A costume accessory worn since Antiquity, the word “hat” comes from the old French
“chapel” which emanates from the Latin “caput” (head). It has survived through time and its shape evolved mainly regarding three elements: the edge of the hat, also called “wing”, the height of the cap (upper part of the hat) and the shape of the cap (round, square or pointy).
The making of a hat is the business of two types of artisans: the hatter and the milliner. The hatter works mostly with felt, straw and cloth. He produces hats in unlimited or limited series. He creates classic hats for man and for woman. He produces them in one piece: edges and cap form a whole. He will also take measurements of the customer’s head. The work of the milliner belongs to the creation and the artistic field. The hat is designed as a single object. A professional who is at the same time a hatter and milliner is sometimes called “fantaisien”.
This exhibition focuses mostly on hats worn by anyone and everyone on a daily basis. Consisting of artifacts from the Museum’s collection, it also takes a peek into various kinds of hats worn in foreign countries.