Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Hat

Designer:
Elsa Schiaparelli (Italian, 1890–1973)
Date:
fall 1939
Culture:
French
Medium:
silk, straw, horsehair
Credit Line:
Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of the Brooklyn Museum, 2009; Gift of Arturo and Paul Peralta-Ramos, 1955
Accession Number:
2009.300.1232
Not on view
Schiaparelli often took traditional materials and forms and added her own chic twists. Here, she executes the sailor form in horsehair, traditionally a stiffener not seen on the outside of the garment or accessory and unusual straw net, creating sharp, stylish chapeaux. The sailor hat, a traditional form first worn by women in the 19th century, is uncharacteristically decorated with flowers. Schiaparelli uses realistic-looking irises rather than the typical roses. The fleur-de-lis, a symbol of France, is widely thought to be a stylized iris, and as World War II approached France, perhaps this design was a show of Schiaparelli's support for her adopted nation.
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