Milliners Guild, Inc is a national, not-for-profit organization whose mission is preserving the historic craft of hat-making for women. This month, Westchester County’s own milliners work can be viewed in the virtual exhibit, “Solidarity in Style: Celebrating Women’s Suffrage”.
With regard to the approaching election, Milliners Guild is celebrating the 100 years of activism that has led to women’s ability to exercise their voting rights. President of the Milliners Guild, Sally Caswell, says, “The women that we are honoring in this exhibit are only a small selection of the many people who have sacrificed so much so that we have the opportunity to vote.” Members of the guild have interpreted the individual feelings and experiences of suffragists to incorporate these elements into creating custom and vintage-inspired headwear.
This creative outlet honors the efforts of these women, the hats are stylistically similar to those available during the movement or based on what famed suffragists were pictured wearing. Westchesterites Jennifer Hoertz and June Gumbel both participated in this exhibit and designed pieces based of Inez Milholland and Dr. Mabel Ping Hua-Lee, respectively. The milliners were asked to incorporate some of the colors associated with the suffragist movement — such as white to represent purity, purple for loyalty, and yellow for hope.
Viewers of the exhibit can not only appreciate the fine craftsmanship of these modern milliners, but can also learn more about the culture and key players from the explanations associated with each design.