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David Crossman Designs Vegan Napoleon Hats For Joaquin Phoenix: Bringing The Character Alive In Ridley Scott’s Latest Release

Napoleon’s hats have always been a matter of intrigue among the connoisseurs of fashion and history. Recently one of the hats of this iconic emperor was sold for $2.1 million. 

David Crossman is known for his expertise in making military dresses. However, when he got the offer to make Napoleon’s hats for Joaquin Phoenix in Ridley Scott’s film, he smelled the challenge and the pressure of living up to expectations.

For him, the challenge was even bigger because he had certain limitations to consider. Moreover, he had to design a vegan hat as Joaquin Phoenix is a vegan.

So, David Crossman had to find a suitable alternative to conventional wool felt and create the same look.

About his reactions after listening to the requirements and dealing with the challenges, David Crossman said,

“Immediately, I just felt it’s going to be a problem of what to make the iconic hat out of because it’s all going to be about the hat.”

However, fortunately, they found a substitute for the wool felt. They came across a fabric derived from a type of tree bark found in Uganda.

Initially, Crossman was apprehensive about the look and feel of the hat as he thought the fabric would turn out to be something like polyester or synthetic. 

He said, 

“I was just so worried it was going to be some polyester synthetic thing. But what it actually gave us, as well, was a lot of lovely surface texture on the hat.”

In addition, Crossman made sure that the hats of Napoleon, despite being made of tree bark, turned out perfectly in size, look, and feel.

To get the references right, Crossman explored some private collections. He also checked the collections of hats at the Musée de l’Armée in Paris.

David Crossman had to design a series of hats for Joaquin Phoenix to justify Napoleon’s journey from being an officer to an emperor. He also had to work on the hats worn by the actors playing generals and other rank holders in the movie.

Talking about the Napoleon hats seen in the movie, the first one to come to our notice is of course, the Emperor’s hat. The large bicorns with minimal adornments became a symbol of Napoleon’s strength as an emperor.

Another Napoleon hat to make a mark in the movie was the general’s hat. Joaquin wore an apparently simple bicorn with a golden brim. It is the flashiest of all hats worn by Joaquin Phoenix in the movie.

With the movie released on 22nd November 2023, we expect another stellar performance from Joaquin Phoenix and the team.

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