I’m writing today’s post in a haze of happiness because I’ve just been offered a job in publishing, which has been my ambition for an incredibly long time. My stint of unemployment is over, and I am so, so relieved, excited and a little bit nervous!
Anyway, back to the matter at hand: hats!
I watched Les Miserables last night and, whilst singing along very loudly, I noticed a lot of hats going on there.
You can’t see the hat particularly well in this picture, but Jean Valjean is wearing what looks like a classic top hat when he saves Cosette. However, it’s quite squat and broad, which makes me think that it shows him to be from a different background. Perhaps it was designed to show that he was not always of such high a class as he is now: the fashionable hats worn by upper-class men were much taller and slimmer.
Here Javert, Valjean’s determined pursuer, is wearing a pretty funky hat. I think it has connections to naval dress. I don’t know exactly what Javert’s job is, but this hat certainly confirms him as important – how could you not be with a hat that big?
Here’s Cosette in a promotional image for the film. She’s wearing an example of a popular 19th century bonnet, worn by a lot of Victorian women. I like the contrast between the dark, demure dress, with the feminine pink flush of the hat. Perhaps it reflects the contrast between her traditional femininity, and how little she knows or understands about Valjean’s history.
More likely, I’m just reading way too much into it.