Hats Uncovered

by Wendy Ann Rosen


A great hat is the perfect way to frame a beautiful makeup. Hats from the House of Hats Collection. Photographer Albert Sanchez


Wendy Ann Rosen’s House of Hats is the best collection of 20th-century hats outside a museum. Wendy Ann, a makeup artist by trade, not only collects hats, but keeps them in a world-class collection of vintage hat boxes. Some of her hats are included in the V&A’s recent Hats: An Anthology exhibition, curated by Stephen Jones. Those hats are still traveling the world.

Wendy Ann is one of L.A.’s hidden treasures, someone only a few aficionados know about. Working on her own, mostly in the 1990s, she researched the history of 20th-century millinery and identified, bought, and preserved the best examples of the milliner’s art.

 In addition to hats and hat boxes, she collects tools of the hat-maker's trade, signs and other ephemera, and the adorable cupcake-sized mini hats and boxes that were used as milliner's gift certificates since hats were custom-fitted. Although some of Wendy Ann's hats are from famous fashion designers, including Chanel, Dior and Schiaparelli, many are from hat specialists like Madame Georgette who were renowned in their day but are now forgotten. “I want to make sure that they're recognized and remembered; that's my main purpose,” she says.