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Archive for December, 2020

Jay Cheng. Portrait by Franklin Lau

My hats are not for people who have bad hair days. They are for hat lovers who have wit, humor, and joie de vivre.

Jay Cheng, hat designer based in Canada and founder of Jaycow Millinery.

I love this quote! Baseball caps and beanies are for bad hair days, a beautiful hat shows personality.

With decades of experience in fashion design and a milliner since 2004, Ms. Cheng has created hats for runway shows, film, and television as well as custom hats for brides, celebrities, and hat collectors. She owns over 400 vintage hat blocks and approaches her craft with a sense of the unexpected, creating unique hats for special occasions and everyday wear.

How about stepping it up in 2021 with a new hat? Check out Jaycow Millinery.

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Oh Hanukkah, Oh Hanukkah come light the menorah.

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Pandemic or not, masks are here to stay and just like hats, gloves, scarves, and other accessories we can’t have enough. So, what better a holiday gift than a mask?

One of my favorite finds this pandemic year is lace masks from givelovevenice.com. There is so much I like about these face coverings:

  1. They’re pretty!
  2. They come in sizes. The “one size fits all” doesn’t work for all.
  3. The the ear loops are adjustable.
  4. Very comfortable.
  5. Breathable cotton/poly blend fabric.
  6. Made in California.

The one I’m wearing in this photo is black with a beige lining. Other colors include white and pink and lining colors come in beige, black, or white. A contrasting lining color can really change the look. Plus, there is a variety of lace patterns available. I like the added texture these masks offer and lace steps it up – good for special (distancing!) occasions or just because.

This holiday season give your BF, sister, mother, daughter, niece, auntie the gift of fashionable protection. https://givelovevenice.com/collections/lace-face-masks.

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Be safe, be respectful, wear your mask, lead with love.

Dolly Parton, American singer/songwriter, pop icon.

Sound advice for these challenging times.

Who doesn’t love Dolly Parton? I admire Ms. Parton’s upbeat attitude and confidence and I thought she was hilarious in her first movie, Nine to Five. I had no idea that she has written over 3000 songs and she was the fourth child of twelve. Twenty-five years ago she started a non-profit called Imagination Library, which provides books to disadvantaged kids.

Although her style isn’t my cup of tea, she pulls off whatever she sports – be it jeans and a western style shirt or a white beaded jumpsuit.

Do you have a Dolly fan on your holiday gift list? She’s just come out with a memoir – Songteller: My Life in Lyrics (Chronicle Books). Check out your local independent bookshop.

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Walking with The Muses is a compelling jaunt through the life of model Pat Cleveland, who hit the fashion runways when she was a teenager back in the late 1960s. Tall and strikingly attractive, she started modeling for Ebony and then went on the road with the Ebony Fashion Fair, a traveling fashion show for African American women.

While pursuing a career in modeling, Ms. Cleveland was also studying fashion design and making her own clothing. As she bopped around her native New York City, her unique style caught the eye of a Vogue magazine editor. Even Bendel’s department store bought some of her clothing, but fashion design and clothes-making hit a snag when Ms. Cleveland was unable to provide her designs in multiple sizes. So it was full steam ahead into modeling.

She went on to create a successful career as a runway and print model in Europe and the US. But there were rocky times, including not getting hired initially because she wasn’t a blue-eyed blonde. (She got her start in the industry as a fit model.) There was a disturbing incident while traveling in the south with the Fashion Fair, sexual harassment, and a violent stepfather. Still, Ms. Cleveland didn’t allow anything to keep her down; she knew what she wanted and kept going, taking knocks along the way as well as enjoying quite a few unusual adventures. Her bright spirit and inner strength is an inspiration.

During her decades-long life as a model, she worked and partied with the likes of Andy Warhol, Salvador Dali, Karl Lagerfeld, Halston and even her long time crush – Warren Beatty. Each one of her encounters has a story and there’s where we find the fun. She worked for the biggies such as Valentino, Thierry Mugler, and de Givenchy and she became known for her signature way of walking the runway, which was part strut and part dance.

Along with Ms. Cleveland’s life, Walking with the Muses offers a peek into the world of mid-century fashion in all its splendor from mini-skirts to shoulder pads. A good read for those interested in fashion history or anyone just interested in reading about a fascinating life of a successful model.

I say this is an easy holiday gift choice.

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