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Hedda Hopper’s Hats: A ‘Feud’ Appreciation

Joey Moser previews Sunday’s Feud finale with an appreciation of Hedda Hopper ‘s extravagant collection of fantastic hats.

Judy Davis as Hedda Hopper on Ryan Murphy’s bitchfest Feud: Bette and Joan is a dream come true. Every time she walks on screen, you automatically take notice of how impeccably she is dressed. Thanks to 3-time Emmy winning costume designer Lou Eyrich, Hedda draws the focus away from Joan Crawford and Bette Davis with her impeccable style. As we head into Sunday’s finale titled “You Mean All This Time We Could’ve Been Friends?,” we ask what’s the perfect accessory to a great ensemble? A fabulous hat, of course. If you can’t be the true queen of Hollywood, you might as well wear a hat like a crown.

10. The Gossip Queen of Whoville

Episode: Mommie Dearest

For some reason this particular hat reminded me of a character from a Dr. Seuss movie adaptation. This is one of the few hats shown on Feud that doesn’t have any feathers on it (Hedda loves her birds, doesn’t she?), and it’s a departure from some of the black and white caps that we will see later on this list. Joan and Hedda dish a lot on the filming of What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? in their scenes together, and this particular scene has the gleeful gossiper asking about the filming of the notorious beach scene.

Best Hedda Quote: “What did the hag do to cock it up?”

9. “You Can Tell Hedda…”

Episode: The Other Woman

In one of Hedda’s briefest scenes set at a Jack Warner soiree, she asks the starlets if they are truly getting along. In front of a crowd of reporters, both Joan and Bette play nice for the camera. This hat is a bit clunky, balancing on top of Judy Davis’ head like a huge snowball ready to start an avalanche.

Best Hedda Quote: Since she only has one line in this scene, we will steal a line from Stanley Tucci’s foul-mouthed Warner: “I haven’t seen this much shit since my last bowel movement.”

8. The Bob Who?

Episode: The Other Woman

In one of the fewest scenes Hedda has without Joan Crawford, we see her pushing the buttons of Baby Jane director, Bob Aldrich (Alfred Molina). Hedda Hopper only cares about the scoop, and her guts are as big as the combed-over feathers of this beauty. Even though Tilda Swinton didn’t exactly play Hopper in the Coen Brothers’ Hail, Caesar! last year, she did play a Hopper-like figure, and this hat is close to what that film was trying to replicate. This Hedda (the real one), of course, has much more drama.

Best Hedda Quote: It’s a tie! “I hope dignity pays your gas bill.” Or “You know who you remind me of? NOT John Ford!”

7. She’s Got Balls

Episode: Mommie Dearest

Hedda goes to Bette’s house to try and get a different type of scoop, and she brings this drunken Mickey Mouse ears floral headpiece in tow. Susan Sarandon’s Davis isn’t buying anything Hedda is selling, but I am dying to find this look for my next formal event.

Best Hedda Quote: “Everything is fair game.” Does it get more Hedda Hopper than that?

Hedda Hopper

6. Be a Flower–Not a Weed

Episode: More, Or Less

Hedda Hopper has a lot of ways to get the dish from Hollywood’s brightest, and sometimes she just has to let them wallow. Hedda spends a lot of her time in Feud listening to Joan Crawford be miserable, so it’s fun to see her bring some color. This particular episode finds Joan worrying over the reviews of Baby Jane, and she fears all the combative time on set will only lead to more praise for her arch rival. Not only does Hedda bring well-packaged sympathy and a shoulder to cry on–she brings flowers. On her damn head.

Best Hedda Quote: “They wouldn’t dare nominate her and not you! Sure, she plays a lunatic–but you play a cripple!

5. The Grand Entrance

Episode: Pilot

This is what we call a proper introduction. The first time we lay eyes on Hedda Hopper, she’s banging down Joan Crawford’s door. She wants to know if Crawford actually did stumble into a car home after a boozy Golden Globes ceremony (aren’t they all?). This look is classic and gorgeous. The feathers on this hat wave around on her head like a treacherous halo.

Best Hedda Quote: “Announce me.”

4. Oscar Sabotage

Episode: And the Oscar Goes To… (The Oscars of 1963)

Dying for more feathers? You got it!

This green and blue cap looks like a bird’s nest or a spider web, and that’s fitting because of the plan that Hedda hatches in this episode. In order to get Joan Crawford on the Oscar stage to accept Best Actress, Hedda and Joan campaign against Bette by swinging votes in the direction of Geraldine Page and (eventual winner) Anne Bancroft. This episode was probably the reason Feud was made in the first place, and it’s a doozy. Any show that brings attention to women and awards gets bonus points.

Best Hedda Quote: “That poor Oscar has to watch that woman go to the toilet!”

3.The Fluffy Skunk

Episode: Hagsploitation

Straight Jacket may be a stinker, but this hat sure ain’t! In an entire season about Bette and Joan and Bette and Joan, Feud doesn’t allow Hedda to talk about herself much. Towards the end of the season, she admits that she had a heart attack, and she laments on her career. She’s more conservative here that she is all season with her scarf almost up to her chin. Her hat looks like something that she’d wear to a funeral, but it’s still eccentric and furry. It has a whole “Pepé Le Pew caught me, and of course I skinned him alive and made a hat out of him” vibe.

Best Hedda Quote: “I always find out.”

2. The Hat That Fear Built

Episode: Pilot

When Bette and Joan go to have lunch with Hedda Hopper, they intend to present a united, harmonious front. Screw that–Hedda can see right through it! She wants to know who gets top billing for Baby Jane, and she wil force feed you that disgusting fish Jell-O if she has to. This hat is pretty restrained in terms of color, and the look is sophisticated. This is a hat a hostess wears to entertain, darling.

Best Hedda Quote: “We’re skipping dessert. I’m already getting diabetes”

1. The Poisonous Banana Creme Pie

Episode: The Other Woman

In a season full of fabulous chapeaus, I have to go with the most over-the-top look. When Hedda learns that Joan gave a scoop to another columnist, she barges into the Crawford compound in quite a tizzy while the Oscar-winner is getting a massage. She’s wearing a floral yellow and white dress, and the large, white feathers on her hat make her look like a deranged dessert.

This hat is just like Hedda herself: bigger than life and glamorous.

Best Hedda Quote: “No! Sven’s staying put! I want this young man to be a witness. He should know what carcass it is that he’s been handling!”

Feud: Bette and Joan concludes Sunday night on FX at 10pm ET.

You Mean All This Time We Could Have Been Friends? | Season 1 Ep. 8 Trailer | FEUD: Bette and Joan

Joan accepts a leading role on a new film despite her deteriorating health. Faced with a new rival, Bette reflects on her misplaced feud with Joan.