Elsa Schiaparelli (Italian, 1890–1973)
Black wool felt, feathers
4 x 10 1/2 in. (10.2 x 26.7 cm)
Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of the Brooklyn Museum, 2009; Gift of Millicent Huttleston Rogers, 1951 (2009.300.1163)
The original owner of this hat, Millicent Rogers, lived in St. Anton in the Arlberg Valley of the Austrian Tyrolean Alps before World War II. She enjoyed commissioning articles of clothing that suited the various locales where she resided. Here, in a particularly humorous gesture, Schiaparelli transformed a single gambart, the brushlike ornament that decorates traditional Tyrolean hats, into a proliferation of birds that appear to have dive-bombed into the crown of this one, epitomizing the Schiaparelli, and Rogers, wit.