Archive for June, 2014

People will stare. Make it worth their while.

– Harry Winston, American jeweler (1896-1978)

I would add – make it worth their while but always in good taste. (You don’t want people to stare for the wrong reasons.)


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untitledIt’s time to burn the beret and bury the blue dress.

– Monica Lewinsky, Former Clinton White House intern.

When the Clinton/Lewinsky sex scandal caught our attention in 1998 and photos of Ms. Lewinsky sporting a black beret were plastered just about everywhere, I thought: “Well, that’s it for the beret. No one is ever going to want to be seen in one of those again.” But not so.

After maybe a year, the simple chapeau returned completely unscathed. I’m impressed with its resilience and I’m also thoroughly convinced it’s here to stay. I know I love mine for its chic factor and versatility. Milliner Stephen Jones once said, “The beret is the t-shirt of hats.”

Ms. Lewinsky you go ahead and burn that beret, who can blame you? But the rest of us will continue to don ours, thank you.

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POINT-APRIL-2014-VFF-adComing up this weekend is the Alameda Point Vintage Fashion Faire, Friday and Saturday, June 13th and 14th at Michaan’s Annex Auction Showroom, 2701 Monarch Way, Alameda, CA.

Produced twice a year by Sandra Gordon Michaan, who also co-founded and runs the popular Alameda Point Antique Faire, this is more than just selling vintage fashion treasures, it’s a happening.

“This event is the fastest growing vintage clothing event on the West Coast,” says Ms. Michaan. “We provide our customers and the fashion industry with high-quality, rare vintage clothing and celebrate vintage with a different theme party every 6 months.”

The theme this time around is 1940s/WWII/USO and on Friday evening, 6pm to 9pm there will be a vintage fashion contest. First prize is a $100 voucher to shop the show. Plus enjoy food and a no-host bar, and live entertainment by Tin Cup Serenade featuring singer Emily Ann Reed.  Fifty dealers will be selling items from the Victorian era right up to the 1990s (I guess that’s vintage now). Please note that Friday evening is 21 and over only.

Saturday is the big shopping day but the theme continues for anyone wanting to dress in their 40s best. Or any era or even better, get creative and mix it up. Dealers include my pals Barbara Grigg from Vintage Vogue and Jula and Roberto from City Vintage.

The Alameda Point Fashion Faire – Friday, June 13, 6pm-9pm and Saturday, June 14th 11am-5am. Ten dollars on Friday, which includes reentry on Saturday. Five dollars on Saturday. Michaan’s Annex Auction Showroom, 2701 Monarch Way, Alameda, CA.

Be there or be square.







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Photo: Richard Aiello

Photo: Richard Aiello

Once I read a story about a butterfly on the subway and today, I saw one. It got on at 47th and off at 59th where I assume it was going to Bloomingdale’s to buy a hat, which will turn out to be a mistake as almost all hats are.

– Kathleen Kelly, children’s book shop owner and fictional character in the 1998 film, You’ve Got Mail. Screenplay by Nora Ephron and Delia Ephron.

Clearly, the Ephron sisters were not hat gals.

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Image courtesy of Jasmin Zorlu.

Image courtesy of Jasmin Zorlu.

Milliner Jasmin Zorlu is coming to the Bay Area from NYC to teach a couple of hat making workshops scheduled for June 14th and 15th, 10-2 and June 17th, 11-6.

Several years ago I took one of Ms. Zorlu’s freeform hat blocking workshops and made my own brown cloche that I have sported to many an Art Deco event. It was great fun, challenging but not too hard, and it was a pleasure to work with Ms. Zorlu, who BTW, teaches Millinery at Parsons the New School for Design.

Here’s what Ms. Zorlu has to say about her upcoming workshops:

I’m flying to California in a week to teach a few different exciting hat making workshops at the studio of Wayne Wichern. Wayne is a master milliner and teaches wonderful workshops out of his beautiful space at the Peninsula Art Center in Burlingame, California. This will be the 4th year that Wayne is generously hosting my classes. This year we have an exciting addition, a new workshop on how to form Jinsin straw, also commonly called buntal. Many milliners in England, Australia and France use it, but it’s still new to American milliners, because until now, it hasn’t been carried by a domestic supplier.

Click here to watch a video about the process.

Local readers, here’s your chance! Check this out for more information and to register.



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imagesPretty women wonder where my secret lies.

I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size   

But when I start to tell them,

They think I’m telling lies.

I say,

It’s in the reach of my arms,

The span of my hips,   

The stride of my step,  

The curl of my lips.   

I’m a woman

Phenomenal woman,   

That’s me.

From the poem, Phenomenal Woman by Maya Angelou (1928-2014).

Thank you, Ms. Angelou. Your phenomenal voice lives on.

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