There have been up periods, and down, for headgear. Some eras are not particularly fertile, while others overflow with graceful, witty, inspired design. The 1920s, though it was a substantial, and important period in design, had less variety with its hats than others. Perhaps that stems from the singular focus on the cloche style, whether brimmed or not. Once the 30s dawned and in particular because of Surrealism we were off and running again, and hats would be some of the most creative of the entire 20th century.
It is the end of the 19th century, and into the beginning of the 20th that I want to focus on here. It was a time of extreme extravagance, if not wholehearted artistic inspiration. It was often the case that the Victorian aesthetic required more of everything, rather than perfected proportion, and editing. The results were sometimes so huge that women looked as if they might be about to be swallowed under them, but when they were right they were so very right, that they stand alone as works of wearable art/sculpture.
Herewith, some of the glorious, silly, and lovely creations of that time. Try to imagine yourself in one of these. How would you feel about yourself, and where would you be going?