July 25, 2009

Graham Smith and the Woolmark Company collection

These amazing pictures belong to the Woolmark Company collection at VADS.

My attention was immediately caught by the side tabs on the “helmets” to hold sunglasses in place and avoid having to squeeze the temples of the glasses inside the hat, isn’t it just great?!  The first picture in particular looks very compelling and could fool people as being a modern picture of retro style clothing.

I also find amazing the sculptural quality of the “bowl” hat that defies gravity, sitting on a chignon, and the wonderful quality of the clothes in the way they are cut and assembled.

All three hats were made by legend milliner Graham Smith. You can learn more about him if you follow this link.

The International Wool Secretariat, now The Woolmark Company, was established in 1937 to undertake research and the global promotion of wool. To that end, they built up a large library of promotional photographs and accompanying press releases which they generously donated to the London College of Fashion in the 1980’s when they relocated and were short of space.

Credit for the pictures:  © London College of Fashion/The Woolmark Company

Top:  Coat in white brushed wool. Hat in white kid. Manufacturer: Dumas & Maury, 1965. Designer Clive (Evans).
Helmet: Graham Smith, Sunglasses: Oliver Goldsmith

Middle: Coat in white wool with curving seams. Hat in white straw. 1966.
Fabric Manufacturer: Moreau
Designer: Clive (Evans)
Model: Ann Milling
Hat: Graham Smith

Bottom: Tunic suit in ivory whipcord. 1965.
Designer: Clive (Evans)
Hat: Graham Smith, Sunglasses: Oliver Goldsmith

Be sure to explore the VADS website, it’s full of jewels. A search under the heading “hat” will deliver you hours of fun.


  1. What a genius Graham Smith. Multi task hats! It all looks so Fahrenheit 451. Love this! Thanks Cristina..

    Comment by Montez — July 26, 2009 @ 12:37 am

  2. I love the three ones, but the second hat… that is really amazing!!! Nowadays nobody dares to look with such special image, what a pity!!
    I agree with you about the wonderful quality of the clothes and the way they are cut and assembled… and the color… the white in winter… marvelous!!

    Comment by Nila Taranco — July 27, 2009 @ 10:34 am

  3. I want the first coat + hat + glasses! Sooo coool!.

    Comment by prima — July 27, 2009 @ 3:58 pm

  4. I’m old enough to remember these. The 60s are my least favorite hat period – known as the period that killed hats actually. Combination of bouffant hairdos and the onset of *designer jeans*. In the 60s Lilly Dache closed her millinery salon and opened a hair salon. Culturally, I think we all slid downhill fast after that. So sad! Still good to see that some of us try to keep our end up! Maybe the pendulum will begin to swing the other way? (The tailored clothes are exquisite tho’.) K Q:-)

    Comment by Kate — July 27, 2009 @ 6:19 pm

  5. I agree that the 60’s are the least attractive hat period, although I guess it depends on tastes. Hats were secondary to big hair-do’s and as a result they tend to look quite strange as if they have accidentally fallen on the head. I didn’t know Lilly Daché had switched from millinery to hair salon then, shame on her!!!!

    Comment by cristinadeprada — August 3, 2009 @ 5:21 pm

  6. Somebody please get busy and re=issue those designs, both the outfits and the hats! They are so stylish and I’m ready for the look!

    Comment by jill — August 4, 2009 @ 4:40 pm

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