After many years of making top hats for stage and screen productions, I am very familiar with this type of hat. Toppers can take a long time to make by hand, but the results are always rewarding.
Hat fittings with the client are required to select the right sillouette and to tweek the style to suit the wearer’s body proportions.
Usually a topper is moulded around a waisted hat block to achieve the very handsome curves that give this style it’s unique curved crown.
The brims are often rolled up at the sides, a precursor to the brim lines in the American cowboy hat.
Top hats were a symbol of tradition and status in Victorian times, they chart domination in colonial outposts and have a unique place in our history and psyche.
A highlight of my top hat making careeer was the image in the feature film, Moulin Rouge where all the men throw their top hats in the air as Nicole Kidman decends from the ceiling on a swing in her diamond studded mini top hat.
This scene took months to prepare for and watching it being filmed was a hat makers delight.