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Vault

Hats With Wings

23 June 2007 - 25 August 2007

The hats in designer Marilyn Sainty's collection are strong sculptural forms and the collection itself is notable for the number of works that have been designed by other fashion designers and for the number of works that play with the idea "what is a hat?" The Pierre Cardin hat with its cut out brim is an iconic 1960s design - Sainty describes it as "the star of the collection" - which is as much a space as a hat. A space where the wearer is inscrutable but seeing, a space-craft that enables and encourages the wearer to stop and look and then to move on.

A number of these hats suggest that the wearer will be transformed and empowered by donning them. Surely the wearer of the winged hats will get ‘a lift' from wearing them and wearing the Jean-Paul Gaultier beanie with horns is a license to be a devil. The Issey Miyake hat, with its crown of air valves is an extravagant thinking cap, one which allows you to control just how much fresh air you head receives while afforded the traditional protection of a hat.