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Hussein Chalayan, Spring/Summer ready-to-wear show, 2009, Paris fashion week, photo via Catwalking.com
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HATS: AN ANTHOLOGY
by Michèle C. Cone



Rembrandt’s portrait of Saskia in profile, exalted by a curvaceous broad-rimmed red hat, is but one of hundreds of great art works from the past in which women (and men) are depicted wearing a hat, or some sort of head covering. The hat has such a pervasive presence in art that it often passes unnoticed, unless it forces our attention by its incongruous presence. Think of the strange wreathed hat adorning the head of the naked, adolescent David in Donatello’s bronze; the large, messy, exuberant hat in Henri Matisse’s Woman with the Hat, which caused a scandal at the 1905 Salon d’Automne; or the platter with a dead fish that serves as a hat in Pablo Picasso’s 1942 painting of a seated woman, just to name a few of the most memorable hats invented by famous artists.

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