​At Fashion Week, Hats Are the New Hair

You don't need to be paying much attention to know that hats have been walking the fall 2024 runways in droves. But we're not talking run-of-the-mill beanies or baseball caps. No—these are hats you don't take off when you enter a room as a sign of respect. These hats command respect all by themselves.

"Miuccia wanted her feather hats to look like hair; the velvet-vintage newsboy caps were crafted to look like flowers," I was told at the re-see the day after Prada's collection was unveiled in Milan. A table in the middle of the room was punctuated with an array of fanciful hats propped up like floral arrangements, saturated in emerald greens, mauves, and chartreuse.

But those exquisite Prada caps are part of a more significant trend across the New York, Milan, and Paris shows. One collection at a time, it's being established that minimal and maximalist headwear isn't just for society luncheons. Like previous short-sighted notions that headbands were for tweens or Mary Janes were for colloquial school girls, hats are being re-evaluated.

With his ladylike pillbox hats harkening back from the past, Altuzarra assured us the accessory would live beyond the images of Jackie Kennedy in her tweedy pink one. Loro Piana had them, too, alongside bucket hats, bowler hats, and chic little hat pins. At FFORME, a brand from Paul Helbers who previously launched menswear at The Row, sock-like head-covering caps were king— paired with long streamlined coats and drapey dresses—in rudimentary creams, reds, and navy. If you can't see yourself wearing a statement-making pillbox hat, you might envision yourself in one of these. Missoni offered a similar swimwear cap silhouette in their signature stripe motif.

And at Marni, set inside a papier-mâché cave, guests did a double-take to assess whether the models donned hair-like hats or dystopian mullet cuts. But hats they were—like cowhide rugs for your noggin, floppy-eared faux fur trappers were asymmetrically cut in black and brown.

At Bally, the Swiss brand also embraced the trend with pragmatic little beanies and ball caps, but so intrinsic to the clothes accompanying them that the no-hat indoors rule doesn't apply to these.

We have entered a new epoch for hats. Soon, Etsy or that rare corner hat shop will no longer be the only place keeping the art of millinery alive. Now, who makes a great hat box?