This early 20th century brimless hat shape is known as a toque. HM Queen Elizabeth’s grand-mother, Queen Mary, was well-known for wearing this style of hat long after it had gone out of fashion. It added to her height and imposing appearance. Toque styles were often based on turban-like headwear derived from Turkish and Persian dress. The French couturier Paul Poiret often used ornamented toques and turbans as accessories to his Middle Eastern inspired designs. This toque is trimmed with dyed ostrich feathers and may have been renovated by the wearer. It is made from a devoré silk velvet, trimmed with a plain band of velvet folded to pick up the colour in the floral pattern. Devoré textiles (literally ‘devoured’) are produced by deliberately dissolving away the pile of velvet fabrics to leave a raised decoration on a plain ground. This decorative technique was very popular in the 1920s and 1930s, and revived to some extent in the 1990s.

Object Summary

Accession Loan No.
Decorative Art
Collection Class
Clothing and accessories
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toque (brimless hat)