Taxidermy Animal Hats: Bizarre Victorian Fashion Trend
This particular craze is perhaps an extension of the overall fascination with taxidermy, and the ways in which the Victorians pushed creative boundaries with the controversial practice.
Complete tableaux featuring dead bunnies studying in a library, for example, were all the rage, and giving the animals human characteristics after death — reading, having tea, playing croquet — was especially popular.
However, it’s still not totally clear how or why this became super fashionable with upper-class Victorians. But apparently, donning a dead, stuffed animal on top of one’s head was considered the ultimate in haute couture.
Birds were a popular choice, although the more adventurous types went with squirrels, mice, and kittens… which, when you think about it, is especially sad and awful in its own way.