Hat thumbnail 1
Not currently on display at the V&A

Hat

1951 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Lady Alexandra Howard-Johnston (later Lady Dacre) was the wife of the Naval Attaché to Paris. She required an extensive wardrobe for the many formal dinners and state functions that she had to attend, and no outfit was complete without the appropriate accessories such as hats and gloves.

Lady Alexandra dressed exclusively at the French couturier Jacques Fath (1912-54). The designer lent her evening and day dresses each season, aware of the publicity that this would give his house. She recalled ‘If there was a Fath dress I wanted to keep, I could pay sale price at the end of the season. I was not allowed to go to any other couturier, but I did not want to – Fath was perfection.’


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Shaped felt and mohair, lined with satin
Brief Description
Wide brimmed hat of felt and mohair, made by Svend for Jacques Fath, Paris, 1951
Physical Description
Hat of mid-blue felt and mohair. It has a shallow crown and a wide brim which slopes downwards with a head support inside the crown, and is covered in black satin, with approximately 2 inches extended on the top of the crown, laid flat.
Dimensions
  • Height: 12.5cm
  • Diameter: 25cm
  • Weight: 0.1kg
Measured for the Medieval and Renaissance Galleries
Production typeHaute couture
Marks and Inscriptions
'Jacques Fath / Paris' (Label, machine woven, black on white)
Gallery Label
LADY ALEXANDRA: A COUTURE CLIENT [case panel] Lady Alexandra Howard-Johnston (later Lady Dacre) was the wife of the Naval Attaché to Paris. She required an extensive wardrobe for the many formal dinners and state functions that she had to attend. A couture client would attend all the fashion collections, seated in the front row if she were especially important. After the show, she would place her orders with her personal vendeuse or saleswoman. A calico toile would be created, then the final garment, a process involving numerous time-consuming fittings. Lady Alexandra dressed exclusively at Jacques Fath. The designer lent her evening and day dresses each season, aware of the publicity that this would give his house. ‘If there was a Fath dress I wanted to keep, I could pay sale price at the end of the season. I was not allowed to go to any other couturier, but I did not want to – Fath was perfection.’ [150 words] [object label] Hats Jacques Fath (1912-54) Paris About 1950 Mohair and felt V&A: T.187-1974(22/09/2007)
Credit line
Given by Lady Alexandra Trevor-Roper
Object history
Hats shaped like this one were often historically known as 'Coolie' hats. The term has fallen from usage and is now considered offensive.
Historical context
Lady Alexandra Trevor-Roper favoured Fath for her wardrobe, and contributed the large portion of the V&A's Fath collection.
Association
Summary
Lady Alexandra Howard-Johnston (later Lady Dacre) was the wife of the Naval Attaché to Paris. She required an extensive wardrobe for the many formal dinners and state functions that she had to attend, and no outfit was complete without the appropriate accessories such as hats and gloves.



Lady Alexandra dressed exclusively at the French couturier Jacques Fath (1912-54). The designer lent her evening and day dresses each season, aware of the publicity that this would give his house. She recalled ‘If there was a Fath dress I wanted to keep, I could pay sale price at the end of the season. I was not allowed to go to any other couturier, but I did not want to – Fath was perfection.’
Collection
Accession Number
T.187-1974

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record createdJanuary 12, 2006
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