Beautiful Vintage Lilly Daché (1898 – 1989) Fashion Photos

Lilly Daché (1898 – 1989) was a French milliner and fashion designer. During her career she was the most famous milliner in the United States.

In her native France, Lilly Daché was considered (by her mother, no less) a homely child. Lilly’s thin, strong face with its green cat’s eyes and framing of straight red hair were deemed ugly. Not too surprisingly, little Lilly turned to adornment to amend her failings: braiding cherries into her hair & making hats from grape leaves. Her passion creating beauty took her to Paris to study hatmaking (after all, as Lilly says, if your hat is correct, it can compensate for a world of faults).

Lilly Daché designed for Hollywood films and had many clients who were movie-stars. International star Maria Montez loved her Lillys so much, she created a scene at Chicago’s Union Station when she discovered 2 of her 8 Daché hatboxes were missing. Never mind that she was being reunited with her medal-strewn soldier-husband whom she hadn’t seen for a year–Maria had bigger fish to fry. “I want my Daché hats!” she stormed after briefly smiling for the photographers.

Her designs and hats are valued highly by collectors of vintage clothes. Both the designer Halston and the hair stylist Kenneth worked for her before going into business for themselves.


Lily Dache checking out her hat design




Hat by Lilly Daché



Barbara Mullen wearing a headpiece by Lilly Daché, New York, 1951. Photo by Richard Avedon



Hat by Lilly Daché


Annex - Miranda, Carmen_03

Carmen Miranda wearing hat/turban by Lilly Daché


Millinery by Madame Agnès

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.

Hat designer
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.

Madame Agnes in her shop in Paris, 1935.


Edward Steichen, Dorothy Smart, 1926, hat by Madame Agnès

Madame d’Ora- Madame Jean Lassalle portant des bijoux Jean Fouquet et un chapeau de Madame Agnès, mars 1929.

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 (milliner), spangled jacket by Maggy Rouff, photo by George Hoyningen-Huene, Harper’s Bazaar, 1935

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