|Edwardian Hat with bird and feathers|
April 2012 was the 100th Anniversary of the Titanic. The re-release of the 1997 blockbuster movie "Titanic", staring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, found a whole new audience. I know I watched it again just to see review the costumes. I remember reading on the VintageTextiles.com website that when this film was being made they had purchased so many original vintage Edwardian gowns, that there was a scarcity of them for two or threes years afterwards. It was further noted that most of those original gowns were destroyed in the filming - Such a sad loss! So, with the thought of "Jack!" and "Rose!" ringing in my head, this is my third and final installment on a few of the hats I created for the 2012 Titanic Anniversary events.
|Training Amherst feathers to bend properly|
For this hat I started with a basic wide brimmed gold straw hat with a wired rim. I needed a stiff hat as I knew it was going to be holding a lot of various decorations. (Unfortunately, I did not snap a lot of photos as I was making it.) Next, I cut the crown off as it was the wrong shape. I selected a very tall and flat crowned ivory straw toque hat and hand sewed it to the body of the original hat. I knew I was going to incorporate a bird into this hat, and I needed height to give the bird body some angle. Once the hat shaping was finished, it was time to move onto decorations. I had some wonderful vintage Swiss dot netting that I gathered and tacked onto the underside of the brim. In my research, many of the Edwardian era hats had a "black" underside, so I decided to incorporate that idea into my design for this hat. (note: I had found an incredible embroidered black silk Edwardian belt from a lady in England and that was another reason I went with the black netting to further pull in this color) I then selected a sheer ivory striped chiffon to add some softness and fullness to the top of the hat, and to give the decorations a base of sorts to sit on. I had found a supplier in LA that had 45" Lady Amherst feathers, and I was happy to purchase three of these for this hat. I also used four or five ivory colored ostrich feathers, all hand curled, around the crown of the hat. The bird body is plastic and was the most difficult piece to attach to the hat base. I added in several silk and velvet flowers in gold and ivory, and finished off with light wisps of ivory and black horsehair.