Jenna and I were lucky enough to have a private tour of the ROM Costume & Textiles archives. We will share more of that visit in a future post but for now, we are proud to be able to present this exclusive sneak peek of this rare chapeau! This incredible acquisition of the ROM is part of a larger collection of rare and early hats that was just recently acquired and has been seen by no one outside of the staff until us. Seeing this hat in person literally took our breath away!
Looking like it just stepped out of a time capsule, it feels shockingly modern despite the fact that is has been dated to the 1790s! Every exquisite detail is still in near perfect condition; from the peak of the exerted high top, to the silk ribbons adorning the perfect and smart brim. It is French in origin and constructed of plaited straw trimmed with pink silk ribbon that has been folded and wound as cockade.
It seems that the whim of fashion is bring hats back in vogue yet again, and I could not help but think of the 2012-2013 Couture collections of Russian designer Ulyana Sergeenko (pictured below). Ulyana has a true love and modern devotion to the hat. She has a way of taking a historical hat silhouette and making it seem both modern and fresh.
I think Ulyana would have gone a little nutty to have been able to see this hat in person like we were able to. As much as I would love to see her take on it and her modern interpretation, I think I would find it hard to change a single detail!
For more information please visit the ROM's website: rom.on.ca.
This acquisition was made possible with the support of the Louise Hawley Stone Charitable Trust and is part of the Lillian Williams Collection, Royal Ontario Museum.