Saturday, April 23, 2011

A Cloche Call

Bell hats at The Bell House? I’m making two floral cloches for Kit Kat LeNoir and Courtney Louvre, chanteuses of the French power-pop band Les Sans Culottes. I’m preping the ladies for a big gig at The Bell House on Thursday, June 2. It’s gonna be a packed night as they play along side with bands Electric Six and Township.

I’m trying to evoke the look of Persian Lamb with champagne colored flowers. I’m also exploring combinations of tradition and Tunisian crochet for these summer beauties. So far I’ve made a bag’s worth of champagne colored anemones and a few sketches.

Designer Caroline Reboux (far left), and her signature work.
The cloche (bell hat) was created in 1908 by Parisian milliner Caroline Reboux. The cloche’s popularity grew through the collections of fashion designers like Nina Schiaparelli and Coco Chanel. It's flair became synonymously with the Art Deco movement, Jazz Era music, and flappers of the 1920s.

Fashion pioneers Coco Chanel (left) and Nina Schiaparelli.

Evolution of the cloche (l-r): Joesphine Baker, Louise Brooks, Joan Crawford
Worn low to the brow with eyes peeking from under, the cloche conjures the rakish abandon of the 1920s flapper. The fashion houses elevated the cloche into couture, but it was the film and entertainment industry that made it the hat that every woman wanted.

Italian screen goddess Sophia Loren from the movie “The Millionaires.”

Actress Audrey Hepburn sporting Hubert de Givenchy (photos: Sir Cecil Beaton).

Fashion icons such as Hubert de Givenchy, Roy Halston, Cristóbal Balenciaga, and Christian Dior revived the cloche from their runways to the big screen in the 1950s through the 1970s. Casual elegance was reborn.

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