12.6 Exotic extravaganzas

Man with fez hatOriental habits came even from the Russian Ballets of Diaghilev and provoked new extravaganzas. Some wore busbies that were black astrakhan like the Turkish ones, or of thick wolf fur like the Hungarian Hussars wore.

The development of colonial politics spread exotic styles. The Tarbouch was a big black and red Fez decorated in Napa leather, the crown was divided in sections, and it was stiff with a pleated ribbon.

Travelling developed and those visiting the Orient displayed refined hats, often made of Tuscan straw, with a wide and enriched brim to protect themselves from the hot sun.

Italian elegance was recognized anywhere. The war upset the world. The futurists used to say “Progress is a divinity dressed in steel”, but the tough armour wasn’t enough to protect it. The race towards progress abruptly and brutally interrupted.

The Cambiaghi hat factory in Monza had a daily production of more than 20,000 pieces, 80% of which were destined to be exported. Its decline was saved by military wear.