Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of the Brooklyn Museum, 2009; Gift of Mrs. C. Phillip Miller, from the estate of Mrs. Arthur F. Schermerhorn, 1957
Not on view
One of the marks of great design is its ability to at once reflect and transcend the zeitgeist of its age. Fashion, one of the most mutable and ephemeral design fields, is replete with cultural and social references. Not surprisingly, military styling was prevalent in the World War I period. Designers at the time, however, most often chose to interpret historical models rather than current uniforms, as is apparent in the traditional tricorne form of this hat. The combination of the felt and straw and the use of asymmetry make this a handsome example, and the use of felt as both structure and ornament can be recognized as a prelude to the extraordinary felt creations that would develop in the 1920s and 30s.