Sunday, April 8, 2018

A Vintage Milliner

From Victoria:
Antique-millinery specialist Barbara Troeller remembers the first hat that stirred her heart. A gift from her older sister in the 1970s, the chic black felt 1940s cocktail chapeau captivated the then 16-year-old with its sophisticated form, sultry veil, and glittering rhinestone brooch. The mysterious origins of the vintage find intrigued the budding fashionista—a curiosity that, to this day, is rekindled each time she takes a new discovery in hand. “I think about the woman who made this hat, the lady who wore it, and where she wore it,” she says wistfully. “I get lost in the passion.” That first hat sparked a love affair that has endured for four decades. The owner of the online boutique Rue de la Paix, Barbara has a private collection comprising more than eight hundred toppers from three centuries, with heirlooms ranging from lavishly embellished Victorian-era bonnets to more streamlined midcentury styles. When she entered the antiques business over twenty years ago, her focus was unique: “Back in those times, dealers didn’t see hats as valuable at all,” she explains. “I was able to rescue a lot of rare and valuable millinery from being discarded or tossed into a toy box.” (Read more.)

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