måndag 20 augusti 2012

Is that a tarantula on your head or just a fashionable hat?

During the late 15th and early 16th century begins a trend in the Germanic countries, where hats and headgear not necessarily differs between men and women anymore as in earlier centuries. In paintings and drawings both men and women are depicted with the same type of hats. One particular form only seen there and then is what I call “the squashed tarantula-tophat” or simply the spaghettihat. It is basically a cap with a large tassel on top. Here seen on a young woman drawed by Master of the Housbook, a German master working approximately 1475-1495.

I wanted to make a striped version, as seen in one of the *oh my god I could just faint*-pretty selfportraits of the German painter Albrecht Dürer. This selfportrait was painted in 1498. I´m guessing that his hat is made in silk since it is just so thin and delicate in the tassels and fabric.

As you can see, his hat is worn and a bit torn in the seams, but being young, arrogant and good looking, that just is his style I guess. I made mine in wool, and choose to do it in dark green and white instead of black and white. So instead of looking like a football referee I now resemble a football supporter.

In the Dürer portrait the tassels are gathered together with a piece of string, so I made mine the same. Other pictorial examples show hats where the tassels have just been cut and hang straight down without being gathered at all, as in this one:

One question that arises during this little project is whether this hat actually is a gender-neutral hat from the beginning or if it just became a trend among young people where the men gave their hats to girlfriends thus creating a new fashion? Food for thought. I have no clue but find it fascinating. And in the pictorial examples I´ve seen so far it is young people that wear this kind of hat. Older people seem to prefer more conservative headgear, as white linen head-cloths in different versions for the women and hats for the men.

4 kommentarer:

  1. I'm quite sure I wrote about this somewhere when I made mine three years ago (http://web.comhem.se/~u31138198/15thcenturycap.html). Or maybe I jsut talked about it in my lectrue on 15th century fashion that year. My theory is that this never was a mainstream fashion for respectable women. All depictions of them are in drawings and prints showing young men and women doing slightly immoral stuff: dancing, gaming, flirting and making out. Wearing orginally male clothing was seen as transgressive for women so it is likely that this particular garment never reached the wardrobe of respectable women like ou rpersonas. Not htat this has stopped me from wearing mine of course ;)

  2. I saw another person who had made one of these to a good effect. http://www.bettinas-pages.de/clothing/c_fringed_cap.php
    I think I might look a bit odd in one; I'll leave it for the young fellows to wear.

  3. Good to know that you are into the same thought pattern, Eva! Reassuring :-). Haven´t looked that much into Bettinas pages, but it looks interesting! And I will wear mine with pride, but then again I might do naughty or frivolous stuff then...

  4. Nah - you wouldn't be naughty, would you?