Sunday, January 23, 2011

A tip of the hat to the movies

Be it a chapeau, bowler, cap or bonnet, a character in the cinema is easily identified by the hat they wear. Think of Indiana Jones sable fedora,  Bogart and his Borsalino, Garbo making a point in Ninotchka (and starting a major trend), Bonnie's beret, Eliza Doolittle's over the top Edwardian number or Samantha's straw beach hat on steroids worn in Sex and the City and you get the picture.

Such is the topic of the "Cinema with a Hat: Borsalino and Other Stories," a unique exhibition in Milan that explores the connection between headgear and the movies. The exhibition tells the relationship of the hat and its ability to arouse emotions -- fear and seduction for example -- as well as making a show-stopping fashion statement on screen. Much of the displays are also devoted to Borsalino, a name synonymous with the classic men's felt hat.

Audrey Hepburn's Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady

Faye Dunaway in Bonne and Clyde

Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones

Humphrey Bogart

Kim Cattrall in Sex and the City

The exhibit at the Triennalle di Milano runs now through March 20th so if you can't get away/snowed in/totally unfeasible/no time, I suggest watching Suzy Menke's interview for the New York Times below and enjoy!


  1. Oh I love hats! In the movies and in real life!!! It adds style and fun and competes and outfit!

  2. What a fabulous post! Oh I do lament that wearing hats daily has gone out of fashion in most parts of the world. Rosalind Russell has some divine chapeaus in The Women and I just rewatched Mr. Skeffington, that scene when Bette first goes to Skeffington's office, oh my, it's to die!

  3. Wouldn't it be great to go back to a time where hats were common place?!

  4. I have given you the Stlylish Blog Award. Please visit to know what to do next. Bravo!

  5. i am a hat lover and certainly enjoyed this post.

  6. Hi Cathy,

    Got your marvelous book as a Christmas present from Peter. I loved it completely, I think The Classic Film Festival should give you a special Tribute for all you have done. Your book is a real Gem for the film industry and we film lovers enjoy it so much.


  7. Suzanne,

    Many thanks for your kind words and glad you are enjoying the book!