France’s most popular milliner Madame Agnes was born in France in the late 1800’s, she retired in 1949, and died a short while later. She was famous for cutting the brims of her hats while they were worn by her customers.
Madame Agnes styled hats which were both abstract and unique. An illustration from 1927 depicts Madame Agnes’ Congo inspired hats with a model wearing a slave collar. As the 20’s moved into the 30’s, the hats became smaller and away from the face. In December 1935 she introduced hats with large straw brims which were mounted on flowered madras handkerchiefs. Madame Agnes was inspired by a matador’s hat when she created a small dinner hat for Spring 1936. It was sewn of black maline with heavy white silk fringe. The fringe was mounted on each side of the hat’s top. In mid-1946 she created a soft beige beret of felt which featured a line that was broken just above the right eyebrow, where a soft quill was inserted.
Madame Agnes in her shop in Paris, 1935.
Edward Steichen, Dorothy Smart, 1926, hat by Madame Agnès
Madame Jean Lassalle hat by Madame Agnès, Madame d’Ora 1929
Portrait of the milliner Agnès by Madame d’Ora, Paris, 1928-1931
Model in hat of bird of paradise feathers by Madame Agnès,
spangled jacket by Maggy Rouff, photo by George Hoyningen-Huene, Harper’s Bazaar, 1935