Friday, April 24, 2009

Róisín Murphy at the V&A Opening of 'Hats: An Anthology by Stephen Jones'

Once again my love for fantastic music and fashion have collided with the Victoria and Albert Museum's recent exhibit "Hats: An Anthology by Stephen Jones"—the V&A website features videos of various personages at the event including the one and only Róisín Murphy. I'm a big fan of her music (both solo and with the now-defunct Moloko) as well as her eccentric sense of style—you'll remember I wrote about her cover of Bryan Ferry's "Slave To Love" and the costumes in her live show last month. Unfortunately she is not wearing a hat in her appearance, but does claim she made an effort to create a sense of one with her hair.

And of course it wouldn't be a fabulous hat-themed event without an appearance by famed milliner Philip Treacy.

Róisín asks a good question: "Why do people not wear more hats? It finishes an outfit off." Hats aren't as widely worn today as they were in the 1950s and before—if you watch old movies as much as I do, especially those from the Classical Hollywood era of the late 1920s to the late 1950s, you'll notice men are rarely seen without a topper and women frequently don a variety of fantastic hats. The covering of ones head was a proper sartorial rule back then. And who doesn't have a strange love of ladies' miniature hats, placed at a jaunty angle, from the late 1930s and early '40s? See the 1940 film "His Girl Friday" for a fantastic one worn by Rosalind Russell.

Whether for fashion or protection from the elements, hats are making a definite comeback, for both men and women. I myself own quite a few in a variety of fabrics to suit every season. This summer I'll be wearing a wide brimmed tan and gold straw sunhat and a beige straw fedora, both by Joe Fresh Style. I only wish someone could do something to solve the oft-lamented problem of hat-hair...

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