Vintage mid- to late 1950s trio of trellis-style half hats featuring silk flowers, silk or velvet leaves, and/or flowerbuds on airy, openwork bases of green chenille-wrapped wire adds up to a veritable wardrobe of spring accent chapeaux.
Hat labelled “Amy New York” features pink zinnias made of curled silk petals, with green oak leaves underneath them and a deep mauve velvet bow in back.The zigzagging shape of the wired “trellis”, at the sides and in back, reflects the vogue for “cracked egg” hat silhouettes at the time. The “Amy” line of hats was introduced in 1956 by milliner Florence Nelkin, who was targeting a younger customer with limited budget but on trend tastes. The hat measures 6.5” front to back and 10” side to side, taken under the hat. Very good condition, with the original (torn) netted veil removed.
The “Richard Original” hat stretches green net over the open crown of its chenille-wrapped wire oval, then tops that with layered butter-gold velvet leaves that seem to form a fringed halo about the head. A green velvet bow accents the back of the hat. Kurt Richard was the milliner behind the “Richard Original” label; in the 1940s his designs were labelled “Kurt Richard Original” and advertised alongside major names like John Frederics, Marion Valle, and Sally Milgrim. This pretty half hat measures 6” front to back and 9” side to side, taken underneath the hat. Excellent condition.
The unlabelled third hat has an open crown and triple zigzag sides which perform the same function as the V-shaped wired hat clamps of the period. It is bedecked in pretty blue silk leaves and dangling clusters of amber yellow velvet buds or berries. It measures 6” front to back and 9” side to side, taken under the hat. Though it likely had some form of veil or netting at one point, it is otherwise in excellent condition and still forms a lovely, wreath-like accessory.
Trellis hats came into vogue in the middle of the decade. As one 1955 article put it, “Enchanting trellis hats suggest a new, new way to look your prettiest! The fashion emphasis is on complete femininity... in delicate appearing silhouettes that rest ever so lightly on your coif. Tiny hat shapes are formed by entwining tiny twists that look like flower stems...given an important look by clusters of pretend fruit or blossoms... " The style evolved, in the early 1960s into veiled bow-headband hats and decorated, unstructured net “whimsies”.
Photo #7 shows trellis hats from 1955 and 1958; example on the right is by Amy NY.
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