Often well known designers such as Jacques Fath would license their original Haute Couture creations to be reproduced by high end store's millinery departments, thus introducing French Couture designs to the American wholesale market. This is the case with this darling mauve imported velour hat from that fabulous decade of the 1940's! Hats which bear the label of Jacque Fath are often displayed in museum collections......in fact, several can be found in the millinery collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and one of those 1940's hats has the same label as this one. Their collection can be viewed online and it's very informative and interesting if you are fascinated with fashions of the past. This is a typically small hat from the 1940's, which fits somewhat close to the head and there is a wired brim which is rolled ever so slightly on the right side of the hat. There is a wired detail strip of velour which runs from the left side over the top of front brim and curves upward on the right side of the hat and disappears under a large variegated rose. The soft silk petals of the flower are complimented with several velvet petals and there is a sculpted center which gives more stability to the blossom. Two original hatpins, which have mauve grosgrain ribbon end details, secure a strip of dotted veil across the front of the hat just under the velour strip. On the top of the slightly pointed crown, just in back of the lovely silk rose, are four stiffened green fabric leaves. The inside of the hat is unlined and there is a mauve grosgrain ribbon inner hatband which is hand stitched into the hat. Even the grosgrain end caps on the hatpins are hand stitched. A totally charming and dainty hat!
Just a brief word about the designer, Jacques Fath, for those who may not be familiar with him. He was born in 1912 into a creative family and was a self taught designer who opened his first two room design house in Paris in 1937. His design house quickly became one of the most popular in Paris. Remarkably, his operations managed to remain open throughout most of WWII and during the war he served as a gunner, second class, in the French Army and was later decorated. After the war his business grew rapidly, but Jacque tragically died of Leukemia in 1954. His wife, Genevieve, who was a former model and once a secretary to Coco Chanel, kept the design house open until 1957. Jacque Fath designed for many famous people including, Rita Hayworth, for whom he designed a wedding dress for her marriage to Prince Aly Khan.
Condition: Very Good
I'm using the "Very Good" criteria for this hat because for it's age, it is in very good condition, but it does have some condition issues. Over time, some of the delicate and fine silk rose petals have acquired some small holes....these holes do not show up well in the photos, nor when the hat is being displayed or worn, for that matter. One petal has a small darkened area which is conveniently under a fold of a petal and therefore, again, is not extremely noticeable. The mauve velour is, for the most part, still true to color, but does show some slight fading around the wired brim in a few places. There are several moth bites in the velour, too, which do not show up well in the photos. These are mainly along the brim area of the hat and the worst of which is under the left side front brim. One of the leaves has had an old repair.....instead of re-gluing the wire which runs on the center underside of the leaf, someone has actually sewn it with black thread instead of re-gluing it. I believe this could be set back to it's original condition with very little effort. There is a small darkened spot on the strip of velour that runs across the front of the hat....this might be seen in one of the photos, but, again is very faint. The final thing to note is a spot on the velour in the crown area.....here the velour looks as if something has dropped on it and you can even feel a little something by running your fingernail lightly over the spot. The velour is missing on this spot and it can be seen. The inner hat is very clean, as well as the inner hatband is not soiled. With all that said, the hat is still a wonderful find for the collector of Jacques Fath hats.
Label: Reproduction of Original Jacques Fath, Paris
And, in the crown of the hat is stamped in green ink: Genuine Imported Velours
Size: Size Label is not present.
Height of Crown: 6 ½"
Total Circumference of Outer Brim: 29 ½"
Diameter of Rose: Approximately 5"
Circumference of Inner Grosgrain Hatband: 21"
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