April 10, 2015

Hat Histories: Lilly Daché

You guys are aware by now that I love a good accessory, be it a scarf, a hat, jewelry, or shoes! I have already done a series of posts on hair combs and hair comb designers, and now I am moving onto hats! We begin today by admiring the work of designer Lilly Daché. 

Born in France, young Lilly Daché apprenticed under famous milliners Caroline Reboux and Suzanne Talbot in Paris before moving to the US. In New York she first found work in Macy's millinery department, then in a stand alone millinery shop. She saved her pennies and ended up buying out the store with another co-worker. Finally her own boss, she started making even more fabulous hats and became famous for her turban styles. She went onto become the most successful and famous milliner in the US, designing for the average women as well as many fabulous film stars! 

Daché, who had married Jean Despres an executive at Coty in 1931, retired and closed up her shop in 1968. By then hats were declining in popularity and Daché was seventy years old! Today she is remembered for her savvy business acumen as well as her beautiful hats!

1937, Straw, FIT
1945, Wool felt, foil wrapped yarn, silk net, LACMA
I am always falling for anything with gold bullion embroidery, I have actually tried doing embroidery like this once, perhaps I'll make you guys a tutorial sometime :)
1940's, wool, plastic, glass, MET
1931, silk velvet, paste stones, LACMA
1940's, Straw, silk, MET
1960, Silk, MET
These colors together are divine! 
A crazy camel cigarette add with Lilly Dache! Just goes to show how much of a celebrity she was, and also how crazy acceptable/encouraged smoking once was!
Worried hats would go out of fashion, Dache also created hair nets and snoods!
1943, MET
1948, straw, silk, feather, MET
Lily Dache hat & Verdura jewels, 1950 - photo by Erwin Blumenfeld
What an ensemble right? Rich red and a gorgeous shining clip hat, to-die-for!
1950, wool, silk, MET
1944, straw net, velvet ribbon, cotton, LACMA
This one is a favorite of mine, I just love crescent shaped clip hats and silk flowers, so together I get major hat envy!
1948, silk, straw, net, LACMA
I really like this tilt-tastic style, I want one! 
 I would love to own so many of these hats! If only there were still millinery counters and hat shops out there still today! Not only would I love shopping at such places, I would probably work there! My meager millinery skills cannot hold a candle to Lilly Dache, but I would love to learn more millinery skills. I need to move to the UK where people still wear hats, here in America the practice has all but completely died out. One day you guys!


  1. Thank you for introducing me to this wonderful milliner! I hadn't heard of her. That first photo is really something isn't it?


    1. I am glad to have brought her to everyone's attention :) It is a really stunning photo, great colors!

  2. Thank you for sharing these wonderful Lilly Dache hats. Every design is unique that they would be so much fun to wear too.

    1. I certainly would love to wear them, if only hats were not a dying accessory! (and millinery a not a dying art)

  3. These are really beautiful, it is very hard to choose a favourite but I am pretty taken by all the floral ones.

    1. I quite agree Kate, I love a good floral hat!


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