Sunday, 14 June 2020

I think today should be...

...a "Say Something" Merry Widow Hat day, don't you..?

From the Edwardian Promenade website:
The Edwardian era was home to many fads and fashions which harkened to bygone days, and the Merry Widow hat craze was no exception. The hat was just another part of the costume designed by Lucile for statuesque English theatre star Lily Elsie, who was to play the main character, Hanna Glawari, in the 1907 English adaptation of Franz Lehár’s operetta, Die lustige Witwe. The play was an immediate sensation, and its wonderful, frothy signature tune, the Merry Widow Waltz, became the craze of the Season. However, it was the hat worn by Elsie, that black, wide-brimmed, hat covered with filmy chiffon and festooned with piles of feathers, became the look for fashionable women over the next three years.

The hat, reaching such widths as eighteen inches, and topped with all kinds of trimmings (even whole stuffed birds!), was a direct descendant of the “Gainsborough” hat worn by the Duchess of Devonshire in that artist’s portrait of the famed Georgian beauty. It’s resurgence was quite timely, as the silhouette of the Edwardian lady moved away from the languid, S-curve of the early 1900s to the streamlined, athletic look of the late 18th century/early 19th century. Predictably, the increasing fashion for this hat resulted in endless jokes in popular magazines like Punch, whose issues frequently poked fun at the difficulties one could get into when wearing a Merry Widow hat or being near a lady wearing one.

The House of Lucile was the brainchild of leading British fashion designer, socialite, survivor of the Titanic disaster, fashion columnist and critic, and yesterday's birthday girl Lucy Christiana, Lady Duff-Gordon (13th June 1863 – 20th April 1935)


  1. ya gotta wonder how do you ever keep a B-I-G hat like that on your head! it DOES make a statement!

  2. Looks like my most my summer hats. Thank God for that pins.


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