Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Love That Hat: Lilly Dache


Lilly Dache was the most famous milliner in the USA during her designing years 1924 - 1968. She was born in Begles, France in 1898 and her career started at age 15 when she became an apprentice to Paris milliner Caroline Reboux and Suzanne Talbot. She emigrated to the United States sometime between 1919 and 1924 where she became employed as a millinery sales woman at Macy’s in 1924. Later she moved to The Bonnet Shop as a clerk but quickly purchased the shop from the owner and established her own business. In 1928 she built the Lilly Dache Building, East 56th Street NY.


She married to Jean Despres, an executive at Coty, Inc. in 1931 and they had one child Suzanne.

Her millinery specialties were draped turbans, brimmed contour hats, half hats, visor caps, colored snoods and of course those massive flower shapes. In 1949 she was designing clothing but she was always best known for her millinery creations.


During her productive years she designed for Hollywood films along with many movie stars such as Marlene Dietrich, Carol Lombard and Loretta Young.

She retired in 1968, leaving her business to her only child Suzanne. She died in 1989 in Louveciennes, France.

Her designs are highly sought after by today’s vintage clothing collectors.

Interesting Facts:

* Designer Halston and hair stylist Kenneth worked for her at some point.

* She was referenced in the song “Tangerine” by the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra

* When she closed her shop in 1968, Loretta Young bought her last 30 hats.

* She published her autobiography in 1946, “Talking Through My Hats”.

* She won the Neiman-Marcus fashion award in 1940.


This fab Lilly Dache creation was recently sold from Glamour Girl Vintage on Ruby Lane....


Too bad but this pink rose half hat has also sold from Vintage Vintage Cocktail on Etsy. Not a Lilly hat but very close to her half hat styling.


This very cool Lilly Dache man's shirt is still available from Catseye Vintage on Ecrater.


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