Thursday, December 11, 2014

Czech out these hats! (Musaion, Prague)

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I have a bit of an obsession with hats, so I took photos of some of the Czech hats at the Musaion (Ethnographic Museum) in Prague.  (My apologies for the terrible pun in the title of this post -- I blame the t-shirts we saw in Prague emblazoned with "Czech this out!")

(Note that you can click on any of the photos to enlarge them.)

Here is a closeup of one of the hats in the wedding tableau (you can see the whole tableau in the photos at the end of my previous post). Isn't it wonderful? I love the tiny size and the elaborate interweaving of ribbon and beadwork.  I so want a hat like this -- although I know it would look ridiculous on me.  The shiny beads and ribbon remind me of some of the Polish hats I saw at the Ethnographic Museum

This Very Tall bridal hat is absolutely encrusted with embellishment.  However, I find myself distracted by the silver-gray embellishments on the top part that look rather unfortunately like spiders nestled in amongst the red ribbon.  I am flashing back to the urban legends about spiders nesting in beehive hairdos

In addition to lace and crystal, this hat features metallic embroidery and dimensional sequin work.  I've seen similar dimensional sequin work in Turkish dance costumes, although there the sequin work is more elaborate and is combined with beads, rather than embroidery. 

This reminds me of a Mad Hatter type of haberdashery concoction.  The twig-like hatching on the surface provides an almost bird's-nest quality for the large beads, but I can't tell what it is made from (actual straw? metallic thread? wire?).  The gold coins and charms springing out of the top of the hat from amongst the ribbon give a jaunty liveliness to the whole affair. 

This hat features more complex beadwork and some interesting metal elements, as well as the mandatory Big Ribbon Bow.  I wish I could have gotten a closer look at this one, to get a better sense of the embellishment.  I think the center blue tube beads are Czech glass (well, that would make sense), but I can't figure out the brass-colored metal elements.

I hope you enjoyed seeing these examples of traditional Czech millinery.  My hat's off to all those who make and wear such elaborate chapeaux. 

Next up:  More Czech folk costumes!

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