Top that...

by - Friday, September 28, 2012

If you have ever been preoccupied with English style and New York trendsetters, you have most definitely experienced at some point fashion's fascination with hats. Some of the world's most iconic women and men have donned unique chapeaus... Sherlock Holmes' signature deerstalker cap, Carrie Bradshaw's outlandish lime green Fascinator and the many elegant looks of Kate Middleton. 
Two musts for any fashionista provide an inquisitor look at the boundless creativity of hat design as indescribable works of art. Hats: An Anthology, the book by British milliner-to-the-stars Stephen Jones has also come to life as the current exhibit at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts on view now until February third next year. Both the book and exhibit  reveal the bold fashion statements by designers such as Balenciaga, Schiaparelli, Givenchy, Philip Treacy, and Stephen Jones himself alongside remarkable historic pieces and examples of pop culture head wear. The exhibition's inventive installation evokes the life cycle of the hat from the perspective of a milliner, tracing the creative process and sources of inspiration, to a hat's debut in a salon and finally as a crowning expression of an owner's personal style.
"Fashion expresses the private and public aspects of creativity in ways that very few art forms can," says Lynda Roscoe Hartigan, PEM's James B. and Mary Lou Hawkes Chief Curator. "This exhibition provides the perfect opportunity to salute fashion..." Architectural, comical or simply utilitarian, these accessories tell stories of life's history, a visual commentary reflecting the times... and the figures they've crowned...
Elsa Schiaparelli's Shoe Hat
Christian Dior Haute Couture runway
Philip Treacy Feather Hat
Constructed of sable fur and grosgrain ribbon, 1865-70 for Empress Eugenie, wife of Napoleon III
Jo Gordon Kiss of Death
1835 English bonnet in velvet and silk
Pas de deux, 1982
Milliner-to-the-stars himself, Stephen Jones
Can you top that? xoxo-Sonya

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