Explain: Trilby Hats

Gawker Emily is not going to hell, but she may be going to the Reading Festival very soon - at least if her newfound curiosity in Trilby hats is to b
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Gawker Emily is not going to hell, but she may be going to the Reading Festival very soon - at least if her newfound curiosity in Trilby hats is to b
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Gawker Emily is not going to hell, but she may be going to the Reading Festival very soon - at least if her newfound curiosity in Trilby hats is to be believed. Last week, she emailed us asking, "What's up with the Pete Doherty hat?" So began an odyssey that left us sitting in 7A, ticking fifteen Trilbies through the windows during Sunday brunch. We flipped through US Weekly and realized that Joel Madden, the Good Charlotte rocker, may be America's foremost champion of the Trilby - aside from the tattoos, it's the only thing he seems to wear constantly. And then there's Pete Doherty, whose hat may as well be glued to his moppy hair, which somehow looks disgusting and amazing all at once. Eventually obsessed with the Trilby, we sought Men's Vogue's elegantly wicked Stephen Watson, the happily terrifying Nick Sullivan of Esquire, and fashion oracle Josh Madden (who also styles Good Charlotte) for the expert take on the Trilby...

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An antique photo of the Trilby hat, early 1900s Nick Sullivan, Fashion Director, Esquire: “Because of central heating, we don’t need hats anymore - we stopped needing them in the '60s, but men wore them 1) for convention and 2) because it was cool. But in the early ‘60s, Kennedy stopped wearing the hat, and then it turned. He’s been blamed for killing the hat. Now, the only reason to wear a hat is for people to look at you. You see far more men wearing hats in New York than you do in London, far more. I was quite surprised, I’ve been here three years. The trouble with wearing that hat here is that people won’t think of Pete Doherty, they’ll think of Michael Jackson. That's a good thing possibly - compared to Kevin Federline. It’s a "Look at me, I’m a rock and roller" idea. The biggest problem with hats is the people underneath them!