Lady's hat

Lady's hat

Designed by Lucienne Rabaté for Caroline Reboux
Suede and pheasant feathers
Paris, France
1946
Worn and given by Lady Waverley through Cecil Beaton
Museum no. T.384-1974

This striking hat is constructed around a simple, unlined suede cap which fits close to the head and is joined down the centre back by an intricate zig zag seam. The hat was donated with matching gloves and would have been worn for evening occasions. It was designed by the House of Reboux. From the 1870s until the 1930s the label of Caroline Reboux (1837- 1927) dominated Parisian millinery fashions. Caroline Reboux began her career as a penniless but talented young milliner. Her work was discovered and promoted by the fashionable Princess Metternich and in turn attracted the custom of the Empress Eugenie, wife of Napoleon III. In later years the House of Reboux was run by the milliner Lucienne Rabaté.

Reboux was known for her clean, simple style using fabrics such as satin, velvet and felt which were draped or cut with a minimum of added or fussy details. Feathers were a favourite embellishment. In the 1920s Reboux was highly regarded for her cloche style hats, which were often cut and formed on the client's head.