by Rachel Pollock, Crafts Artisan

Today, the trimming of the final two hats from In the Next Room!

Recall from prior posts on this topic that the hat trim is intended to be a physical representation of the metamorphosis of the character of Mrs. Daldry over the course of the play, and that the first two hats progressed in decoration from a reserved veiled hat to a more adventurous hat with a single upright “wing.”

But what about the third and fourth hats?


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Hat #3 features a rainbow ombre-dyed length of embroidered silk, sprays of coq feathers, taffeta ribbon bows, and velvet roses.

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Front oblique view.

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Rear oblique view.

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Hat #3 worn onstage! Wow, how flamboyant and fabulous it looks! Katie Paxton as Mrs. Daldry, Matt Garner as Leo Irving, Kelsey Didion as Mrs. Givings. (Photo by Jon Gardiner.)

In the fourth hat, the theme of metamorphosis becomes encoded in a fairly literal symbol: the butterfly. Designer Anne Kennedy wanted to expand the adornment of the hats from the fairly traditional realm of fabrics, ribbons, flowers, birds and bows, to encompass what would appear to be actual butterflies (which are really made from painted and dyed feathers)! What fun!

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We purchased the butterflies from a floral supplier, but they were too bright (top row). You can see how we sprayed down the brightness with a mist of black paint (bottom row).

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Millinery assistant Leah Pelz then assembled some of them into these ornamental sprays.

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Whoa. Now that’s Hat #4.

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In addition to the butterflies, some of the adornments include 9″ wide satin ribbon, taffeta ribbons, faux grasses, feathered sprays, faux rosehips, and a red raffia thistle.

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Oblique view.

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Rear view.

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This image shows the hats ready to go into the dressing rooms. I always pin these detailed hat care documents onto each head for the wardrobe crew, so they know how the hats are to be worn and stored safely.

Unfortunately, I don’t yet have a stage shot of the fourth hat, but i’m sure you can tell from the other three onstage, how fun it looked!