"... If your hat is correct, it can compensate for a world of faults."
July 17, 2014 9:33 PM   Subscribe

Lilly Daché (c.1893-1989) was one of the most prolific and influential milliners of the twentieth century. Her hats adorned almost every star in Golden Age Hollywood - from Marlene Dietrich to Carmen Miranda to Loretta Young, setting millinery styles for decades.

More Pictures: flickr gallery of Daché and her hats | pictures from 2011 FIT celebration of her life (includes color pictures of some of her hats) | pinterest collection of pictures

Her Hats are in collections all across the USA: at the LA County Museum of Art | at the Metropolitan Museum of Art | Philadelphia Museum of Art | at FIT | at the Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco | in the Hanson Collection

Bonus: Here she is on What's My Line.

Retronaut has the pages from 1953 Family Circle showing you how to make your own Lilly Daché circle hat

And finally, there's this Salad Hat Designed By Lilly Daché.
posted by julen (12 comments total) 23 users marked this as a favorite

My mother was born in 1926. Sometimes we'd watch old movies together (from the 30s and 40s) and she'd sit back and sigh, "I miss hats."

So do I, mom. So do I.
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 9:38 PM on July 17, 2014 [5 favorites]

Wow great post- thank you! I had no idea the same person was behind the Marlene Dietrich hats AND the Carmen Miranda hats.

Also, hats back in the day were seriously preposterous.
posted by small_ruminant at 10:17 PM on July 17, 2014 [3 favorites]

I changed my mind: instead of the Clueless outfit computer, I want a computer that can make me a capsule wardrobe out of these photos. Because, seriously, I want all of these hats.
posted by jetlagaddict at 11:28 PM on July 17, 2014


That's the one that sucked me in first! It's so dramatic and awesome.

I found all sorts of interesting bits and pieces when I went down the rabbit hole of link hopping - like this (via Lesley M. M. Blume in the HuffPost):
Daché could be as flamboyant as some of her designs; according to one of her biographers, Daché often conducted business from her bed, "dictating letters, buying supplies, designing, and interviewing employees while wrapped in a leopard-skin rug." Sometimes meetings were held in her bathroom, where Daché would give orders from a deep bubble bath. Brunette celebrities were guided to a fitting room decorated in shimmering silver; blonde clients were ushered into a dressing room of gleaming gold. Wholesalers were treated to a circular room swathed in tufted pink satin. Bells adorned Daché's leopard-skin slippers, perhaps "to warn her girls of her approach, a job later undertaken by her armful of jingling bangles.
posted by julen at 5:37 AM on July 18, 2014 [2 favorites]

This is a great post. Thank you.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 6:20 AM on July 18, 2014

This book was recommended in another thread. A similar lady..


Them: A Memoir of Parents [Paperback]
Francine Du Plessix Gray (Author)

I bought it but haven't yet read it.
posted by TheDukeOfChalfont at 6:26 AM on July 18, 2014

Also some of these hats are not hats FYI - Fascinator
posted by TheDukeOfChalfont at 6:33 AM on July 18, 2014

Great post. Thanks!

I keep telling myself I'm not allowed to buy anymore hats, as all they (mostly) do is sit in boxes in my closet. It would be one thing if this was still the type of society where hats could be easily worn, but its just not. Cars aren't designed for them (no headroom, obtrusive headrests), no hatracks to hold them when you have to take them off, etc.

Having said that, I finally got a chance to try one of my hatpins the other day, as I had to be outside, on the move on a hot sunny day, and I needed a way to keep my biggest, floppiest hat on my head so that I wouldn't turn into a cooked lobster. It worked brilliantly. I swear if the proper accessories were more easily available--it's pretty much impossible to purchase a hatpit at the local mall--we might start seeing a hat revival. And it wouldn't be a moment too soon.
posted by sardonyx at 7:31 AM on July 18, 2014 [2 favorites]

OMG OMG OMG must force myself to not sit and look at pictures of divine hats all day!
posted by The Underpants Monster at 8:11 AM on July 18, 2014 [1 favorite]

This post is the coolest. Though now I'm considering turning one of the circle hat models into a stack-of-pancakes hat.
posted by mixedmetaphors at 9:49 AM on July 18, 2014 [2 favorites]

Sometimes meetings were held in her bathroom, where Daché would give orders from a deep bubble bath.


This sounds like a scene from the original The Women, and it's wonderful.
posted by jetlagaddict at 9:58 AM on July 18, 2014 [1 favorite]

That first link - moviestarmakeover.com - is quite a find! Thanks again, this is all great.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 7:39 AM on July 19, 2014

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