Mr. John Millinery Patterns

Mr. John hat photographed by Edwin Blumenfeld for the cover of British Vogue, April 1951
China blue velvet beret designed by Mr. John of New York; interpreted by R.M. Hats for Marshall and Snelgrove. British Vogue, April 1951. Photo: Edwin Blumenfeld. Image: Vogue UK.

Born in Munich, celebrity milliner Hans Harberger, a.k.a. Mr. John (1902-1993), founded his New York salon in 1948. (For bio see my earlier post, 25 Jahre Mauerfall; on the complex history of Mr. John’s name and label see my Mad Men-era millinery post, or read his obituary in the Independent.)

Millinery patterns by Mr. John were available from Vogue in the first half of the 1950s. There were also mail-order Mr. John patterns from Spadea and Prominent Designer, as well as garment patterns from Advance. Vogue’s later John-Frederics patterns date to the tenure of Mr. John’s former partner, Frederick Hirst.

1950s Mr. John silk hat with hat box
Mr. John silk hat with hat box (ca. 1950). Image: Metropolitan Museum of Art.

From 1952, Vogue 7908 is a cloche with elegant shaped brim. The brim could be worn down or folded up on one side:

1950s Mr. John hat pattern - Vogue 7908
Vogue 7908 by Mr. John (1952) Image: eBay.

Vogue 7909 is a beret that dips to a point on one side, with an optional chin strap:

1950s Mr. John hat pattern - Vogue 7909
Vogue 7909 by Mr. John (1952) Image: eBay.

Vogue 7909 was still available the following year, as seen in this 1953 illustration for Ladies’ Home Journal. The lower two hats are by Mr. John:

1950s Vogue hat patterns illustrated in Ladies Home Journal, March 1953
Top: Vogue 7738 and 7929. Bottom: Vogue 7962 and 7909 by Mr. John. Ladies’ Home Journal, March 1953.

Vogue 7961 is a draped cloche, striking in striped fabric:

1950s Mr. Joh hat pattern - Vogue 7961
Vogue 7961 by Mr. John (1953) Image: Vintage Pattern Wiki.

Vogue 8441 is a shirred, draped turban, recommended for jersey:

1950s Mr. John hat pattern - Vogue 8441
Vogue 8441 by Mr. John (1954) Image: Etsy.

From 1955, Vogue 8546 is gathered at the sides into a narrow brim that crosses in the back:

1950s Mr. John hat pattern - Vogue 8546
Vogue 8546 by Mr. John (1955) Image: eBay.

Vogue 8547 is a pill box with front pleat and optional ribbon ties:

1950s Mr. John hat pattern - Vogue 8547
Vogue 8547 by Mr. John (1955) Image: Etsy.

In the later 1950s, Mr. John designed six spring hats for Everywoman’s magazine. Carmen (Carmine) Schiavone photographed one of them for the cover of the Easter issue:

Make a Mr. John Hat for Easter - Mr. John creation on the cover of Everywoman's magazine, April 1957
Make a Mr. John Hat for Easter. Everywoman’s, April 1957. Photo: Carmen Schiavone. Image: Pattern Peddler.

The patterns, which were available to readers by mail order, were home-tested by a New York homemaker (click to enlarge):

Make a Mr. John hat for Easter. Photos: Carmen Schiavone
Make a Mr. John hat for Easter. Photos: Carmen Schiavone. Image: Pattern Peddler.
Six Mr. John hat patterns available from Everywoman's magazine. Photos: Carmen Schiavone
Six Mr. John hat patterns available from Everywoman’s magazine. Photos: Carmen Schiavone. Image: Pattern Peddler.

Many of Mr. John’s hat patterns are available as reproductions on Etsy.

I’ll close with two Vogue covers featuring Mr. John hats:

A Mr. John hat photographed by Irving Penn for the cover of British Vogue, September 1951
Lisa Fonssagrives wears a hat by Mr. John, British Vogue, September 1951. Photo: Irving Penn. Image: Vogue UK.
Isabella Albonico photographed by Irving Penn in a Mr. John hat and scarf set for Vogue, March 1, 1961
Isabella Albonico wears a hat and scarf by Mr. John, Vogue, March 1961. Photo: Irving Penn.

For more hats by Mr. John, see Kristine/dovima is divine’s set on flickr.

Happy Easter, everyone!

7 thoughts on “Mr. John Millinery Patterns

  1. Oh, been chasing a couple of these! I have a version of 7909, like so many reproduction patterns, it’s missing instructions, so I look for the photos to finish it. A strap from the point around the chin? (facepalm)

    1. Oh no! Dee at Pattern Peddler has V7909, so maybe you could ask her– unless that’s where you got your copy?
      I, too, have a hat repro that’s missing instructions; I hadn’t realized it was a common problem!

  2. I have 8441, the jersey hat pattern, as well as a few others. 8441 is such a simple, attractive and practical pattern.I have to agree with Mr. John’s obituary that women have “sold out to hairdressers.” Hats are so much more practical and chic.

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