Photographs & text copyright 2011 by J. Henri
From the design house of Milgrim that was opened in New York City during the mid-twenties, Sally Milgrim was known for her beautiful flowing designs in clothing, millinery and even shoes. Milgrim designs are found in important and historic fine textile, clothing and costume collections throughout the world and are included within the prestigious Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.
This magnificent ca.1928-1930 couture hat is fascinating. It is incredibly rare to find a hat from this era in this particular style that is also one of the earliest examples of an Art Deco millinery with French grosgrain ribbon facing.
Grosgrain ribbon facings were first introduced into hat designs immediately following the most deeply crowned cloche styles according to books and fashion articles from these years. This first began with the skullcaps that were so very fashionable for eveningwear. This is a rare and elaborate version of an Art Deco skullcap.
This entirely original couture hat is designed with a silhouette that fits tightly across the head just as the typical evening skullcaps did. These evening hats were sheer elegance and often made to match spangle covered dresses, which were heavily embroidered and beaded, during the end of the Roaring Twenties. However, this Milgrim design (from the earliest years of Sally Milgrim's long career) is designed to extend down to one side of the head. This is not a beret, but an extended skullcap pattern.
The drooping side was created as a kind of canvas for the artistic embroidered, beaded and paste rhinestone encrusted motif: a glamorous, sparkling tulip.
This motif was made from well over 100 individually mounted, fine paste rhinestones in multiple sizes, garnished with fine silver threaded embroidery and glass bugle beads. The master workmanship is absolutely the finest.
The multi-faceted, finding mounted rhinestone tulip motif is constructed in such a way that the actual petals of the flower are dimensional, similar to architectural bas-relief design.
The tulip is extraordinary and simply breathtaking. Entirely embroidered by hand...certainly a few days of expert millinery handwork went into the making of this hat, and especially with the extraordinary rhinestone beading alone.
The foundation is made from silk satin and is entirely hand stitched. Multiple rows of decorative black topstitching flow in curved double seamed lines across the top and around the sides. To the back, this ends with a circle. These lines accentuate this fashionable Art Deco era kidney bean shape. Reference books mention this style silhouette used exactly between these years ca. 1928-1930.
The overall sleek design lines created within this millinery design truly makes his hat is a fine piece of contemporary art from the height of the Art Deco era.
An exclusive hat from the house of Milgrim, this would have been a most expensive hat in its day and worn by a woman well familiar with being dressed by the finest New York couturieres...indeed, one can only begin to imagine what luxurious dress ensemble this hat accessorized. The hat is in vintage mint condition and will be greatly appreciated by discerning collectors.
Highly wearable, the hat is absolutely glorious. It may be worn in one two ways, either with the tulip to the side, with the stem pointing to the edge of the eye, or with the tulip directly to the front of the hat.
This magnificent couture hat measures approximately 21.5 inches or 54.5 cm. The early Sally Milgrim label is intact and original to the hat. It states simply "Milgrim" and then "Original" and "New York." It is highly wearable and is quite gorgeous indeed!
The wonderful 1920s vintage silver sequin collar...as pictured on the model...is being sold separately. Please do look at The Gilded Griffin's listings for more information! Thank you!
**This beautiful ca. 1928-1930 Art Deco couture hat is in vintage mint condition and appears to have never been worn. It is absolutely clean. There are no make-up smudges nor defects typically found from wear or improper storage. There are neither stains nor unpleasant storage odors. This item is utterly pristine. There are no moth nips or any other damage. This exquisite collar comes from a professional collection, in a strictly non-smoking environment.
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Item ID: MILGRIM06072012
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