Saturday, 8 March 2014

Panama-mania in Provence …….Weekend Reflections

Panama-mania at my favourite provençal market.
Our Panama hats, purchased at this market hat stall in Provence, have finally gone into hibernation until our winter solstice, when they will be retrieved and whisked off to France to enjoy the summer sun. 

Although renown for creating and exporting distinctive, refined fashion since the the seventeenth century, the French also have "an eye" for spotting items of elegance, style and superb craftsmanship  from other cultures.  Fashion that is now entrenched in the French culture, such as Panama hats and bright provençal fabrics, have their origins far from the azure seas of France. 

The exhibition of the toquilla hat at the 1855 World Fair in Paris by the Frenchman Philippe Raimond, a resident of Panama, is credited for making this finely woven Ecuadorian hat - "the Panama", a chic, obligatory fashion accessory of the rich and famous. 

P.S. This is not my elbows in the mirror, but that of a person trying on a hat.  I have used a zoom and I am way off to the left of this image.