To be the greatest designer in Paris is a title that most fashion houses would cut their limbs off for. So when one house achieves such a lofty award and to maintain that title is remarkable. If you are a hat fiend, that goes to Paulette.
Born Paulette Adam de la Bruyere in 1900. Her career began in 1921, whilst working in a hat shop owned by a friend. Given what a mouthful her name was, she chose the moniker Paulette in 1929. A decade later she established Paulette Modes. Her impressive clients included Greta Garbo, Marlene Dietrich, Audrey Hepburn, Gloria Swanson, Grace Kelly and Wallis Simpson. In addition to her Hollywood clients, Cecil Beaton commissioned to create headwear for ‘My Fair Lady’ and ‘Gigi’.When couturiers such as Schiaparelli, Chanel, Ungaro, Laroche and Mugler wanted hats for their fashion houses, they turned to Paulette. Once the ’60’s commenced, there was a notable shift from hats to fur. Why I am not sure, personally I think hats are more of a chic accessory.
Like Caroline Reboux with her Cloche, Paulette is best remembered for popularising the turban. Apparently the idea came to her, after cycling around Paris seeing girls. Since this was during WWII, shampoo was in limited supply. Being able to hide one’s messy hair became more important than ever. Such a chic solution proved to be a massive success, explaining why turbans make an appearence in retro fashion. Even Simone De Beauvoir was a fan.
Paulette finally passed away in 1984. Her contribution to beautiful headwear is incomparable.