Vintage Hat Friday

Greetings fellow hat lovers,

Today’s entry is in response to last Friday’s post, where I featured a glorious hat by Laddie Northridge. A member of the Mad Hatters Society on Facebook shared a photo of her Laddie hat, a black version of today’s hat, although it looks as if hers has a larger crown. Today’s featured hat does not have a label inside so I don’t know who designed it.

The hat featured below is so unique! I wonder where the original owner wore it. And I’d love to have seen her entire outfit. It’s clearly a high-quality hat; the base is a beautiful beaver fur felt with a lovely sheen that’s surrounded by many hand-curled burnt ostrich feathers that were sewn on by hand, along with the narrow satin band and bow. If you’ve never tried sewing feathers to a hat, let me tell you it’s a challenge – they definitely have a mind of their own. All I can say is Wow!

???????????????????????????????

??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

From the back

From the back

Vintage Hat Friday

Hello Hat Enthusiasts,

Today’s hat is all about spring! It’s an amazing hat by designer Laddie Northridge, a well-known milliner who created his masterpieces at a shop in New York City in the 1950s. This pretty hat begins with six concentric circles of wire that are held together with wire “spokes.” Every bit of the wire is then wound with one-inch wide strips of tulle. (This step alone takes hours to complete – trust me I have done it!) The tulle serves two purposes: one is to cover the wire, especially the places where the wire is joined, and the second is to provide a texture/surface to which things may be sewn, such as flowers or fabric.

Laddie Northridge

Laddie Northridge

Next, each wire – both on the top of the hat and the bottom – is covered with tiny sprigs of lily-of-the-valley. In the photo below, you can see that each sprig is sewn on by hand.

Laddie Northridge Label

Laddie Northridge Label

A simple green velvet ribbon and bow adorn the hat. Seriously, this hat must have taken  weeks of work to construct. I am in awe of the workmanship in this fine piece. As a special bonus, look closely at the photo below and notice the two tiny hat pins in the center back – they are covered with the same green tulle used in the hat and are designed to look like tassels. So cute!

Laddie Northridge Hat Back

Laddie Northridge Hat Back

Here’s a photo of the vintage lace wire foundation hat that I made; it’s a much simpler design but it took hours and hours of work:

Paula's wire foundation hat

Paula’s wire foundation hat

It’s available in my Etsy store: www.etsy.com/shop/WhatAGreatHat

For more interesting tidbits on Laddie Northridge, check out:

http://froufrou4youyou.wordpress.com/2010/02/08/laddie-northridge/