Sunday, October 23, 2011

Friday Book Launch! Brazil TV! Stephen Jones on Hats!

CRYBABY Presents JOANA AVILLEZ'S "Life Dressing" from CRYBABY Presents on Vimeo.

Just a reminder that this Friday, October 28, 7-10pm, is the book launching party for LIFE DRESSING: THE IDIOSYNCRATIC FASHIONISTAS! Please be sure to join us at Primetime Gallery, 135 Hungtington Street in Brooklyn! It's between Court and Clinton Streets, and just a short walk from the Smith / 9th Street Station on the F line. Above is a video that will absolutely convince you to buy a copy, if you weren't already convinced. Below is a map that will help you get to Primetime Gallery.

Brazilian TV! Some of our readers have been clamoring for more videos, particularly since Jean knocked everyone dead with her fabulous turban demonstration. We have a few in the pipeline, but in the meantime we're happy to show you the video below, shot by on the occasion of Ari Seth Cohen's Advanced Style party at the Ace Hotel for Fashion Week.

Stephen Jones on Hats! On October 20th, we went to
"A Mad Hatter's Logic: Stephen Jones in Conversation with Patricia Mears"
at Bard Graduate School as part of the Gallery's programs for "Hats: An Anthology by Stephen Jones" on view through April 15, 2012. We connected with our kindred spirit from north of the border, none other than the Forest City Fashionista herself!

In a lively conversation, milliner extraordinaire, Stephen Jones, and Patricia Mears, deputy director of the Museum at FIT, discussed the evolution of his work as a milliner, his sources of inspiration and his experience curating the Hats exhibition. (Photo from

We ran into Ari Seth Cohen outside Bard. A hat lecture is the perfect venue for women of a certain age. In the black and white hat is Helen Drutt, the doyenne of mid-century jewelry. Jewelry was always a fine art, but Helen spotlighted it, championed it, and almost singlehandedly raised its profile, helping to get it the attention and respect it deserves.

We are the first to admit that hats aren't always necessary. This woman is proof positive.

Our co-host of the evening, Rebecca Mears (deputy director of the museum at FIT), wore a beautiful little black Stephen Jones hat (with a curl like a wisp of smoke right out of a Dr. Seuss illustration) to top off her exquisitely tailored suit. She looked, as they say, "like a million bucks"!

Stephen talked about working with Jasper Conran and Zandra Rhodes in the early 1980s as well as his collaborations with Jean-Paul Gaultier, Rei Kawakubo and John Galliano.

After the slide show, lecture and Q&A, the most enjoyable part was when Stephen Jones invited the audience to wear his hats, with him personally fitting each volunteer. Below are some of the results.

Here's a photo of the young woman above, before Stephen fitted her with a hat.

And here she is, in the hat, along with two other fans. Note Valerie in the background, right rear, documenting something "in another part of the forest", so to speak!

This woman modeled a silver top hat surrounded in black netting.

Here is another audience member modeling one of Mr. Jones' chapeaux.

Jean was another of the chosen few. Here she is getting fitted with a tiara.

Jean is blown away by the results. (This picture has not been photoshopped.)

Here she is, sashaying down the center aisle with Stephen's choice for her, looking as if she's just won a pre-teen beauty pageant. (Jean says: Yes, I was channeling my inner "Toddlers & Tiaras" and working that aisle like a runway!")

This woman made the fabulous hat she's wearing...

... as well as this completely different and equally fabulous multi-pronged hat.

Wish we had a close-up of this woman's hat, but her whole outfit was wonderful.

Milliner Rod Keenan, whom we'd met at the show's opening, showed up looking quite dapper. He and Gretchen Fenston are doing a Study Day/Demonstration called "Hats-in-Progress" at Bard on Friday, November 11, 2011 from 10 AM to 4:30 PM.

Here's a shot of Leigh Wishner and Valerie.

Ari Seth Cohen and Debra Rapoport after the lecture and reception paused for a photo before heading out the door.

Stephen Jones is a superb public speaker, equally comfortable addressing a large group or an individual fan. It would take a whole additional blog entry to relate all the stories he told. He is very knowledgeable and very passionate and possesses a wicked sense of humor - a fabulous combination.


  1. Thank you, you fabulously awesome dames, for helping to make the past four days the best "pre-birthday celebration" ever! Wish I could have stayed for the book launch, but will order a copy post-haste, and look forward to the photos.

  2. Hat heaven!!! So great to see the Forest City Fashionista with the two of you! Looking forward to the book launch photos.

  3. I feel as if I have traveled afar, when I arrive at the end of one of your posts.
    Sunday's adventure…
    sent me off on a shopping excursion to possess Life Dressing,
    invited me to watch a Brazilian video, arguably the most insightful one yet, of Ari’s Advanced Style party and your life-philosophy, and
    taught me to take more risks in wearing hats.
    And, like the end of a true journey, I smile within remembering all the laughter and genuine f-u-n it was…
    discovering new artists,
    seeing things from a different perspective, and
    being inspired to be more courageous.