Early 1900s Lane-Perkins Toque Hat
Despite the dawning of a new century, the first few years of the 1900s saw a continuation of the Art Nouveau influence, particularly in ladies fashion. The modern woman's wardrobe was extremely lavish and cumbersome and characterized by the S-shape silhouette (which was achieved with the aid of the newly invented "Health Corset.") The hat was an essential element necessary in completing an Edwardian ensemble.
Prior to 1908, hats of the period were often shapeless thanks in part to the structured Gibson Girl hairstyles that were en vogue at the time. Ladies would use purchased supports called pompadour frames as a base for their extravagant, voluminous hairstyles.
These supports gave the hair enough structure that the need for a hat to have a brim and a molded shape was alleviated, and thus the toque hat was born. These brimless hats were designed to look as though they were floating atop a woman's head, when in fact they were firmly secured.
This hat, designed by Lane-Perkins millinery, is a fabulous example of early 20th century hat making. Though it has a sturdy metal wire base, this chapeau is fairly amorphous.
It has a layered design and is fashioned in a number of different materials including horsehair, lace, silk velvet, straw braid, silk chiffon, and mesh netting. The inside is lined in silk. It is quite the interesting piece.
Label: Lane-Perkins, Battle Creek, Mich.
Hat shows overall signs of wear. Velvet trim has a few worn spots. The chiffon and mesh inner layers are fragile. Silk lining has a number of hat pin holes. Still very wearable. Flaws do not detract from the beauty of this rare piece. Priced accordingly.