Fashion Helmets

On runway hats and who wears them, (spoiler: it's no one)

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One thing that came up while looking at the most recent resort collections and more specifically at Alexander Wang’s second ready-to-wear collection for Balenciaga, was the topic of odd hats. If you let time take you back through fashion’s trajectory in reverse mode what you’ll find is a plethora of imperforate collections that tend to feature the one strange caveat that make them hyper runway: idiosyncratic headgear.

Take, for example, Balenciaga’s funfetti bucket hats–which were a perfect pick-up point post the lampshades that Oscar de la Renta sent down his controversially-aided-by-Galliano runway the previous season. In Balenciaga’s instance, they seem not only fit for the aspiring vision impaired but also just the right accoutrement at, say, a nightclub on the Champs-Elysees.

I likely need not even remind you of the fur, floppy hats Marc Jacobs produced (solely) for his FW12 show or the enormous turban-style knit Oliver Twist caps that uniquely complimented the rather streamlined fall collection from Band of Outsiders (slides 7,8) the following FW season.

Considering that which was evident at Kenzo (slide 5) and a combination of the beret-cum-swim caps at Ralph Lauren (slide 6), what I can only describe as tar colored brain guts at Comme des Garcons (what else should one anticipate, though? slide 10), Yankee Doodle’s feather point needle through a white felt hat at Anne Demeulemeester (slide 11,) and Acne’s version of Indiana Jones’ highly fashionable, Swedish hat, I just have to ask: why?

It’s not that I don’t appreciate the hats–I’d kill for some tar-colored brain guts just as violently as the next man repeller–and I understand that they’re serving a purpose in their ready-to-wear, not-ready-for-you singular form. Just what that purpose is, though, I’m not quite sure.

I can chalk it up to saying that without the hats, the simultaneous aspiration and opportunity-to-gawk factor gets lost but that seems too easy. And while hats were historically recognized as an accoutrement used to indicate a favorable social status, there is vast artillery to denote the same sentiment now. So where does that leave these if not directly at the intersection of frivolous and decadent?

Do they need to fall anywhere else to prove their worth?

What I’m thinking is this: as Cathy Horyn put it at the close of the Fall/Winter 2013 season, “to be relevant is to be wearable.” And while, of course, that hasn’t always been the case, (dip back a mere two seasons and you might find the flaming botons of Gaultier’s Cyndi Lauper homage,) there’s something to be said about allowing hats to be whatever they want to be as a means to catalyze a designer’s intrinsic artfulness without impeding on the business of his/her brand. So while practicality might not necessarily be their strongest attribute, that’s probably a good thing. Hats may very well be what keeps the creative process afloat.

Now, on a slightly unrelated note, I ask this: remember when Carrie Bradshaw tried to pull a story out of the contents of her sock drawer? …? ….? ….?

Images via Vogue.com

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Thoughts?
  • Sophie

    I think you have succeeded a bit more than Carrie did!

    • Leandra Medine

      But she got a multi book deal.

    • anna

      In scandinavia people think jews have a very strange face, especially the nose is very bad-looking,kinda scythe-like they say, . They call it ” Ful nasa”. the word “ful” is pronounced like the english word “fuel”. i kind of feel sorry for them, but maybe its the testosterone.. i´ve heard it increases the tissues inside the nose, especially bone mass.

      It´s intresting to note that the hebrew work “nasa” can mean both “to marry” and “to lift” and “to desire” among many other verbs..

      In scandinavia people think jews have a very strange face, especially the nose is very bad-looking,kinda scythe-like they say, . They call it ” Ful nasa”. the word “ful” is pronounced like the english word “fuel”. i kind of feel sorry for them, but maybe its the testosterone.. i´ve heard it increases the tissues inside the nose, especially bone mass.

      It´s intresting to note that the hebrew work “nasa” can mean both “to marry” and “to lift” and “to desire” among many other verbs..

  • Julie Meowmeows

    Slide 10 . . . she needs to get some Scrubbing Bubbles for that mold on her head. Looks like what happens in a neglected apartment bathtub. D:

  • http://weheartbeautyblog.com/ Lara Love

    haha I definitely remember that episode. Also – these hats…. I’m confused. I’m bad at understanding anything that goes on my head, though.

    xox Lara http://www.weheartbeautyblog.com

  • Hudson Berry

    I’ve been waiting for this.

  • http://mafaldadotzero.blogspot.fr/ Mafalda

    Errr, one of those models looks like she got pooped on by a giant bird…

    http://mafaldadotzero.blogspot.fr/

  • monkeyshines
  • http://www.farandwildjewelry.com/ abigail lind

    at least you didn’t write about randall the sandal guy. most of these hats will haunt my dreams, namely #3, #4, and #9. big time #9.

    abigail
    http://www.farandwildjewelry.com

    • Leandra Medine

      Ixnay on the Rastafarian brain guts? But why!

      • http://www.farandwildjewelry.com/ abigail lind

        because as any good Rastafarian will tell you, dreads require maintenance to keep them from turning into brain guts. bitch clearly hasn’t waxed and rolled in months!

  • http://madamecouture.blogspot.com/ Emma Hager

    I don’t know why, but I just feel like trying to decode the meaning behind these hats will perhaps never provide an answer. I think they sort of reflect those unanswerable questions and behaviors engrained in human nature. This probably sounds like a dramatic comparison, but humans have many nonsensical (or merely inexplicable) tendencies that should just be to be, not to be dissected — just appreciated as is. Maybe these caps are just protectors of the intensity and potential absurdity of some human thought. Incubators of what makes us uniquely us.

  • http://www.fashionsnag.com/ Fashion Snag

    Loving slide 8. A little top heavy.

    http://www.FashionSnag.com

  • http://www.quirkitout.blogspot.com/ Putri Soe

    Well i guess we all need some safety. I think fashion tries too hard to be relevant. It’s supposed to be impractical dammit!!!

    Then again, i want one. The fur one, please.

  • jaclyn

    I could see you wearing every single one of those hats and rocking the s**t out of them.

    check my blog : http://stylevolver.blogspot.com

    • Leandra Medine

      EVEN THE FUNFETTI?

      • Kathy Jacobsma

        ESPECIALLY THE FUNFETTI.

  • Oré Abatan
  • Maggie

    The first one is pretty..
    Best,
    http://www.maggiefinejewelry.com

  • lovesprettythings

    hilarious post….the slideshow illustration says it all- at they’re best they enhance the runway experience, at their worst they would be HUGE targets for pigeon-droppings.

    xxo, dany

    http://lovesprettythings.blogspot.com/

  • Rebecca

    I love that you can do the serious fashion stuff in addition to the comedy pieces.

  • Misundeframing

    Slide 3 forever!

    by Misunderframing.com

  • Sarina Fleur

    You never fail to make me laugh. Although I still admire those hats sometimes hats remind me of Luna Lovegood’s Gryffindor hat that rawr-ed in Harry Potter. Basically, eccentric, stunning and ridiculous all at the same time.

    http://www.walkingtalkingclotheshorse.blogspot.co.uk

  • http://www.simplyonelove.com/ erica jensen

    Whoa, the super beanie.

    simplyonelove.com

  • ela’s world

    funny post! check out the latest from ela’s world here:

    http://www.elabyela.com/elas-wolrd

  • The Provoker

    The Marc Jacob ones sorta remind me of the fur stoles from Prada SS11, no? Still super cool! <3 Btw, I just posted my pattern on pattern on pattern outfit, it's definitely a signature PROVOKER look! Tell me what you think dear provokee! :D

    xx The Provoker
    http://www.the-provoker.com/2013/06/patternity.html

  • Manila Beauty Insider

    Will Leandra ever wear crazy hats on a date? Let’s see how that works on the horizontal mambo.

  • Rhea

    I am an aspiring fashion blogger and I want to know how you got these pictures that you can share without being illegal. Haha I don’t want to do anything illegal so I would love it if you got back to me :)

    • Leandra Medine

      These are actually from Vogue.com–my mistake for not crediting the images. Thanks for pointing it out!

  • Inbal R

    Designers have never been a very practical bunch, in my opinion. It’s funny, I just did a post about crazy hats inspired by the latest royal ascot. They were rocking some seriously crazy head gear over there.

  • Rachel

    Personally, I love this story

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  • http://www.cheapsnapbacksun.com/streetwear-snapbacks-c-125.html semontuffle

    This blog is such a great about fashion helmets. I really like to see fashion shows of various celebrities because I love fashion. Fashionable things always attract me to buy like this kind of apparel.