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    Please don’t go too mainstream with that Aretha Franklin inauguration hat

    Aretha Franklin Inauguration Hat | Hattitude. Please don’t go too mainstream with that Aretha Franklin hat

    You know that hat. It’s the hat that won’t go away. The grey one with the oversized bow that sung out louder than its wearer at the inauguration. Well, it seems that the Aretha Franklin Inauguration hat has continued to take on a life of its own.

    The hat in question neither shocked or amazed me with in either its beauty or its showiness.

    I’m quite familiar with rather flamboyant handmade “Church Lady” hats worn with pride and gusto as the niece of an old time milliner. The New York Times once described by the hat shop that my aunt founded, “If a black church toward the end of Lent is one great pageant, a place like Mildred’s Hat Shop on Utica Avenue is the dressing room.” My mom grew up wearing tams and my aunt made fancy hats. There ya go.

    But the country is still gaga about Aretha’s darn $179 concoction designed by Luke Songof Detroit’s Mr. Song Millinery. So much so, that People StyleWatch reports that there will be the Aretha-inspired collection shown during February’s Women’s Wear in Nevada trade show in Las Vegas. But you can get other hats designed by Mr. Song here and now, .

    The New York Timesquotes Mr. Song as sayingof the Aretha rankling Inauguration hat, “The order numbers exceed what we can physically make,” he said. “Our vendors say the clients can’t wait three or four weeks, so some of them are just buying up our inventory, just so they can have the label. I’m in disbelief of what’s going on.” (content continues below hats)

    Big Ol’ Glamour Hats:

    The hat you don’t dare to dis-R.E.S.P.E.C.T. has also caused a viral commotion. chronicles its spread in a rather humorous photo gallery. Then there is its Flicker pool. Don’t stop here, there’s even a Facebook group for Aretha Franklin’s Inauguration Hat.

    Would the hat be looked at in a different light if worn by someone like Beyonce? Is the country finally getting a first look at a much-heralded African-American iconic millinery institution? What about the Queen of England, her hats are pretty out there? Then, there’s always Dame Edna’s wig that is sort of like a hat…

    All I’m askin’, would you wear the hat?

    –January 29, 2009

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