Sunday, December 29, 2013

The Style Crone-icles

What better way to celebrate The Style Crone's impromptu Christmas visit to New York than to go hat shopping and to see Sandra Bernhard's "Sandyland" at Joe's Pub? Even the weather cooperated, with mild temperatures in the mid-50s in late December!

PHASE I: Hat Shopping:
We don't know how we did this, but we did - we neglected to take a picture of ourselves or of Judith at our first stop. You'd think we'd know by now (especially considering how many times we've blogged about it -- don't we read our own blog???), but no. So instead (and with as much pleasure as we would have showing pictures of ourselves), here are photos of two people we met while diligently truffle hunting for fab stuff.

First we ran into Stephanie, looking amazing in a Comme des Garcons sweater and Alexander Wang boots. Yes, she is that gorgeous -- she combines a wonderfully goth, glam look with a great sense of style and humor. We first met Stephanie at the Opening Ceremony party on the pier at last fall's Fashion Week.

While we were running around trying everything on, we bumped into Andrew Medlin, whom we'd met at a recent Issey Miyake party. Loved his Miyake shirt, Calvin Klein coat, black and white high-top lace-ups. He's now working at Rei Kawakubo's new seven story Dover Street Market and made us promise - twisted our arms! - to visit. (Jean ran into Andrew again on her way home from Joe's Pub and filled him in on all the evening's dish.)

Judith had specifically asked if we would take her to look at hats, and mentioned with a hint of nostalgia the last time we'd taken her to Fabulous Fanny's. It's a short walk in a city that invites walking, and the weather was incredibly mild, so we began to make our way there. We came across this huge outdoor panorama of Christmas gifts, so FINALLY we took a few pictures.

Judith was wearing a colorful Chinese wedding skirt and a circa 1920 cape with bright blue neck gator and armlets.  They were repurposed from a cashmere sweater and given to her by another blogger named Jean whose blog is called Dross into Gold.  Have a look - it's a great blog for women of - um - well, let's just say it: our age.

On our way to Fabulous Fanny's, it occurred to us that Judith is open to new hats as well as vintage, so we surprised her with a stop at Gallery Vercon on the same street. We had a lovely chat with Vashti de Verteuil, the gallery's founder, who also makes a large selection of the hats she carries, as well as the jewelry. Here's Judith with Vashti, and two of the hats she tried on. The hat (turban, really) on the left is a very sophisticated combination of black, mustard yellow and oxblood red. It takes a practiced eye to know how to put those colors together. We know enough about Judith now to know that she has exactly the right thing in her wardrobe to show off this hat to best effect. The one she's wearing has a wonderful rakish bow that tilts at a tantalizing angle, and can be worn in a variety of ways. Vashti told us that Vera Wang sends her brides to Vashti for her custom-made hats. How cool is that?!

When we finally made it to Fabulous Fanny's (where a cut-out of us from our appearance in Time Out New York hangs by the front door - again, we failed to take a picture, but you can see the original here), Judith was like a kid in a candy shop, and needed no help or encouragement from us. Here she is, with newfound treasures in one of those 1960s vinyl hat boxes with a transparent panel, a wonderful gift thrown in by the folks at FaFa's. (They take undisguised pleasure in great glasses and great hats, both of which they stock in quantity.  Everyone there has a great eye for design.)

We had another stop in mind, but never made it. Tummies growling by now, we flagged down a cab to get a bite to eat at Joe's Pub before the evening's star -- Sandra Bernhard --  performed her latest act, Sandyland. The bag below, full of hats and other goodies, is bigger than it looks here, so Judith and Valerie protected the swag in the back...

...while Jean rode shotgun in the front of the taxi.

PHASE II: A Trip to Sandyland:

Here we are at our perch in Joe's pub. It's a small and intimate location, and our seats in the last row, overlooking the entire venue, were perfect: with no one behind us, we wouldn't have anyone asking us to (gasp) remove our hats.

For the fourth year in a row, Sandra Bernhard has appeared at Joe's Pub during the holidays to give her perspective on the year's events. She opened her set in a white shirt and black leather jeans with a glitzy necklace and earrings and signature curls. She has definitely mellowed. Gone are the acerbic, bitchy, edgy, screaming rants. They've been replaced by descriptions of the trials and tribulations of raising her daughter Cecily ("named after Cecily Tyson" NOT Sisley jeans or the island in Italy) with her waspy, blond partner of 15 years; of buyer's remorse for $1500 worth of Dead Sea salt facial and body products and for $1200 worth of CUTCO knives and scissors; and travelogues of locales visited while performing and vacationing. Hint: Don't wax poetic about Prague in her presence.

Via monologue and song, she sums up the past year.  Although she is accompanied by three accomplished musicians, let's just say singing is not her strong suit. It does, however, set the mood and create atmosphere. At the end of her set, she exited the stage but quickly returned clad in white men's underwear and tank top for her cynical but energetic rendition of Miley Cyrus' "Wrecking Ball".

The less than flattering lingerie and Ugg-like ankle boots added more than a touch of humor and irony to her grand finale.

Not ready to call it a night, we hung out in the lobby of the Public Theater to finish catching up with each other, and began to attact a following of our own when another one of the productions concurrently showing in the building (the Joseph Papp Theater) let out.  (This photo by Judith.)

Soooo many wonderful women of a certain age (many of them gray-haired) go to the theater.  We regret we weren't fast enough (or nervy enough) to whip out our cameras and photograph more of them.  This lovely trio of ladies was sweet enough to stop and chat.

At one point we were stopped by Tranna Wintour (!) and each of us photographed the other.  She was visiting from Montreal and was heading in to see Sandra Bernhard's late show.

All too soon, the evening was over and we headed homeward. Judith asked to photograph the backs of our heads with her camera.  Intrigued, we asked her to take another for us.  Here's what we looked like.

Adios, until next time, Style Crone.  Thank you so much for coming and bringing all your holiday cheer with you!


  1. Judith had told me about her last minute trip to NY and I was both thrilled and envious that she would get to hang out with you two. The three of you are a feast for the eyes, and of course, you showed her a marvelous time. I'm going to have to make it to Fabulous Fannies on my next trip.

  2. Sounds like the best hang-out ever. The three of you look fabulous together. I appreciate the shout out, too. Valerie and Jean, just let me know what colors you want for your cowl/armlets sets. Although I think I like the term neck gator better!!

    Have a glorious New Year. I look forward to crashing the next party. XXOO

  3. Dear Valerie and Jean, Here I am back in Denver, and reliving the entire adventure that you provided for me all over again, by reading you post, brought back to life with your photos. Thank you for an outrageously wonderful time in NYC. The hat shopping was spectacular and the Sandra Bernhard show more than fun. Spending time with the two of you is always a special event!

    Happy New Year and looking forward to seeing you in 2014!

  4. So lovely! It's always amazing to see bloggers I follow meet up in person. And I'd go so far as to say Dross Into Gold is a great blog for women of any age ;D

  5. I've just discovered your blog and love love love it! Your style is amazing and inspiring. Looking forward to following you in the new year:o)

  6. Darlings, it was so lovely meeting you! loving the blog! All the best to you for 2014 xox -Tranna