March 1, 2022 — From Zoolander to Moschino, fashion uses excess and humor to grab our attention. During the turmoil of World War II, the “Mad Hatter of Chicago” Benjamin GreenField, pictured here with a hat model, said “Everything that makes people laugh at this point in world history can be said to have its own excuse.”
The Milliners Guild and Texas Fashion Collection have announced their collaboration on a fashion exhibition titled Hats: humor and high-end design. Free to all NorthPark visitors from March 7 through May 15, the exhibit celebrates laughter and fashionable headgear as a space for stylistic experimentation. Designs featured include the top 10 finalists from the Milliners Guild “Bes-Ben: Humor and High Design Hat Competition” alongside contemporary and historical milliners such as stephen jones, Cigmond Meachen, Byron Lar, Benjamin GreenField, Cristobal Balenciagaand Jack McConnell. Audiences will see one-of-a-kind creations from the TFC collection by Dallas milliners for the first time Ian Deller, Sue Dooley, and Edna Mye.
The inspiration for this exhibition came from the whimsical and surreal millinery designs of Benjamin GreenField. Known as Bes-Ben, his hats featured unusual trimmings such as dancing bunnies, playing cards and golden birds. the exposure features two original Bes-Ben hats alongside examples from other milliners who bring wit and whimsy to their designs. This project revels in the collective imagination and ingenuity of milliners over the past 90 years.
The exhibition was organized by Annette Beckerdirector of the Texas Fashion Collection, which is part of the College of Visual Arts and Design at the University of North Texas, and Laura Del Villaggiomilliner, teacher and owner of the Milliners Guild.
The Milliners Guild is a national non-profit organization whose mission is to raise awareness of the skill set and products used in the headwear trade. Milliners Guild members include small business owners, seasoned artisans and emerging designers and support those who design, produce and promote handmade headgear by providing education, access to resources and global exposure. .
Dates, times and location of the exhibition
March 7 to May 15, 2022
Monday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Sunday: 12 p.m.-6 p.m.
NorthPark Center, 8687 N. Central Expressway, Dallas, TX 75225