Styling has become so significant when it comes to creating my images, every detail aiding in creating the perfect fantasy. For this series, I wanted to capture the allure of extravagant decorative hats, often described as pieces of art worn on top of the head. As a statement piece, they draw eyes on to whoever dares to put them on. Regina Taylor’s play Crowns (2002) even highlighted the attitude one must have to pull a hat of this kind off. Interestingly, however, they haven’t always been this fashionable. Hats themselves were first introduced for their practicality, functioning to protect us from nature. It was also viewed as a necessity for traditional/religious reasons around the world. Women in Europe for one, starting in the middle ages, were required by the church to wear some sort of head covering. Transcending its practical and traditional use though, women who could afford to soon began decorating their hats with plumes, gold, sequins, etc. Hats soon became fashion statements – were often just ornamental – and status symbols. You saw brims become optional and noticed significant changes and variations in sizes and shapes. The possibilities were endless. Extravagant hats have also been significant amongst African American churchwomen- who were also first required to cover their heads. In the ’20s, Sunday became an opportunity for them to go all out in their best items of clothing. So for them, the bolder the hat – i.e. the more decorated the hat – the better. Today, you see unique hats of this kind appear particularly during Christian easter services around the world, weddings and premium horse-racing events. Occasions where people are dressed up to the nines.
Styling, Photography and Creative Direction by me
Modeled by the beautiful Cutlin