Miss Dior Hat – Early 1960s

A recent shopping venture turned up the hat above, which has a nice label:  Miss Dior.  And though the label also reads Created by Christian Dior, that might be a bit misleading.

I say that because when this hat was created in the early 1960s, Christian Dior, the man, had been dead for several years.  However, the company that carried his name lived on.  The designer at Christian Dior when this hat was made was mostly likely Marc Bohan, who took over the design duties from Yves Saint Laurent in 1960.

The Miss Dior name was originally attached to a perfume, but by the early 60s it also labeled a line of ready-to-wear hats designed and sold by the House of Dior.  Dior is famed as a couture house, but they also did several lines of ready-to-wear clothing, such as Dior Boutique.   In 1967 Dior started a new line that was meant to appeal to younger customers, which they named Miss Dior.  Today the name lives on as the name of one of Dior’s perfumes, which from what I’ve read is quite unlike the original.

In the late 1950s women’s hair styles started to get bigger, to become more bouffant.  The prim little hats of the 50s were just out of place on the new hair styles.  Some women even toyed with the idea of abandoning the wearing of a hat.  The hat designers responded with hats of a design to match the new hairdos.   They were higher, and often sat on the crown of the head.  In some fashion photos of the era it is hard to tell if you are looking at a hat or at hair (or a hair piece…)

My hat is made from fur felt and it is completely undecorated.  From the front it looks like a toque, but from the side you can see that there is actually a very wide and laid back brim.  Is there a name for this style?

A closeup of the surface shows off the furriness of it.

And a final shot from the front.  I have a new camera, and was playing around with the background defocus.  Yes, I do need to practice a bit more.

Here are two similar examples from spring, 1963.  The top is from Guy Laroche, and the bottom one is Dior.

5 Comments

Filed under Collecting, Designers, Vintage Clothing

5 responses to “Miss Dior Hat – Early 1960s

  1. Christina

    This is essentially a pillbox hat. They varied in size during that period but it is the clean lines that that distinguishes it from a toque. If you look at Audrey Hepburn in the film “Charade” 1963, she wears very similar shaped hats by Givenchy. A bio in Voguepedia refers to the pillbox hats she wore in that fim.

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  2. Definitely a forerunnder of the pillbox made famous by Jacqueline Kennedy. We all wor them and the knock offs of all her dresses, suits and evening wear. No first lady had such effect on fashion.

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  3. Susan

    This is a wonderful hat! Much more flattering than the white one pictured. Does it perhaps have two little combs stitched to the inside hatband, one on each side? They were usually stitched on with thin elastic. If you wore a Jackie-style hairdo, the combs helped to keep your hat from sliding off your smooth, below-chin-length hair. The combs had to be pushed down into your hair, and then turned up, into the hat — but you could later remove your hat from your bouffant “do” without having “hat hair.” Coincidentally, I just attended a lecture by Wayne Wichern, a milliner with a collection of 800 vintage hat blocks! He said the best deep-pile felt for this kind of hat is made from rabbit hair. He has a website: waynewichernmilllinery.com

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