Detail: This hat is dated to the late 1970s and probably inspired by the work of Yves Saint Laurent, whose Russian and Peasant collections of 1976-7 dominated trends during this period. The hat is available in black or brown suede leather. Cut from a single piece of leather (no seams) and fully lined in satin, the construction is achieved by folding the flat cutout twice and secured quite simply with a double shoe hole and lace device to the back of the hat; this is not visible when worn. Acquired from a high profile catwalk model from the 1970s, these pieces are from Jean Muir but unlabeled as they were samples made to showcase her autumn/winter collection during this period. Beautifully crafted.
Jean Muir’s life in fashion began at the age of 22 when she joined Liberty of London in 1950. Working her way from junior stockroom assistant to the new Young Liberty section, Muir gained valuable experience sketching designs for clients.
Muir then moved to Jaeger in 1956, designing for the label until 1962; leaving to design under the Jane and Jane label. In 1966, Jean Muir established Jean Muir Ltd with her husband, Harry Leuckert. So successful were her designs that her label remained at the forefront of fashion for four decades.
The key to her designs was the emphasis on technical excellence and craft. Strict attention to the details was integral to Jean Muir's design philosophy. After Muir’s death in 1995, her staff continued to produce collections incorporating the brand’s distinctive design ethos. However, the company closed in 2007, shortly after celebrating its 40th anniversary.
Proud of her Scottish heritage, Jean Muir used Scottish craftspeople in her work throughout her career. Further cementing her ties with Scotland, Muir was a long term supporter of the National Museum of Scotland and is acknowledged as a Founder on the founder’s stone. In recognition of Muir's close links to the museum, Leuckert donated over 18,000 items from the Jean Muir archive to National Museums Scotland in 2005. From sketches to toiles, fabric samples to finished garments, the Jean Muir Collection gives an unrivalled insight to the inner workings of one of Britain’s famous fashion labels and a much-loved designer.
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