Posts Tagged ‘Barney’s’


Headpiece by Moschino Couture. Very Isabella Blow

… let’s discuss your crowning glory: a jaunty chapeau. The donning of a batty hat – a tiara, a basket of fruit, a steering wheel!  – is a fail-safe way to signal your strangeness. In the early 20th century, a lady named Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven delighted the denizens of Greenwich Village by wearing the lid of a filthy coal bucket on her head. Come summer, the taboo-busting Elsa would insert her head into a birdcage, complete with live canary. Her signature flourish? She might be the only person in history to have glued postage stamps to her face. 

Simon Doonan –  Creative Ambassador-at-Large, Barney’s.

This quote is taken from Mr. Doonan’s article in Harper’s Bazaar (September 2017) celebrating the virtues of strangeness in fashion.

The steering wheel reminds me of a “jaunty chapeau” I sported back in high school (early 80s). It was a broken vinyl record, painted blue with some of the broken pieces attached on top as decoration. I bought it from a vendor at a summer fair on Polk Street in San Francisco. Meant to be worn at an angle and tied under the chin, the hat was perfect for my New Wave look. I was all about pink baggy pants, vintage snakeskin pumps, and opalescent lipstick. Hello B-52s and Joe Jackson!

Fast forward to today and just wearing a hat is apparently strange, never mind a steering wheel or a bird cage. I sport a hat every day from caps to straw sunhats to felt cloches in the winter and I never fail to get glances and inquiries. Back in high school with my “record hat” I for sure was looking for attention but not so much now. Still there are times when I feel the same curious gaze as if I were once again balancing that broken record on my head.

I happen to like hats and I think they complete an outfit. How strange is that?

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The old Minnie and the new Minnie.

Once upon a time there was a mouse called Minnie. Everyday she liked to look nice and wear a dress, a pretty bow, pink pumps-like-her-mother’s and white gloves. She was happy.

One day a witch, perhaps you could say a stylish witch, from a place called Barney’s descended on Minnie and said rather loudly, “You are too plump and too short and you just won’t do for our spectacle holiday display. You must have a makeover!”

A crowd of  Fashionable People appeared and scurried about telling Minnie that they were  going to re-style her. The Fashionable People tugged off her gloves and pulled out her pretty bow. Minnie squealed just a little as the dress and pink pumps-like-her-mother’s were tossed aside.

Then some of the Fashionable People took hold of Minnie’s feet, some held her paws, and the rest grabbed her neck and all at the same time they stretched and stretched poor Minnie until she could stretch no more.

She was put in a dress with ruffles that she thought was too grownup for her and higher heel shoes than she was used to. But Minnie did kind of like the long gloves.

When all was done the Fashionable People stood back and commented to each other, “Ooh, doesn’t she look fabulous?” One of them said, “What an improvement!”

Minnie wondered why the way she was before wasn’t good enough. She missed her bow and she teetered so high on her stilt-like legs, she thought she might fall over. The worst part was that Minnie just didn’t feel like herself anymore and now, she was sad.

The End

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