"Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful" so wrote William Morris, noted English designer at the end of the 19th Century.
It is with this segment of the business, women's dress hats - millinery, that I found my long held notions about headwear challenged and expanded. I had always viewed the hat essentially as a functional article of clothing. Don't hats exist to keep one warm, dry, or shaded from the sun? That's why they should be in our houses, or so I believed. Women's dress hats, however, often have more in common with sculpture than with clothing. I now understand that the human head can simply act as a pedestal and hat materials (felt, straw, fabric) can be employed no differently than wood or stone or clay with three-dimensional art as the objective. Hats not only need not function, they don't even need to fit. The good milliner - when succeeding at the highest level, like the good sculptor, understands and skillfully manipulates this medium's materials. The results can be interesting, entertaining, and fun to wear. We can in fact have hats in our houses simply because we believe them to be beautiful. Enjoy this selection.