Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Modern Millinery & the Flapper Hat of Choice

The Michigan State University Museum dug into its collection and put together their current exhibit Up Cloche: Fashion, Feminism, Modernity. The cloche hat was a symbol of Flapper modernity. Women needed short hair to wear the bell shaped, helmet style hat. It was the antithesis of the ornate and decorated hats of their mother's age, simply constructed and some even foldable to carry in pockets.

 The cloche nodded to the helmets worn by early aviatrix.

The hats may share a shape but the details are wonderful including appliqué, embroidery, beading, folded fabric.

A display showed the earlier style of hats on the right and the cloche hat and hat form on the right.

 The cloche embellishments were Art Deco--flat, streamlined, geometric.
Previous hat embellishment was more ornate, three dimensional and naturalistic. Cloche hats could be made at home and mass produced cheaply. It brought an end to the millinery industry, which had been one of the few businesses a respectable woman could run.

1920s dresses were also on display.
 Sheer fabrics with amazing beading.

 Amazing silver Art Deco beading on what appeared to be panne velvet.
 A sheer dress with embellishment worn over a colored chemise. Brassieres were optional.

We watched a film showing fashion shows and Hollywood film influences on fashion.
tatted hats

The exhibit runs through August 30, 2016.

Rejecting tradition and embracing more body-conscious styles, the young American "flapper" wore her newly won freedom to vote, earn, and learn on her body: short dresses and clear stockings, bobbed hair, and a head-hugging cloche. The cloche - a bell-shaped hat considered "clever" and "smart" - framed the face with fashionable Art Deco panache. Explore how American women of the 1920s and '30s used consumer goods to become modern. 

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