Millinery

   The word millinery is used to describe women's hats. A person who makes women's hats is known as a milliner; the term hat-maker refers to a person who makes men's hats. The derivation of the word comes from sixteenth-century Italy: merchants traveling from Milan who sold their fashion wares were known as "Millaners." In France, Rose Bertin (1744-1813), the designer to Marie Antoinette, was known as "Marchande de Mode" or "modiste." Bertin created perhaps the most extravagant hats; in fact, one of her "poufs" actually featured a ship in full sail. Millinery thrived especially in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. No outfit was complete without the proper hat and France, with its prolific "modistes," took center stage up until the 1960s. Names such as Madame Guerin, Madame Herbault, and Madame Victorine set the tone and were routinely copied. In the United States, Betsy Metcalf of Providence, Rhode Island, created straw bonnets made of oat straw and is considered the founder of American millinery.
   During the 1930s and 1940s, most couture houses had their own millinery atelier staffed with a "première" (designer), a "seconde" (workroom head), and "petits mains" (workers). Several designers started their careers as milliners such as Coco Chanel (creator of the cloche hat), Elsa Schiaparelli (creator of surreal hats), Lilly Daché (creator of the toque, snood, and profile hat), and Halston (creator of the pillbox). In the mid-1950s, males dominated the mostly female millinery scene, beginning with Aage Thaarup, a Danish milliner who created hats for Queen Elizabeth and the Queen Mother of England. He was followed by Otto Lucas, who established a wholesale hat business in London that employed Madame Paulette (creator of the soft draped turban), the last of the famous French milliners.
   By the mid to late 1960s, millinery was in sharp decline due to the youth movement and an emerging casual dress code. Britain held on to tradition thanks to Princess Diana, the royal family, and the British love of horse-racing events such as Royal Ascot. Milliners Frederick Fox, Graham Smith, and Philip Somerville kept the craft alive and maintained highly successful businesses during the 1970s. In the 1980s, a new group of milliners emerged that created "hat art": David Schilling (British), Patricia Underwood (American), Stephen Jones (British), and Philip Treacy (Irish). These milliners are dedicated to creating show-stopping headwear, often featured on the runways of top designers and which have become status symbols. Many of them are now collectors' items and are treasured by museums around the world.
   See also Renaissance.

Historical Dictionary of the Fashion Industry. .

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Millinery — refers to hats and other articles sold by a milliner to women, or the profession or business of designing, making, or selling hats, dresses, and hat trim to women. Women would ask a milliner to remake their old clothing into new clothing. A… …   Wikipedia

  • Millinery — Mil li*ner*y, n. 1. The articles made or sold by milliners, as headdresses, hats or bonnets, laces, ribbons, and the like. [1913 Webster] 2. The business of work of a milliner. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • millinery — (n.) 1670s; see MILLINER (Cf. milliner) + Y (Cf. y) (1) …   Etymology dictionary

  • Millinery — A collective term embracing all varieties of female head wear …   Dictionary of the English textile terms

  • millinery — [mil′i ner΄ē] n. [< MILLINER + ERY] 1. women s hats, headdresses, etc. 2. the work or business of a milliner …   English World dictionary

  • millinery — [[t]mɪ̱lɪnəri, AM neri[/t]] N UNCOUNT: oft N n Millinery is used to refer to women s hats. [FORMAL] ...her aunt s modest millinery shop …   English dictionary

  • millinery — milliner ► NOUN ▪ a person who makes or sells women s hats. DERIVATIVES millinery noun. ORIGIN from the name of the Italian city Milan, originally meaning «native of Milan», later «a vendor of fancy goods from Milan» …   English terms dictionary

  • millinery — noun Date: 1676 1. women s apparel for the head 2. the business or work of a milliner …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • millinery — /mil euh ner ee, neuh ree/, n. 1. women s hats and other articles made or sold by milliners. 2. the business or trade of a milliner. [1670 80; MILLINER + Y3] * * * …   Universalium

  • millinery — noun /mˈɪlnəɹˌi/ a) Womens hats. b) A shop with womens hats …   Wiktionary

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