Hat and gloves with packaging, womens, felt / silk / cardboard, made by Gilbert Orcel, France, for Heriette Lamotte, Sydney, Australia, 1955-60
The hat is labelled 'Gilbert Orcel Paris - Made in France'.
The New Look, launched by Christian Dior in 1947 and influencing fashions in the post war period, was a conscious revivial of the formal spirit of the couture before the First World War. As such, accessories like hats and gloves had an important role to play and were carefully considered by designers as part of the 'total look'. Hats were either very large or small. The large style harked back to Edwardian fashions while the smaller ones included pillboxes, boaters and a variety of brimmed or brimless 'bonnets' usually worn on the back of the head. This hat with its quality finish and sculptural quality is a good example of the smaller type.
Hat is labelled 'Gilbert Orcel Paris - Made in France'.
The hat and gloves are dated by style. Donor uncertain which year her mother purchased accessories
Purchased at Henriette Lamotte in Sydney and worn by the donor's mother, Mrs Dorothy (Noppy) Money, wife of Darling Point Dr Rex Money. During the 1950s a well dressed woman was rarely seen in public without her hat and gloves. Mrs Money was part of the Sydney social set and a member of the influential Black and White committee which organised charity balls, lunches, fashion parades, exhibitions and cocktail parties. The donor recalls her mother wearing the accessories to Randwick Races and to charity lunches.
see Belles of the Ball, 60 years of The Black and White Committee, exhibition catalogue, State Library of New South Wales, 1996-1997
The hat is labelled 'Henriette Lamotte Sydney'. Henriette Lamotte was Sydney's leading milliner during the 1950s. Lamotte trained and worked as a milliner in Paris, arriving in Sydney in 1938 with her husband Count Jean d'Espinay. Lamotte's hat styles covered a broad range and from the late 1940s she made regular trips to Paris, returning with model hats by the best French designers of the period. Lamotte herself designed many hats based on the French models she imported. A combination of flair, personality and French mannerisms made Lamotte's salon popular amongst Sydney's social set during the 1950s.
see article by Roger Leong in Roger Butler's 'The Europeans Emigre Artists in Australia 1930-1960', National Gallery of Australia
Also Belles of the Ball exhibition catalogue quotes Bulletin article in which Henriette Lamotte fashion parade is lampooned by describing the milliner as "Madame Lamotte, otherwise Jani to her friends, otherwise the Countess D'Espinay to people who care for titles' Daphne Guinness, Out and About, Bulletin, 10 Feb.1968
It is assumed that the hat was imported from the Paris milliner Gilbert Orcel by Henriette Lamotte and purchased by the donor's mother in Sydney.