Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Hat Histories: Sally Victor

1937, MET
Today it's time to look at another millinary master, Sally Victor. Born in Pennsylvania in 1905, she worked at Macy's millinery counter in New York city durring the 1920's before striking out on her own. Sound familiar? Apparently Macy's was the place to start for milliners! The Metropolitan Museum of Art says: 

"She was one of the original members of the Edward C. Blum Design Laboratory, and often used the Brooklyn Museum's varied collections to draw inspiration for her designs. She was so connected with the Design Lab that she participated in several collaborative exhibitions and the museum often used her designs in publicity materials to exemplify how the Lab could benefit designers by providing inspiration. Her work is characterized by a special quirkiness that could often be traced back to interesting sources such as Native American tribes, the artist Henri Matisse or Japanese armor. She also combined traditional hat-making materials such as felt and silk with new synthetic materials in unique ways. According to her May 16, 1977 obituary in the "New York Times," Victor described her mission simply as "designing pretty hats that make women look prettier." 

The Edward C. Blum Design Laboratory was incorporated into FIT in 1973, it seems the lab was part of the museums program to provide access to its collection to students and designers. It sounds like something I would be very interested in were I living in New York in the 40's! 

Anyways, Sally Victor was one of the foremost milliners during the last heyday of hats from the late twenties to the early 1970's. I think her use of color and the "quirkiness" the MET described make for some timelessly wonderful hats, so lets take a look...

Sally Victor at work
1935, MET
I adore this hat, I simply adore it! The semi sheer lightweight straw, with the most diaphanous netting with black dots and a cluster of ivory silk flowers add up to one gorgeous hat. In my dreams, I find hats like this for a fiver in some unknown thrift shop...

1938, MET
This Sally Victor hat has been an inspiration of mine since my first forays into millinery. Just look at the shape! I assume this was blocked, but I can't really say how the thicker flat weave straw was wrangled into the spiraling form! A quirky classic, wear it with anything and everything!

1938, MET
Here is an example where you can start to see what I mean about Victor's use of color. The dark olive green base with the jewel toned feathers and the lighter olive veiling together are delightful. I would wear this in a heartbeat!

1933, MET
This cornucopia looking hat again makes great use of color! The little yarn fruits! So adorable, another hat I'd love to wear.

1940, MET
Just a great shape, imagine this with a great suit!

1953, MET
A great little 50's example. You guys know I am obsessed with straw hats right now, and this coral embellished number is perfect for summer! Notice too how the underlining is aqua blue!




1956, MET
Another larger brimmed hat rendered ultra feminine through the use of transparency. Just stunning, and the cabbage roses in ivory silk! 

1944, MET
I would never think to pair a big pink flower with this more traditional colored plaid, but my does it work! So cute!

1944, MET
A great button shape made extra fun by the addition of very natural looking feathers. 

1935, MET
Lets be honest guys, I want all of these hats, but this is one that really appeals to me. There is something I love about light colored straw with the dark veiling. This hat is my idea of perfection.

1942, MET
More great colors! Such beautiful silk flowers, I wish it were easier/less cost prohibitive to get a hold of great dead stock millinery flowers these days.

1941, MET
Lightest dove grey blue, warm yellow roses, ivory ostrich feathers and olive green veiling...so beautiful! 

1942, LACMA
Novelty prints, bright colors, and a frothy pom pom of ribbons, what more can a girl ask for?

1942, MET
Another great straw hat, I just love the straw examples!

1942, LACMA
More great colors, and a striped fabric! So fun!

Compiling this post, now I am feeling very inspired! I need to get hatting and make some fun toppers to wear this summer!

6 comments:

  1. Awesome post and look at one of the true greats of early to mid-century millinery work. All of these hats are magnificent, but there's something about the autumn cornucopia one that speaks to me most deeply (no doubt because I adore fall time and its resplendent colour palette so much). Love, love, love this post, dear gal!!!

    ♥ Jessica

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    1. Thanks Jessica! Hats are just inherently fun arn't they? I always love fall colors too, I need more fall hats for next year!

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  2. I am really enjoying this series. There are some truely marvellous hats here but my favourite is the green 1930's one with the feathers. I just love all those colours.

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    1. Thanks Kate! I'm glad you like this series, as I really enjoy finding fun hats to share!

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  3. Gorgeous hats! I am so smitten with all of the straw examples that if I could, I'd have each one in my wardrobe, but that first one *sigh*... It's definitely a hat of dreams! ❤

    xox,
    bonita of Lavender & Twill

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    1. So am I, I am a straw hat addict right now! I can't get enough of them!

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