Lady's hat

Lady's hat

Designed by Eric Braagaard
Velvet and feathers
New York, USA
About 1941
Given by Mrs Frank Wooster
Museum no. T.72-1974

This green velvet hat is trimmed with green-tipped feathers and a green and pink velvet bow. The hat was made by the Danish milliner Erik Braagaard for Marie Cecile Wooster, the daughter of Baron Gustav Von Springer. Mrs Wooster and her first husband Baron Eugene Fould left Europe for North America at the outbreak of World War II, during which time she bought this hat.

Braagaard frequently used velvet and feathers in his millinery designs. In 1935, French fashion magazine L’Officiel de la Mode reported that ‘velvet, very much in favour at Braagaard’s, lends itself to all the movements of wings and bows which are characteristic of this collection’. The article also reports that ostrich and egret feathers were incorporated into hat designs.

Braagaard had a small, high end millinery salon which in 1941 had a mauve and white interior. The shop operated from the 1930s to the 1950s and was located on 17 West 57th Street, New York. In 1943 Braagaard was conscripted to war service. He had an international reputation and his hats were featured not only in American publications but in the French and English media. The Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art has five hats by Braagaard in their archive.