Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Hat

Designer:
Elsa Schiaparelli (Italian, 1890–1973)
Date:
summer 1940
Culture:
French
Medium:
straw, silk
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:
2009.300.1873
Not on view
Schiaparelli's hats often have the ability to elicit a double-take, partly because one is never quite sure what material she has used. She enjoyed scouting out unusual textiles for use in both her garments and accessories. Here, she uses a straw that is so finely woven that it looks more like fabric. The skillful manipulation of the straw and the placement of the bow creates an overall asymmetric silhouette that while seemingly simple, is rather sculptural and chic. Schiaparelli designed this hat for her summer 1940 collection. Germany occupied Paris on June 14, so although the period was devastating for Parisians, couture collections were still being produced. The French, and Schiaparelli's American clients, such as the original owner of this hat Millicent Rogers, considered it their patriotic duty to support the couture industry despite the horrible reality of the war.
Marking: Label: "Schiaparelli/21.place vendôme/Paris/Été 1940"
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