Clearly I didn’t spend enough time playing dress up as a child. How else do you explain my fascination with all manner of wonderful adornments?
Yesterday the always delightful Jo Anna Rothman noted in her Daily Gift post that it was Mad Hatter day. While the stated function of the day is to celebrate the silly, I honed right in on the chapeau part. Millinery may not be part of my skill set, but it is part of my bloodline – my mother was a milliner at one time. Luckily the mercury poisoning that caused “hatters” to become mad isn’t an occupational hazard anymore. All the more reason in my opinion for hats, more hats, and even more hats.
Aren’t these Erratica Hats by Jean Hicks wonderful? (The images rotate so be a bit patient). It’s clear to me that every single circumstance in life would be improved exponentially with the wearing of one of these creations.
But if you feel the need to have a special event to wear a hat, consider that St. Catherine’s Day Fete is celebrated on November 25th. This festival has been celebrated (originally in France) since the 14th century. With Catherine of Alexandria considered the patron saint of hatmaters (and originally all young girls), this day is traditionally considered a celebration for unmarried women, under the age of 25. The original premise of the custom is somewhat appalling from this side of the timeline. Unmarried women would pray for husbands on St. Catherine’s Day, and the day was also to honor and pray for those who’d reached the age of 25 but hadn’t married. Those women were called Catherinettes, and St. Catherine was asked to intercede in finding husbands so spinsterhood could be avoided. Eventually the custom grew to these Catherinettes attending a ball on St. Catherine’s Day bedecked in specially designed hats for the occasion. And nowadays milliner groups often celebrate the day with shows and “walks of the Catherinettes” which are fashion shows of fabulous hats.
Of course what constitutes glorious head adornment depends on one’s culture and society as well as personal taste. And I have to say the Omo people, from the borders of Ethiopia, Kenya, and Sudan, win hands-down as my favorite inspiration. I literally swoon when I look at the photographs done by Hans Silvester. Do, do, do take a look at this video and see if you don’t swoon as well.
Beauty indeed surrounds us. And I’m feeling the urge to put something on my head.