We have come a long way from 1930’s when the gentlemen of upper class could distinguish their social status in society, by wearing a tuxedo and a Top hat. Nevertheless, there are some occasions such as Groundhog Day in Punxsutawney Pennsylvania, where Top hats come out to play once a year on February 2nd.
Embracing success: Bérénice Bejo in ‘The Artist.’ | © La Petite Reine. Studio 37.
Back in the first half of twentieth century, when it was all about the type of apparel you wore; Top hat was reserved for bourgeois upper class men as Flat caps were to be worn by working class. Hats like Bowler and Fedora were middle classes ticket to up-town balls. But today, all these kinds of social distinctions are to be made, not by the type of your apparel, but the name written on their inner tag. In this fashion, names Like Versace, Burberry, Ralph Lauren, Chanel, Prada And GUCCI carry more significance than an English lord’s gauntlet.
Top hat as a prop which would project authenticity
Groundhog Day ceremony got international recognition after 1993 romantic-fantasy Film “Groundhog Day” starring Bill Murray. But according to the circle of custodians, in charge of the annual ceremony, this tradition has been going on since 1887.
Bill Murray in a shot from Groundhog Day (1993)
One former member of the circle of custodians, in charge of the annual event, told Smithsonian Magazine; they dress up for Phil because, historically speaking, when VIPs came to town, they’d be met by a greeter wearing that outfit. “Punxsutawney Phil is a dignitary around here, so we think he deserves that same treatment,” former Inner Circle president Bill Cooper said.
The circle of custodians also claims that “Phill” is the same groundhog which their committee first consulted with, to predict the length of winter of 1887!!!