Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Cloche Hat

180 x 180mm (18 x 18 cm)
Acrylic on Canvas Board



The bell-shaped cloche hat was first designed in France by Caroline Reboux around 1908. It was a development of the dowdy Victorian bonnet. Soon a truly small and fashionable hat appeared in the twenties and became all the rage. It was made of soft felt and fitted over cropped hair to give a small head shape. The shape contributed to the new slimmer lines of clothing during the Twenties.

The little pointed ribbons on the hats were always a puzzle to me. On Wikipedia I found a fascinating explanation. The ribbons were carrying all sorts of messages: The arrow-shaped pointed ribbon showed that a lady was single but has given her heart to someone. A firm knot was symbol of a firmly married lady, while a bow indicated someone interested in friendships.

The year 2007 saw a revival of the cloche hat on the catwalks and the streets. There are lovely hats available on e-bay, designed by Berti Borell. Let me know if you bought one!!!


  1. Hi Marie!

    I love your paintings, they are so pretty! Thanks for telling me about your new blog!

  2. Thank you, Mango, I hope you get a chance to visit Berti Borell's lovely cloche hats.

  3. Aaah, a great classic, could also reflect today's modern woman! Gorgeous Marie, love the subtle colours!

  4. Yes, it can Maree,only now do I realize that a head-hugging hat can look good! Maybe it will be back in fashion and 'big hair' will disappear again!

  5. Hello Marie!

    A friend sent me your blog link. Thank you for mentioning my hats! Your paintings ARE beautiful!! Berti Borrell

    1. Dear Berti Borell, how kind of you!!! Receiving a comment from you, is one of the nicest that happened to "French Belles"

  6. Hello Marie!

    A friend sent me your blog link. Your paintings ARE beautiful! Thank you for mentioning my hats!!