So this post is a little about the artistic decisions and mechanical challenges of the hats.
|Pirates and maidens. (Photo by Adam Silverman.)|
Thus, instead of trimming the hats in a variety of colors (which might be more historically appropriate), I made monochromatic hats for each of the four maidens. I used scrap fabric leftover from the dresses. Except for the lavender hat, which was hand-shaped sewn straw base, the girls' hats were made of buckram and wire and covered in fabric. (This was a fun and challenging step outside of my comfort zone, which is primarily felt.) ... And, of course, I had to put several matching ostrich feathers on each hat!
|Mabel. (Photo by Adam Silverman.)|
Mabel's hat was also able to be less secure than the other four hats.
The four maidens had to do the following in the hats: run/scamper around, jump up and down energetically, be captured by pirates and struggle to get free, a bit of choreography that knocked the hats about sometimes, faint (lavender) ... oh, and bend upside down to start to untie boots!
|"A man!" (Photo by Adam Silverman.)|
Bad blogger that I am, I neglected to take pictures of the undersides of the hats. They were not pretty! But they were functional, and that is what matters. At the front of each hat, I put a hair comb, so the hat would be secured at the front as it slid back onto the hair. Clips or horsehair loops at the sides gave a little extra insurance, but they weren't a primary securing method. At the back, stiff wire loops were able to slide down into the hair at the back of the skull. Pinning those wires to the hair was what enabled them to stay in place so well. Again, strange-looking to any layperson who might pick up one of the hats, but invisible on stage.
During the tech rehearsal, the director said to me "You're just beaming when you look at those hats!" And so I was. I am quite proud of my work. More than one person commented to me that the hats pulled the costumes together and were the icing on the cake. Combining my passions for millinery and for theatre was quite a treat.
|Maidens spying on Mabel and Frederic. (Photo by Adam Silverman.)|