When it comes to history of hats in UK, it dates back to centuries ago, including bowlers, boaters, flat caps, fascinators, etc. I will trace the love story about the nation and history of hats. There is no doubt that Britain is a nation of hat wearers. Starting from battered top hat of Artful Dodger to Winston homburg of Winston Churchill, one could know about more detailed information through hats on some luminaries.
Traditional hats are loaded items in history, because they play the role of totems, which reveal class, gender, occupation and other stations. Even some rituals have signature effects; in a long time, hats have been connected to rituals and practices dating back to mists to time. Every Royal Wedding places British millinery to spotlight. It’s time to retrospect Britain’s heritage through headpieces.
Dating back to medieval England, humble flat caps were subjects of Tudor sumptuary laws. For the purpose of promoting thrives of wool trade, a law regulated that all males over six years old shall wear wool hats on Sundays and holidays. Otherwise, there will be a fine. In the 19th and 20th century, the flat cap turned to the main accessories popular in working class.
When you ask any Britain person about the most coherent symbol, the answer may be the bowler. When it refers to the start of the tradition, it was born in the era of Victorian. Since Lock and Co topped fitting hats in 1676, the bowler has become the brainchild of him. In a cornucopia of millinery apparatus and artefacts, you will discover some instruments for measuring and drawing heads. In 1894, Thomas and William Bowler were commissioned by Lock and Co to create a kind of hat for a Norfolk farmer. Considering gamekeepers’ riding around country estates, they need to create a suitable hat, featuring both practicality and fashion.
Such hats could be regarded as symbols of some famous characters, such as John Steed and Liza Minnelli; but no one could impress people than Charlie Chaplin. You may also remind the Little Tramp, a signature person of silent comedy. He has a hobby to collect various accessories. Sally Pointer, an archaeologist and heritage interpreter, paid many attentions to reconstruct and create vintage hats.
When asked her preference in headpieces, she threw an answer beyond of expectations — the deerstalker. When it refers to Sherlock Holmes, some may imagine his hat, but no one will mention his deerstalker in any works. As a critical element in the Victorian ensemble of gentlemen, deerstalker often emerges in occasions in country estates rather than in a city. It’s certainly that it will not emerge in daily life of Holmes.
In the Edwardian era, milliners experienced golden age. Ornamentation turned to be elaborate, featuring flowers, laces, ribbons, bows, feathers and artificial fruits from time to time. Such ornamentation grace heads with opulent style and eye-catching consumption. Certainly, hatpins are inevitable in any occasion of headpieces. Hats were must haves in the era of Edward.
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