Vintage 1960s Breton-style straw hat from renowned milliner Jack McConnell features a mod, oversized shape. It is exquisitely woven into an all-over lattice design, set off by a wide gold faille hatband which culminates in a curled accent combining both ribbon and straw.
The brim of the hat is edged in gold faille to match the hatband, and, while the airy latticed crown is unlined, the the gold satin headsize ribbon is beautifully finished with white lace edging.
Jack McConnell began his career making model hats for milliner Laddie Northridge, and became well known for his own custom designs in the 1950s, with intricate feathered hats his signature. McConnell, who travelled frequently throughout his career, presenting his collections in stores and acting as a commentator for fashion shows, was of the opinion that “to be right, a hat has to have the same personality as the woman who wears it”. Interestingly, he found Texans the most “adventuresome” of his clientele, while New Englanders were the “most conservative”!
McConnell’s hats are well-represented in museum collections and exhibits, and the stunning example offered here is in fact a museum deaccession, with its cloth inventory tag still attached (next to the “Styled by Jack McConnell New York” designer label). Photo #8 shows a 1963 ad for a Jack McConnell lattice woven straw breton similar to this one; it retailed for $37.95, roughly equivalent to $290 today.
Measuring 21” inner circumference, with a 12 ½” diameter and 4 ½” crown, this extraordinary hat is in excellent condition.
Proud Member of the VFG Vintage Fashion Guild