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Couture 1927-1933 ElsaSchiaparelliSigned Paris FurFeltSilk Grey AntiqueClocheHat

About the Item

While sleek cloche hats were the rage in Art-Deco "flapper" fashion, this antique fur felt hat was designed by Parisian couturier Elsa Schiaparelli and hand-crafted by an Irish milliner who stamped its interior top. With her signature pink-on-white label "Schiaparelli Paris" and whimsical style, the silky soft grey bell-shaped hat is constructed with a swirl of pale-grey grosgrain ribbon, which winds down from top to bottom like an orange-fruit thin peel in an asymmetrical pattern with irregularly shaped exterior trim. The dense shiny felt includes compressed and matted hairs from a hare-rabbit, beaver and/or camel. Suggesting that this hat was made in the late 1920s, to make cloches more versatile by the early 1930s, designers often styled part of the brim upwards. Coinciding with the end of U.S.-law Prohibition--when alcohol-serving private-clubs no longer needed to operate in "speak-easy" secrecy since 1920-- the cloche hat that slightly disguises the wearer fell out of fashion. This is how we date this hat that was commissioned by one of the most fashionable women in the world to no later than 1933--six years after Schiaparelli (1890-1973) had introduced her Parisian couture house that initially focused on unique day-wear for which this hat is best suited. After the couturier retired by the 1950s, her brand revisited the cloche style by redesigning it to oddly fit much higher on the head. The size "22" of this cloche will fit most adult-female heads, whose diameter taken at the ears and across the forehead measures from 21-23 inches to suit sizes 6 3/4 to 7 3/8 (small to large). The hat style is meant to entirely shield the forehead to highlight the wearer's eyes so they are visible slightly below the brim, while it can reveal more of the face by sitting the hat back further on the head with an upturned back brim. The diameter above the brim taken at the bow is 25 inches. While the ribbon has faded a little over time and there is discoloration to some of its edges, the intended color-tone contrast between the fur and trim remains apparent and the materials in tack so that we would not hesitate to immediately wear it for a special event, where it would be recognized as an antique. For the buyer who does not intend to merely keep it in a protected display, the durable hat trim that is tightly-woven natural material such as silk, cotton and/or rayon can be restored to a solid color by a professional with vinegar-spray cleaning, possibly followed by hand-painted vegetable dye. Notably, the cloche hat that conforms to the head compliments shorter hair styles, which helped make the Art-Deco bob and slicked Eton-crop popular. With its fur content, this hat was worn during cool weather. For special events, women often added a brooch to the front or a feathered stick pin to the side or back. Please see our other listing for a couture unsigned Schiaparelli-Schlumberger formal brooch, which would look spectacular on this hat.
  • Designer:
  • Brand:
  • Dimensions:
    Marked Size: 21-23 inch diameter above ears (EU)
  • Style:
    1927-1933 (Of the Period)
  • Place of Origin:
  • Period:
  • Condition:
    Wear consistent with age and use.
  • Seller Location:
    Chicago, IL
  • Reference Number:
    1stDibs: LU3244221342062
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