, this couple, Karen and Jeff Morris, from Minneapolis were enjoying the event. She is a milliner and is wearing her own creation.  She was most excited when she won the gift card, as she shall now be returning to Chicago to use it.

Sherry Lea Holson is standing at the podium flanked by Bill Zwecker, who with Robin Robinson, and Elizabeth Hamel were judges of several hat categories.

Seated at the table with a friend, is one of the award winners in a long black veil topped top hat. Her prize was the coveted hat donated by the speaker, Jenny of Forme` Millinery. Below are photos of that hat before the event began. It looked stunning on, and is certain to be admired by many.

This attendee is delighted as she approaches the podium to accept her new hat as the winner in the best ensemble category.

Lots of fun, food and fashion. Raymond Hudd would have been so pleased.

 

Chicago Millinery History: The Raymond Hudd Awards for School of the Art Insitute of Chicago May 5, 2012

The awards to the millinery students of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago were held on Wednesday, May 2, 2012. The Wenzeler Gallery was a most unique location, but perfect as the gears this company manufactures were the inspirations for the hats.

A large group of students, family, faculty and university staff, as well as interested hat lovers attended the opening reception for the dozens of items on display through June, 2012.

The photo just above shows the line of demarcation for the gallery from the plant. Two worlds that seem dissimilar, yet when one is standing among the high tech and the high fashion it is a good combination. Mr. Wenzeler is the moving force for this gallery in his company headquarters and plant. The gears are created with incredible precision as well as creativity, and are found in many of the cars we drive. His appreciation for the arts brought him to offer this venue and unique inspirational experience for the students. It is no small matter that his life is graced by a wife with excellent fashion sense, and a delightful hostess as well.

The hats that follow are only shown from one view, but each is a three dimensional creation to allow your eye a chance to recognize their relationship to the gears that serve as the jumping off point in the design process.

It was hard to determine which hat would win the several awards presented, which included the Raymond Hudd, the Dean’s award, who choses one for her own collection, and a mystery person’s donation for awards, and the generous scholarship awards of the gracious host, Mr. Wenzeler.

Some attendees are seen enjoying the festive atmosphere, and also the official photographer whose use of a ladder was essential to get the best angles. Tho he offered this amatuer the use of the ladder, it is best those shots are left to the professionals.

Click here if you want to know the News coverage by the Sun-Times   There is also a photo gallery to click on within the article, and another here: http://pioneerlocal.mycapture.com/mycapture/folder.asp?event=1464922&CategoryID=2144&ListSubAlbums=0

 

What hat did this attendee wear? A Raymond Hudd, of course. A small gold lame with black feathers. It was great fun to show it to two of the students who graciously allowed their photos to be taken. Perhaps a few decades from now someone else will wear a vintage hat they created to another award ceremony with an award granted in their name. It is entirely possible, as Raymond himself started his art education in 1948 in this very school, before he opened his first shop in 1950.

Photos of the winners, you ask? No. The camera froze, which tho frustrating in the moment, allowed total attention to the event as the awards were presented. All were winners that evening, and will be on the forefront of design for decades to come.