Friday, April 22, 2011

Easter Bonnet

I used to find bonnets, compared with their flat-brimmed eighteenth-century counterparts, pretty darn lame. So modest. So retiring. So grandma-appropriate compared with a coquetteish straw hat.

So....like this:


Attack of the stay-puft marshmallow cap! Run for your lives!

Ahem. Sorry. Drifted a bit there.

Then I started playing with more nineteenth-century fun stuff. And there are certainly some bonnets whose lines are graceful, whose trim is sophisticated, and whose general air is sweet, spring-like youthfulness. Perfect for Easter!


Adorable pink straw, open-woven bonnet with an almost-superfluous cascade of silk flowers. Ca. 1865.


Fancy-woven straw bonnet, ca. 1835. Could have been decorated with faux flowers, silk ribbon, or whatever suited the wearer's taste.


Silk-covered 1850s bonnet with sophisticated tonal pink trim. I love the contrasting lining!



And this simple little specimen--a plain straw bonnet from about 1850. This one is my favorite--despite its rougher texture and simpler design, I find it compelling. Almost strictly utilitarian, yet still sporting a graceful if minimal shape.



All images and dates from the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute. Many more to browse and enjoy--please go take a look!



My Easter bonnet this year won't be nearly as exciting--probably just a feather fascinator or a cute leaf-embellished headband I just picked up. How about yours?

9 comments:

Kat Zhang said...

As a kid, most of my knowledge of bonnets came from the Little House on the Prairie series, and how Laura was forever being told to wear hers but how she hated it. I think I'd hate it too, haha, though they are very pretty to look at!

anachronist said...

I hate having my head covered unless it is very cold; having said that I must admit some of these would tempt me! I love that fancy-woven straw bonnet just because you could add or/and distract to it at your will -very creative!

Rowenna said...

Kat--you're right! I wonder if my anti-bonnet outlook is leftover from my Laura Ingalls Wilder reading. I remember her always mentioning how it gave her tunnel-vision and she hated that :)

Anachronist--I love that second one, too! Plus it looks lighter than some of the others--less weight on your head :)

Jillian said...

Those are so beautiful! :-)

Gentlewomanthief said...

Wow. That first one. What WAS she thinking?

MrsC said...

My easter bonnet is made of marzipan - nomnom!
Love bonnets, ned an excuse to make some. Hats are so much fun to make as they are built from everything, so much more like crafting than sewing :)

Maybelle Leung said...

Ooh, bonnets! The last one looks so classic, it would be the perfect thing to wear to a picnic - and draw many compliments. :) This entry was a real eye-opener too- I don't know much about bonnets either.

Hema P. said...

Lovely! I have not worn a hat in my entire life, but somehow I love looking at them. I like the pretty-yet-modest pink straw one the most!

June said...

i'm back after a long break! anyway, i love love bonnets! especially the straw bonnet with the green ribbon. i've always wished that the bonnet fashion would return.... i'd love to wear bonnets....