My 2017 Hat Pick of the Year

Three Things about my 2017 Hat Pick of the Year that you must Experience for Yourself

MARIA CURCIC HEADPIECEWhen I founded the Mobile Millinery Museum back in 1999, my focus was on preserving the lost millinery treasures of the past. I had no idea of the glory to come as modern designers would take up the mantle of hat making, and move millinery into the 21st century.

At the time, millinery had fallen so far out of fashion that mainstream museums were refusing to accept beautiful couture pieces, and were showing fabulous fashions of the past without the wonderful hats that completed the silhouette.  Keen to preserve as much millinery history as I could, I collected and catalogued over 2,500 vintage fashion hats, over half of which are showcased in the book 1,000 Hats. I continue to collect and exhibit vintage millinery, but I have also developed a passion for the many new and exciting pieces being crafted by today’s designers…which brings me to my pick for the 2017 HAT of the YEAR award.

I selected this beauty back in December after perusing the websites of my favourite designers. The hat arrived last week. Here are three things about it that you must experience for yourself to appreciate my choice.

  • Bragging Rights to the Maria Curcic Label: This Paris-born designer’s pieces are recognized internationally, and have been featured in so many fashion periodicals that even she has lost count.
  • Fit and Stability: Slip this on, then have that cocktail and feel free to toss your head back and laugh. The hat won’t slip. That’s a must for me when giving one-hour presentations. Gone are the days when every city, town, and village boasted a millinery shop on every corner. Women enjoyed personal relationships with their hat maker, and attended from one to three fittings for each custom piece. Many of today’s milliners do strictly online business, and create mail-order treasures that fit without the fitting. Curcic is a master at this. Send her the size of your head circumference, and she’ll do the rest.
  • Living the fantasy: Psychologists call it enclothed cognition, the effect that garments have on the wearer’s psychological processes; couture fashion hats have provided women with an emotional and psychological boost for centuries. In other words, you will love how this hat makes you feel.




Talking Darlings of Dress

D of D promo

The Darlings of Dress interview with Harry Rinker is now archived on Go to the website, click on “Archives/Podcast” on the toolbar, select WHATCHA GOT? in the pop-up window, click on Sunday, January 7 The interview will occur approximately 30 minutes into the second hour of the program.

Source: Whatcha Gotinterview

Not Too Late for a Garden Party Tea

Image supplied by Stella Jurgen

Benares House in Mississauga Saturday provided the perfect location for a late season garden party and hat show. As always, we rely upon volunteers to model the hats, and this presentation was no different (as you can see by the Edwardian Bobby Dazzler in the back ground).  The oversized replica of the hat Johnny Depp wore in the movie Alice in Wonderland was exhibited Vanna White style as a remarkable piece of theatrical millinery.

Frantic Fashion from the 1950s


Frantic Fashion from the 1950s: From the drama of Dior to the domesticity of mother-and-daughter dresses, this comprehensive look at authentic 1950s fashion pieces is curated by Norma Shephard, author of 1,000 Hats, In Step With Fashion, Lingerie, Accessorizing the Bride, and the recently released Darlings of Dress; Children’s Costume 1860 to 1920. This one-hour presentation is the Mobile Millinery Museum’s feature presentation for 2017/2018. Call or email for details on this or any of our other presentations.

Darlings of Dress Now Available

new-book-cover Buy Darlings of Dress from or direct from the publisher.

This nostalgic look at children’s costume, from 1860 to 1920, reveals diverse cultural influences on its manufacture and design. More than 300 historic photographs, fashion plates, and selections from vintage catalogs and magazines, plus 115 color images, show examples of costume and accessories. See infants in period dress plus school-aged and teen fads and trends. Learn about the history of clothing use and development, fabric types, conservation and storage of textiles, and artistic inspiration, all arranged by decade. All types of clothing are represented, including christening gowns; boys’ breeches, knickerbockers, and sack suits; swimwear and underwear; bloomers and blouses; fur, feather boas, and frocks; sailor suits and uniforms; collars and belts; capes and hoods; lingerie and dresses; sweaters and cardigans; overalls; and many more. Whether you are interested in clothing children wore in 1920 or to church in the Victorian era, this reference is a fun and evocative collection.

Size: 8 1/2″ x 11″ | 395 b/w & color images | 192 pp
ISBN13: 9780764349393 | Binding: hard cover


Red Hat/No Knickers Folklore Verified

dunnville showIt turns out that what I’ve been telling audiences for years – that red hats used to be hard to come by because it was thought that women in red hats might not be wearing any knickers – was not only true, but very taken seriously by some. Today at our hat show in Dunville, a woman reported a ‘red hat’ incident that occurred years ago in England. The woman’s mother was wearing a red hat when she and her husband stepped onto a bus and overheard a couple of Irish guards casting aspersions on her character. The husband defended his wife’s honour, and when she returned home alone and the children asked where their father was, her response was “in the clink”.

Care to share a hat story of your own? I’d love to hear about it. Please contact me in the form below: