Historical information

The 'flat' hat dominated millinery design in the 1950s. Most women sourced their hats from numerous Melbourne or suburban milliners while others purchased the products of French designers. A number of Australian companies were licensed to reproduce French designs. In very rare cases, Australian women purchased directly from a French couturier's collection. This inverted flat 'saucer' hat is an example of the latter.


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. This feather hat was donated by Marion Blatchley, a resident of 7 John Street, Kew, a member of the Society, and a collector of vintage fashion items. In terms of fine workmanship, it is the highest quality hat in the collection.

Physical description

A fashionably flat woman’s hat with an inverted rim. The whole is covered in tiny iridescent dark feathers. A numbered label stitched to the interior of the hat identifies that the hat was made in Paris, France. The label includes a stamped number 9102 and a handwritten ‘Col 10’.

Inscriptions & markings

Label: Stamped number 9102 and a handwritten ‘Col 10’.