The first appearance of the John Bull hat was on the head of Patsy Kensit in the 1987 AW Harris Tweed catwalk show at Olympia in London.
It was the third big felt blocked hat to be designed by Vivienne after the Bowler & Mountain hats of a few years previous.
It used the same signature technique of a padded ‘sausage’ inside the brim to fit the hat to the head.
The theme of the whole Harris Tweed show was traditional England; the monarchy, fox hunting, traditional fabrics such as barathea & lamb’s wool being used as well as tweed. The hat was copied from the short Topper hat worn by the personification of Great Britain & particularly England created at the beginning of the 18th century by John Arbuthnot. The satirical cartoon character, John Bull.
Still a regular seller in Worlds End Shop the hat is surrounded by a wide ribbon & comes in just four colours, black, cream, grey & red as it was decided that this hat did not suit all the colours that the Mountain hat comes in. A straw version was made recently.