If you want to get ahead, get a hat


Hats used to be the status symbol for both men and women. Nowadays this status is held by branded luxury fashion items.


Up until the 1960’s, headwear has been a major signifier of identification and status in the public sphere. For men the hat signifies an urge to identify with a certain class that is not necessarily in line with his actual socio-economic status. This is where hats tell lies. For women, hats have left more room for individual expression. The wearing of the hat was in this case more informed by the esthetic qualities of the garment than the status it displayed. In modern days the role of hats as a status symbol has been largely taken by luxury fashion brands. Wearing certain branded items has become a way of displaying affluence and status. In our film we will explore the idea of the hat as both a status symbol and a luxury. 

In an advertising film from the 1930’s we see female models showing off various models of hats by awkwardly turning their head from left to right in front of the camera, as to show the beauty of these hats. These women signify the meaning of hats as a luxury fashion item (far removed from their original practical purpose). In archive material from a soccer game from 1932 we see hats used as a means of unification: all men are wearing similar hats without much room for individual expression. By showing, manipulating and juxtaposing these images we will show the viewer the meanings hats had in these times. In a studio setting we will build elaborate displays of various hats with associated items, as to show the status and identification that comes with the act of wearing such hats. These elaborate displays will mirror shopping displays like we often see in shopping streets and department stores. We will also replicate the awkward footage of the women showing off their headwear, but with modern headwear on both men and women. 

The status and meanings of the hat have largely eclipsed its original purpose. By putting the hat in the spotlight and contrasting different meanings from different times we hope to uncover some of the absurdism that comes with all the various meanings that hats have assumed in their long history.


© 2019 – Duration 5 minutes 25fps – Stereo – Commercial / Autonomous – Collaboration

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