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Queen Among Milliners

Madame Paulette 1946. Photograph by Harcourt.

Madame Paulette was french born hat designer known in Paris as “Queen Of Milliners”.

Venturing into hat design in 1925 and perfecting her trade between the wars her work spanned many decades. By the 1940’s and 50’s everyone who was anyone in Paris would don her pieces & by 1955, with her the reigning queen of haute mode, she had a vast 3,500 clients. With clients such as Greta Garbo, Marlene Deitrich, Rita Hayworth & Royal clients such as Princess Grace of Monaco and the Duchess of Windsor, Madame Paulette was dubbed

‘Queen among milliners and milliner to queens’

And her work didn’t stop at couture Stage and screen allowed her to extend her talent to warriors helmets and headdresses for the ballet, as well as the innumerable beautiful hats worn by Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady.

Her reputation even stretched as far as Egypt with King Farouks sister commissioning her, which in turn, then extended to Egyptian court. The Princesses of Saudi Arabia then followed suit. Alongside her Royal following, with her faithful visiting clients from countries such as Brazil, Argentina and Chile, Madame Paulette really had become well renowned, respected and in demand world wide.

Unfortunately, the 1960’s marked the end of the wonderful age of hats and whilst Madame Paulette fought hard to re-interest ladies in haute mode, millinery houses saw a decline.

Luckily, however, her widespread fame gave her protection from this haute mode demise and she continued to present collections of sixty designs, twice a year, for another 20 years.

A truly wonderful designer, who worked well into her 80’s, set the very highest bar of originality and style within fashion and hats.

We simply love her work here at AGC!

Photo credits: Madame Paulette 1946 Photograph by Harcourt

Ballet Piège de Lumiere 1951

Audrey Hepburn 1964 Photograph by Cecil Beaton

Jean Shrimpton 1963 Photograph by John French

Ocelot Bowler 1961

The Begum Aga Khan III 1957

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