The Story Behind the Art- The Cloche Hat

The past few weeks I've been a busy bee working hard on a series to launch mid-October. The inspiration for the series entitled, 100 Years of Fashion, started with a 10x10 collage I did entitled Hat Lady #1. I showed and sold her at our local farmer's market, and boy did she get a lot of attention. Even little children would come up to my booth and say, "This one is my favorite!" There was something captivating about her. I believe it was all about the headgear. 

Hat Lady #1


Here's a little history about her iconic hat...


The bell-shaped hat was designed by French milliner, Caroline Reboux in 1908. It was called a cloche hat; Cloche means "bell" in French. The hats were typically made of felt, sisal or straw and worn plain to show off the sleek, conforming shape of the hat. The cloche hat was such a necessary assessory that hairstyles, such as the Eton Crop-those short, slick cuts of the 1920's were influenced by the hat.

The hey-day of the Cloche was throughout the 1920's and 30's. It began to evolve over time from the sleek to the embellished. Influenced by the Art Deco period, appliqués, beads, ribbons, even feathers were added. The cloche was worn low over the eyebrows creating that mysterious allure. 

The cloche continued popular during the 1930's but fell out of fashion during the 40's, and then saw a resurgence during the 1960's and then again in 2008 with Dior designing his own inspired collection of cloche hats. 


Twiggy in 1960's cloche hat.              Dior 2008 Cloche hat


Which proves that fashion always comes full circle. 

As part of my collection, I created another, larger collage of Hat Lady #1. I'm not quite sure when I will reveal her yet. I'm thinking I'll wait until I'm a bit further on with the series. Stay tuned! And as always, thanks for reading! 

Would you like to see fashion hats make a comeback?