The firm of Harbig was a Melbourne millinery company owned by Mr and Mrs Richard Ernest Harbig. In 1949, an article in the West Australian newspaper reported their return from the United States. It records that: 'FEATHERS SYDNEY, Sept. 14: Mr. and Mr. Richard Harbig, Melbourne milliners who reached Sydney by air tonight from America, gave these details of hat trends for next winter. Shapes: Head-hugging cloches to suit short hair, cut away at the back to clear high collars, and built up and out at the front to give height. Materals: Felts, velours, velvets, and a new long-haired fur fabric called flamond. Colours: Muted pastels, few jewel shades, and no vivid colours. Trimmings: Little veiling, "but feathers and feathers and feathers".'
The Kew Historical Society’s fashion and design collection is comprised of costumes, hats, shoes and personal accessories. Many of these items were purchased or handmade in Victoria; some locally in Kew. The extensive hat collection comprises items dating from the 1860s to the 1970s. While most of the hats in the collection were created by milliners for women, there are a number of early and important men’s hats in the collection. The headwear collection is particularly significant in that it includes the work of notable Australian and international milliners.
Pale green woman’s hat created by Harbig of Melbourne with a large border of flowers and leaves in shades of green. The crown of the hat is swathed with pale green silk gauze.
Inscriptions & markings
Label: Harbig. Melbourne, New York, Paris