Get ahead – get a hat

Vikki Jackson, Genesis Costume Design, with Suzanne Thurlow, Bloomsday Festival. Pic: Cian Reinhardt

THE LADIES of Leopold Bloom’s era loved the frippery and femininity of a good hat, complete with flowers. beads, brooches, feathers and tulle. The Suffragettes toned all of that down but still wore hats, content with a lesser display of ribbons and bands.

The woman with the hat and costume know-how for the Bruff summer festival and Bloomsday is Vikki Jackson of Genesius Costume and Design and she held a workshop for the ladies of Bruff in advance of the festival to show them how to put together the look for the day.


“I’m a fourth generation showbiz person,” Vikki told the LImerick Post.

“My grandfather worked with Charlie Chaplin and Stan Laurel and my grandmother owned the biggest travelling show in the country”.

Vikki has thoroughly enjoyed researching the dress style of the Joycean era and the sterner style of the Suffragettes and comparing the two.

“Pretty much anything went with hats back then. They were wide-brimmed and sat back on the head and they were decorated with tulle, flowers, feathers – all kinds of things. Blouses and skirts were the order of the day and blouses tended to have high, closed up collars.

“The Suffragettes wore hats that were much less ornate and sat right down on the head. They wore lower collars that were slightly more masculine and their clothes were often coat-style.

“Some of the poorer women who didn’t have money to adopt the fashion would just borrow their mens’ coats to go on marches and protests,” she explained.

Vikki’s handiwork and the handiwork of her students will be on display during the Bloomsday festivities and the Bruff Summer Festival.

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