Thursday, January 29, 2015

The Stars from Monolithic Studios Choose Their Favorite Hat

Gene Marshall
Miss Marshall updates a favorite suit with a fabulous leopard-trimmed, off-the-face, scoop-brimmed hat with matching gloves. Circa 1940's. "First Stop, Chicago" costume is from Ashton Drake.

Madra Lord
Miss Lord goes for drama in a late 1930's fur-trimmed, wool felt topper. Fur stole from miniature furrier PD Root.

Violet Waters
Resident jazz singer Miss Violet Waters, chooses a delightful halo hat, matching plastron, and coordinating gauntlet gloves to pair with separates from Ashton Drake. Circa 1940's.

Ivy Jordan
Director Ivy Jordan looks smart in a suede topper inspired by the wonderful fez-style hats of the late 1930's. Navy tweed jacket from Ashton Drake, skirt from Madame Alexander.

Zita Charles
Miss Charles wears a marvelous feathered toque to complement "Le Petite Ensemble Noir" suit from Robert Tonner's Theatre de la Mode collection. Circa mid-1940's. Blouse from Ashton Drake.


OOAK hats are from The Couture Touch.
Gene Marshall and Violet Waters (enhanced with an Integrity articulated body) are from Ashton Drake.
Madra Lord is from JamieShow.
Ivy Jordan and Zita Charles are from Integrity.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Bes-Ben Hats

One of the most creative milliners of all time was Benjamin B. Green-Field, a Chicago born and raised businessman who in 1919 along with his sister Bessie, created the famous label: Bes-Ben. Their colorful, whimsical, yet elegant hats adorned Hollywood celebrities and Chicago Society ladies alike.

In the early 1940's "Chicago's Mad Hatter" began to incorporate unusual items into his hats including animals, bugs, fruit, and even doll furniture. The following photographs are just a small sample of his body of work.

Sea Horses courtesy

Dogs on a Spiral Hat courtesy

Photo courtesy

Rooster Crown Hat with Veil courtesy

Doll Furniture Hat courtesy Lallu Chic on Pinterest

The Couture Touch salutes Bes-Ben with this whimsical concoction based on the milliner's famous decorated spiral hats. A vintage berry topper from The Hat Bar of Marshall Field's & Company was used to create this delightful chapeau for Integrity's Cocoa Crisp Gene Marshall. Top and necklace are from Ashton Drake.

The inspiration for Miss Marshall's hat.

Links of Interest:

"Hats Off to Bes-Ben"   Chicago Tribune article written by Sharon Stangenes, December 21, 1988.

Benjamin B. Green-Field Foundation   Includes biography and more photos of Bes-Ben hats.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

A Dame in a Red Hat

Miss Gene Marshall

I love the color red partnered with a leopard print. Monolithic Studios' diva Miss Gene Marshall loves red too! Here she poses for a publicity shot in an off-the-face, scoop-brimmed hat by The Couture Touch. A marvelous leopard plastron from D.A.E. Originals is layered over the black knit top from Ashton Drake's "A Lady Knows" costume. Miss Marshall's hair and jewelry are from The Couture Touch.

"Fashion Plot" Gene Marshall is from Ashton Drake.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Millinery Retailing Ideas, 1940

Displaying Photos of Hollywood Stars in Hats


The October 1940 edition of The Millinery Monitor, a trade publication devoted to the millinery retail industry, offered a variety of ideas for store promotions. Glossy 8" X 10" photographs of motion picture actresses wearing timely new hats were available without charge at the publicity offices of most large movie companies. The photographs were not to be used in advertising, but most companies had no objection to their use in display. The store would simply tell the publicity people how they planned to use them.

Photo courtesy Rochester Public Library

This Sibley Department Store window from 1941 shows the effective use of photographs along with their whimsical display of hats.

Here are a few of my favorite Hollywood Stars showing off their fabulous hats. And who knows, their photograph just might have appeared in a department store or millinery shop display. 

Deanna Durbin courtesy Mandy Gould on Pinterest

Dorothy Lamour courtesy Linda Rubin on Pinterest

Linda Darnell courtesy Jessica Grayson on Pinterest

Lucille Ball courtesy Alice Anthony on Pinterest

Joan Crawford courtesy Diary of a Mad Fashionista

The Millinery Monitor was published monthly by Seymour Mittelmark, New York City, NY.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

A Tip of the Hat to The New Year!

More than any other article of clothing, the hat has the unique ability to completely change the appearance of the wearer. It's the perfect accessory to polish off a suit or daytime dress. A well-appointed hat gives a finished look to any ensemble. History has shown us that headgear has long been regarded as a symbol of rank, authority, or position: The fancy feathered headdress of a native American chief....the distinctive hats of a cardinal or bishop....the spectacular jeweled crown of a queen. And nothing uplifts the soul better than a glorious new hat!

Welcome to a new destination dedicated to my love of hats. Here you will find vintage photos, illustrations, advertisements, and articles on mid-20th century hats. And if you love to craft, a few DIY projects along the way, perfect for those demanding Hollywood miniature divas from Monolithic Studios.