In Marin / COLLECTORS
COLLEC TOR Jan Wahl
YEARS COLLECTING About 30, since I became a regular on
TV, the lecture circuit and radio.
HOW MAN Y PIECES? Between 70 or 80 at any one time.
I often give older hats away to organizations to auction off,
always signing the inside. But some I keep forever.
WHY? Hats put the show in showbiz. It also takes courage to
wear hats — people can think you are rather eccentric, and in
my case, they are right.
FIRST PIECE I fell in love with Mae West movies when I was a
child, so I would look in secondhand stores for feathered hats.
But in the collection now, I think my Hollywood hat is the oldest.
FAVORITE I love the Victorian colorful hat from the Dickens
Fair with the beads hanging down. It reminds me of the 1920s
and ’30s, also a favorite time of mine. Great scandals. I also
love the Hollywood hat. I wore it when I stage-managed an
Oscar pre-show and saw Elizabeth Taylor and asked her what
she thought of the Academy Awards. “Darling,” she said,
throwing her fox fur around her neck. “I am the Academy
Awards.” The hat represents that wonderful moment.
VALUE Priceless to me, but maybe $3,000.
HIGHEST-PRICE ITEM $400, for a custom-made captain’s
hat for speaking on cruises.
LOWEST-PRICE ITEM A cap from my beloved Mill Valley
JAN WAHL, MARIN’S maven of movies, will be busy this month discussing at length the upcoming Oscar nominations on KRON- 4 television, on KCBS radio and via her own ewspaper column. Here’s a look at her
signature toppers. MIMI TOWLE
A Marin collection that looks
even better on your head than
it does on the shelf.