41 Stunning Photos of Models in Unique Hats From the 1940s and 1950s

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Born 1898 in Bègles, Gironde, French-born American milliner and fashion designer Lilly Daché began her fashion career there at the age of 15 as a milliner, apprenticed under Caroline Reboux and Suzanne Talbot. She emigrated to the United States in 1924, settling in New York City, working at Macy’s and an independent hat shop on the Upper West Side as a salesperson. Daché and a co-coworker bought the independent store. A few month’s later, Daché bought out her coworker.

Daché is reported to have said, “Glamour is what makes a man ask for your telephone number. But it also is what makes a woman ask for the name of your dressmaker.”

Models wearing unique hats designed by Lilly Daché in the 1940s and 1950s

Despite the economic effects of the Depression and World War II, Daché’s business flourished in the 1930s and 1940s. Daché’s hats cost upwards of $20 at a time when a hat could be bought for just a few dollars, but hats were still considered a cost-effective way for a woman to update her wardrobe. She was also well known for making her visored caps and cone-tipped berets for women working in factories.

Daché designed for Hollywood films and had many clients who were movie-stars. They included Marlene Dietrich, Caroline Lombard and Loretta Young. When she retired in 1968, Loretta Young bought her last thirty hats.

Lilly Daché died in Louvecienne, France at the age of 91 in 1989.

These stunning photos that captured models wearing unique hats designed by Lilly Daché in the 1940s and 1950s.

Violets on a flaring snood of blue silk satin by Lilly Daché, circa 1940s

Betty Bond in hat by Lilly Daché and jewelry by Schlumberger, photo by Louise Dahl-Wolfe, Harper’s Bazaar, March 1942

Vera Maxwell in her own design with hat by Lilly Daché and jewelry by Verdura, photo by Louise Dahl-Wolfe for Harper’s Bazaar, March 1942

Dorian Leigh in an Enka Rayon dress and Lilly Daché hat, photo by George Platt Lynes, 1944

Model wearing a net hat by Lilly Daché, 1944

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