Santa Delivers a Millinery Gift Lift


Let’s face it, a pretty hat can be a real spirit booster; in fact, it used to be common knowledge that the cure for a low mood was the purchase of a new hat. In my mother’s day, a woman never went out in public without a hat, and yes, there were many good reasons to dispose of that social imperative, but keeping a skilled milliner in business had a lot to do with one’s sense of well-being.

I call this one Cat Woman

After all, who better to help a woman look her best than that designer skilled in the millinery arts who keeps a file on her clients and is able to create a bit of frippery which is not only flattering to her features, but fashionably up-to-date and uniquely suited to her personal social calendar.

So, having said all that, imagine my joy when an unexpected parcel arrived in the mail this week with -you guessed it- the gift of a new hat from my personal milliner, Maria Curcic. I can’t wait to wear it, but this beauty-on-a-band (a black velvet one) will also be going in my newest hat themed exhibit “Black Magic”.

I like to shop in person for my hats so that I can try them on to determine if the fit is right and the style is flattering, but having discovered and gotten to know this creative artist and her work, I am completely confident in her ability to produce pieces that are perfect, sight unseen.. Yes, I buy hats from other milliners including Louise Green of Los Angeles  and Lilliput‘s Karen Gingras. I stop in at Beau Chapeau any chance I get (I’ve even found my book on display there), but I have chosen Maria as my personal milliner. If you think I talk about her a little too much, consider this:  In my capacity as director of the Mobile Millinery Museum  I  have collected and archived over 2500 historical hats (created by top name 20th century designers) so I know quality. 20151207_070519-1

What’s the takeaway? Millinery is a re-emerging art form. Look around, stop into some shops, try on some hats and find yourself a personal milliner, see how great you look in one of her confections. Take it home and wear it. You’ll be glad you did.


Published by Norma Shephard

I'm the founder and director of the Mobile Millinery Museum & author of five books on vintage fashion.

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