As can be imagined, our friends in the Margaret Hunter millinery shop are busy preparing for a talk for the conference, and choosing which of their hats and caps to include as examples.
These are all replicas, hand-cut and hand-sewn as they would have been in the 18th c., and based on caps from 18th c. prints and paintings. Relatively few hats and caps from this period survive in historic dress collections today; their very insubstantial charm made them too fragile for a long life.
Nearly all 18th c. European and American women covered their hair during the day, but while the original intention was based on modesty and neatness, and you can see many of the caps became flirtatious and frothy. And what an elegant way to mask a bad hair day! (As always, click on the images to enlarge.) Many thanks to Nicole Rudolph and Abby Cox for being my models.
Top left: Hats in the style of the 1770s-1780s, on display in the millinery shop, ready to tempt customers. Top right: Demonstrating to a potential customer how best to wear a hat of c. 1780 - slanted winsomely forward over the face. Silk gauze and ribbons over a straw base. Bottom left: For the lady who wishes to play at being a milkmaid, a plain kerchief tied over a ruffled and be-ribboned cap. Bottom right: Ready to flutter: a cap of silk gauze, silk crepe, pleated ruffles, and lace.
There’s a big difference in how we use history. But we’re equally nuts about it. To us, the everyday details of life in the past are things to talk about, ponder, make fun of -- much in the way normal people talk about their favorite reality show.
We talk about who’s wearing what and who’s sleeping with whom. We try to sort out rumor or myth from fact. We thought there must be at least three other people out there who think history’s fascinating and fun, too. This blog is for them.