Monday, March 30, 2009

Aretha Franklin single-handedly revives the hat industry

One evening, chibi's little brother started watching My Fair Lady (1964) on TV, and after seeing Audrey Hepburn in Cecil Beaton's amazing costume and hats, he went on to comment that he missed the days when hats were an essential part of a woman's wardrobe. And yes, he meant those Sunday church hats that transformed Audrey into a lady.

First, I thought, that's ironic being that he never lived in those days. The next thing that came to my mind is Aretha Franklin during Obama's inauguration:

Sure it's not as pretty as Cecil Beaton's work of art, but it has become quite the hot item as Aretha's milliner (hat-maker), Luke Song, has received more than 5,000 orders for the hat already. Apparently, the original hat will be loaned to the Smithsonian and then it will remain in Barack Obama's presidential library. And since Luke Song refuses to replicate the original, he will be making a spring version of the Aretha hat for the 5,000 orders. The spring version comes in an assortment of pastel hues, and at $179 each, Luke Song will be making $895,000 on those hats alone. Pastel hues, hmmm. I can't imagine how that will turn out.

Anyway, is Aretha's hat really going to save the hat industry and revive the dead art of millinery (hat-making)? Well, chibi's brother probably hopes so. And I really don't hate the hats that MyItThings posted as an alternative to the Aretha Hat, or the ones at Etsy. So, I guess it would be a fun ride to have hats back as a staple part of our wardrobe. At the very least, the whole hippie satorial culture will no longer be as dominant, and being overdressed will be much more accepted with the re-introduction of hats. I think I'd like that.

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