Saturday, September 24, 2011

Trash or Treasure

As I prepare for the big move, I have been donating excess object d'art to my favorite charity thrift shop
OUR MISSIONHousing Works is a healing community of people living with and affected by HIV/AIDS. Our mission is to end the dual crises of homelessness and AIDS through relentless advocacy, the provision of lifesaving services, and entrepreneurial businesses that sustain our efforts.
Housing works has great finds and they merchandize better than most for-profit stores. I often stop by to check out their creative window displays; so what a nice surprise to see one of the items, a yak horn, had been chosen for their best of fall window.
I urge you all to check out their online auction and maybe even bid on my horn.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The boyfriend hat

Whats the difference between men and ladies hats is an often asked question.
The answer is that the ladies wear mens hats but the men do not wear ladies hats. So Jennifer Aniston and her beau, Justin Theroux seam to be dipping in to each other closets. So is that the boyfriend hat syndrome or the girlfriend hat syndrome, that they she being donning?
Jenn dons the classic oversized brim hat that say "I'm hiding from the paparazzi under the brim and behind the glasses. Really guys, I vont to be alone". The matching black tees, black leather jackets, skinny jeans and laced up boots are a little too coordinate.
Justin did you borrow Jenn's fedora
Looking good dude. Like the civil war 'burns and 'statch.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


'I hate having to wear a wet sock on my head': U.S. army to replace berets with caps... because soldiers complained they were too hot

It is a staple of army life worn by everyone from film stars to the humblest G.I.
But effective immediately, the black beret currently worn by all serving U.S. soldiers will be replaced with the more popular - and practical - patrol cap.
The wool beret, which proved deeply unpopular since its introduction 10 years ago, will be replaced after soldiers complained it was too hot, irritating and impractical for anything other than use as ceremonial uniform.
Hats off: The US Army is abandoning the beret, after a failed 10-year experiment
Hats off: The US Army is abandoning the beret, after a failed 10-year experiment
The move came after outgoing Army chief of staff, General Martin Dempsey, asked the army's sergeant major 'to go out and talk to soldiers across the force and see what was on their minds.
Practical: Now troops can look forward to just having to wear the more useful patrol cap, seen here
Practical: Now troops can look forward to just having to wear the more useful patrol cap, seen here
'One of the things that soldiers consistently brought up was the desire to wear the patrol cap as part of their duty uniform,' he said.
The beret will still be part of the Army's dress uniform, but will no longer be worn in the field as soldiers complained that it was impractical, he said.
'It does not have a visor and doesn't shield the sun, doesn't absorb sweat well,' Collins added.
One soldier put it more bluntly.
'I hate wearing a wet sock on my head,' Chief Warrant Officer Mark Vino, at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state, told the Army Times. 'Plus it makes head/skin break out.'
With the beret, soldiers had to carry to types of head gear around - the cap for physical work and the beret for walking around base.
Now they will only have to carry their caps.
Before 2001, the black beret was associated with the elite Rangers special operations forces.
Many Rangers resented the idea that the hat they had earned the right to wear had been assigned to the entire force.
The uniform change applies to 1.32 million soldiers - including 566,473 active duty troops - and goes into effect immediately.


The beret was first used by U.S. in 1943, after a battalion Parachute Infantry were given maroon berets by their British allies as a gift.
The Marine Corps dismissed them because they looked too 'foreign' and 'feminine', until in 1953 the 'Green Berets' began wearing their distinctive head gear.
In the 1970s the use of berets boomed, with commanders encouraging troops to wear them in order to distinguish their units.
But by the 1980s so many variations existed that the army decided to scrap all but the Ranger's famous black and the airborne's maroon berets.
The new headgear comes with a lower price: a beret costs $11.90 while a patrol cap is only $6.50.
The decision does not affect units that have long worn berets as a mark of distinction, including the Rangers' black beret, Army special forces' green beret and Airborne's maroon version.
As part of the change, soldiers will have the option of having their name tags, rank and badges sewn on to their uniforms.
There also will be a new look for Army soldiers working at the Defense Department's headquarters at the Pentagon, with camouflage to be replaced with the more business-like dress uniform, Collins said.
'For soldiers serving in the Pentagon, we will transition to the dress uniform,' starting in July, he said.
In the aftermath of the attacks of September 11, 2001, all the armed services started wearing combat uniforms in the Pentagon, to underscore the country's war-footing.
But Defense Secretary Robert Gates last year had his staff drop the combat uniforms, and some other offices in the Pentagon have returned to the dress uniform.
'Our perspective is that this is the corporate part of the Army,' said Sergeant Major of the Army, Raymond Chandler, quoted on the US Army's website.
Change: Soldiers will now also be allowed to sew on name tags and service badges instead of having to just use velcro to hole them in place
Change: Soldiers will now also be allowed to sew on name tags and service badges instead of having to just use velcro to hole them in place

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Sunday, September 18, 2011


Callanan hats are now available exclusively at the Jacobean store in Beijing.
I had the pleasure of attending the store opening last weekend. You can see the interview with VOGUE TV CHINA by opening the link below. The download is rather slow but the end result is very fun and professional.

Saturday, September 17, 2011


HATS AN ANTHOLOGY by Stephen Jones opened at the Bard Graduate center, 18 West 86 NYC this week, via the Victoria and Albert Museum London. It is a wonderful exhibit that any hat lover need to go see. It is open through April 2012, so check out the web site for on-going hat leactures
The museum is situated in a townhouse, which is an intimate venue for a hat exhibit. The magic of this exhibit is that is curated by a milliner, Stephen Jones, who understands hats, lives  hats, creates them with his own fingers, to whom a hat is never an after-thought. Unlike other hats exhibits which are boringly curated by era, these hats are shown together by themes/inspiration; a hat from 1600 next to a hat from 2012, which proves my point "that there is very little new in millinery. As hat makers, we reinterpret dormant style with a modern twist". Mr Jones, milliner extroadinaire was the perfect host, meeting and getting his guests in the foyer.
Mr. Jones bookended by myself and Mr. Williams from JJ Hat Center.
On the ground floor we start out very British.
Paris may have couture but London will always have its Royal family and all there hats and Britishness.
Rule Britannia, Britannia rules.....
At Waterloo, Napoleon did surrender...
Hats are crowning glories. We know the French by their beret, the Turq by his fez and the Jewish man by his yamaca, the king by his crown.

This pierced turban by UNDERCOVER 2006 was intriging and scary.
It was shown next to this Gele African head wrap 2009.

we move to floor 2.
People forget that sports helmets, bike helmets are also headwear.
Beautiful and interesting but not sure where to wear this one?
this bought my eye. Splendid workmanship.
in person this was so supple.
This hat by Louis Vuitton, leather 2009 was featured in the geometric case.
As was this Tudor hat circa 1500-1600.
These lovely ladies were architecturally inspired.

we are now on the third floor. Let the fun begin.

Love that they used a classic Mexican hat in this case.
Next to a Dior 2007 artist pallette hat by Stephen Jones.
With an Italian silk night cap embroidered with metal circa 1740.
Another Dior by Stephen Dior  2002.
Sewn N Y Times paper by Lola 2010. Lola and I studied with legendary milliner Ann Albrizio. Lola is 1 of America's most successful hat designers.
A hat with a flower, so simple, so classic.
1920's cloche with flowers.
shallow crown gibson girl was worn on gathered up, pined up hair, rather than on the head.
Sewn milan braid with flowers.
They even set up a little milliners working space. Reminded me of my apprenticeships with Woody Shlep and Arnold Levine.

A milliners work room is a little like falling down the rabbits hole, full of delights and wonders.

Birds of a feather. Milliners caused the extension of so many bird species. Oh well, it was a great cause ,fashion!
Goose feathers by fellow Irish Man Philip Tracy 1995.
British circa 1750. Guinea and sick feather over linen base.
Recycle, recycle. fashion is not all bad.
Amazing piece by Philip Tracy.
Is this a pun on the millinery term "under glass".
Ladies with an hattitude.....
This is wear the exhibit fell flat on its face. Please look to Hollywood to see American global hat influence.
Please, you could have used a costume quality bobby hat for London.
This is insulting. It is neither authentic nor sexy. Do yourself a favor and call Milano Hat Company for the real thing or Scala if you want a sexy Madonna throw away cowboy hat from her tour.
What the hell is this?

I get it, but do you know who STETSON is?
We move on to fun hats. I was a glove hat man myself.

Philip Tracy for Sarah Jessica Parker 2008. Peacock, hand painted turkey feathers , pheasant feathers and silk roses.

Mr. Whippy by Stephen Jones 1995.
People do not know that 1 reason for the  exploration of America was for fashion. European beavers were over-hunted bur fashionistas wanted beaver hats which were a dime a dozen in the Americas.
Beaver fur felt top hat circa 1650.
With coordinated hat bad also circa 1650.
Sex sells. sex on the brain circa 1996.

tongue and cheek.
Ultimate status.
Grand Finale, top hat worn by President Roosevelt circa 1940.