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Ottoline Morrell’s Hat

October 20, 2011

Lots of choc'lates for me to eat

Reviews of Tings doesn’t love me anymore! That’s what you’ve been crying late at night, isn’t it, when Mummy and Daddy and fast asleep and there’s nobody to hear you but the moon in the sky, unreachable? Well, you’re wrong. RoT does love you. RoT love you very much – especially the commenter who’s seen Bobby Bake Off in the flesh (hook a brother up?) To briefly explain the lengthy absence: RoT moved house so doesn’t have the Internet, and also has a job that has suddenly decided to demand actual attention and work. Hence: no time to review. Squeezing in a moment of critical thinking though, and RoT’s eye was caught by this photograph of socialite and good-time-girl Ottoline Morrell. Now say what you will about Ottoline: about her string of lovers; about her slightly odd name (it means prosperity in battle) – one cannot deny the magnificence of that hat. It’s like a prototype for the famous My Fair Lady hat, but before the technology existed to perch it atop a delicate head without the use of meters of bandaging. What’s wonderful about this hat is its fluidity: can you tell RoT where the hair ends, where the ribbon begins, where the lace takes over, from whence the feathers spring forth? No- you can’t! It is a masterpiece of excess; a statement of decadence. Poor Ottoline was probably in a neck-brace for a month after wearing this, its weight denying her the chance to launch into a sprightly song and dance routine as Audrey Hepburn would so gleefully do some forty years later when, boosted by developments in acrylic and fibreglass, her own version of this beauty would weigh less than a hummingbird’s egg.

Verdict: RoT frequently bemoans society’s current lack of hat-wearing. Given half the chance it’d be mincing down the road wearing this in a heartbeat.

*****

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