A few days ago I went for a walk to Swains Lane in Highgate to take take some pictures and try out my new camera lens. It was a lovely autumnal day. On the way back I saw a woman leaning against a tree waiting for the bus. Her hat caught my eye, a warm wool beret with a tartan bow, all spicy shades of ginger, cinnamon and turmeric. She like me, had dark,curly hair. I asked her permission to take a photo and warned her that I might be faffing for a bit as it was a brand new lens!
In a serendipitous coincidence, on Monday night I bumped into the very same woman in Covent Garden. She told me her name is Dorje Khandro:
Here are some other photographs I’ve taken over the years where the hat has been a trigger inspiring me to take a photograph.
My late paternal grandmother, Bibi, (farsi for grandmother), always dressed very formally. Here’s a scan of a photo I took of her circa 1990 when she came over for tea:
Hats and creativity:
I caught sight of this man about to get on the tube at East Finchley. I love the humour and creativity in this hat, and the fact the back of the hat is the focal point with its 2D cardboard cut-out image of a cat’s face and little yellow daffodil next to it.
This man was sitting having a quiet drink in Old Compton Street when I just had to stop and ask him about his cap. His name is Manny and he customised the hat himself with Simpsons lego characters.
Seen on the Portobello Road, I believe this cap started life as a conventional,sober dark grey number. It is now edged in a colourful trim; bold capitals spelling the word LOVE and is extravagantly adorned with feathers, toy camera and miniature red high top boot:
The next two images feature hats with colourful stripes. A crochet hat, in Rasta colours worn by Irina at a London Lucumi Choir rehearsal in 2012. I liked way the knitted flower echoes the sunflowers in the background:
Senior style and hats:
This is the late Francisco, in a rainbow coloured stripey knitted hat, taken at Bar Italia on Valentine’s Day in 2014:
More senior style, this time Opera bound:
Keeping warm on the C2 bus:
Tex from Texas and friend at a bus stop in Old Street, 2013:
I have edited these images down from a large selection, and have not included any images of people in head wraps, which will be a separate blog post. It will undoubtably include the fabulous Garbo Garbo, whom I previously featured on a post on skulls and fashion. Here is another picture I took of Garbo Garbo at Caffe Nero in Frith Street back in 2011:
I’ve also felt compelled to photograph signs that feature hats. The escalators and platform at Kentish Town are extremely windy and the following sign is not an exaggeration:
I also really liked the Japanese street signs that show a man in a wide-brimmed hat walking rather dynamically, with a forward leaning posture: