A handmade one-off original design pattern & accessories by ladylavinihats.com
Historical Bonnet, Napoleon’s Empress.
A New Interpretation of the Royal Bonnet designed for a historical occasion on, or off stage. The chateaux were cold so the Empress needed warmth when visiting northern climates. This inspirational historical bonnet was designed to meet this need. A tall large oval structure is padded for soft shaping.and this is attached to a decorated face panel at the front of the bonnet. At the sides the angle is set forward on the head, to allow for her modesty.
A knitted rushed frill is then added to go around the bonnet to the back
The back of the bonnet is wide to be in line with the overall shape of a court dress with wide sleeves. A deep fabric frill is also added to the back of the bonnet and is in keeping with the long front sashes that can be left knotted or probably would have been tied into a beautiful bow.
The imposing colours chosen for this historical bonnet are a rich rust and a contrasting lighter shade of creamy yellow. The gold braid on the headband goes extremely well and at a distance looks like jewels. The braid on the sashes is left loose and is a mustard gold colour. More jewellery could also be added to this bonnet.
Suggested court dress textile colours to go with this sensational piece could be light yellow satin, deep rust linen, gold-threaded brocade, or warm colours including splashes of red fabric. A subtle shade of green also comes to mind for another choice.
The bonnet is large and grand, it can be securely fixed with the sashes. For large/medium sizes an added wig or hair extension would be very effective.and also attractive.
This historical bonnet is a complicated design to attempt to knit and has lots of detail in the stitches.
The inside of the bonnet has padding and a cream lining which is folded out for the photographic view.
This full-length photograph shows the bonnet and the long sashes left un-styled. The measurements of the bonnet and the sashes are below:
Measurements: (Aprox. as wool stretches.).
Sash length 27 inches. 68,5 cm
Front decorated panel over the head 13 inches 33 cm
Front/Side Frill 5.l/2 inches 14 cm
Back crown width 18 inches 46 cm
Back Fabric frill depth from the edge of the knitted rush. 7 inches depth 18 cm
Reference: Sculpture Detail.
The bonnet is modelled on a sculpture, it is said, of the head of the first wife of Napoleon the First.