Airy c.1917-1919 black transparent hat features a wide, wired brim and unstructured silk net crown spangled with jet glass beads and paillettes.
In addition to the black tulle wrapping the wire frame of the brim, a circle of stiffened “crin” (or synthetic horsehair braid) in 3 graduated layers sits atop it, and the crown is composed of 2 layers as well: A tulle “lining”underneath, and the spangled net on top.
A wired silk casing with drawstring sits inside the base of the crown; such bandeaux were added to hats by milliners in the 1910s and 1920s to help them fit a wider range of headsizes. (Many thanks to Barbara Troeller of Rue de la Paix for explaining this clever adjustment).
Large, transparent hats—most typically black in color, sometimes with silk satin crowns, and sometimes transparent throughout—were enormously fashionable as dressy spring and summer hats from 1917 through 1919, when the vogue (for examples jet-spangled as here) extended into fall. Worn for more formal occasions from summer wedding receptions to restaurant dining and commencement ceremonies, they were prized for their lightweight elegance, however deceptively heavy-looking were the ribbons, flowers, ostrich feathers or spangles that trimmed them.
No maker’s label is present, but the construction is clearly professional and, as mentioned above, the inner bandeau would have been added by a milliner.
Measurements are: Inner circumference of the hat outside the bandeau 22”, circumference inside the bandeau 21”, diameter side to side 13” and front to back 12”, brim width from 1.75” to 3”, and crown depth 4.5”.
Very good to excellent condition, with one tiny fray to the edge of the mid-length crin layer (photo #8).
Proud Member of the VFG Vintage Fashion Guild