Sunday, April 27, 2014

Easter Parade 2014

Last Sunday, we indulged in our annual tradition -- promenading in the Easter Parade on Fifth Avenue. Part parade, part old-home-week opportunity to connect with old friends and acquaintances, part street theater, the event draws participants of all ages, styles and gender orientation. Because we had so many photos, we split our coverage into two postings.  This is the first. Check Wednesday for the second installment.

Just as we were arriving around 11:30 AM, we met this fabulous couple who were retiring for the day after spending about an hour on Fifth Avenue when the crowds started to move in. They were sweet enough to snap the opening shot of us above and let us take their photo before they headed home. Her basket was filled with colored marshmallow Peeps. We, who consider the parade a contact sport, merrily headed into the fray.

Not too long after our arrival, we were interviewed by Melanie Cao for Sinovision.  We couldn't figure out how to embed the video, but you can click here to see our brief interview.  We're about one minute in.

These three ladies are part of a much larger group who were all wearing fascinating white origami paper headdresses designed by architects Hiroki Yoshihara and Sandra McKee.  Wish we could show you all of them!  Wish we could own two of them!  Lyrical works of mathematical genius!

The lady next to Jean is 93 years young and is celebrating her hat's 60th anniversary! She is utterly charming. The dumpling diva Marja Samsom, next to Valerie, is wearing an Amy Downs hat and vintage leopard coat.  Using our 93-year old as a yardstick, we figure we've both got several decades of frolicking to go.

Love these huge handmade flower hats.

We met these two ladies at the Brooklyn Museum's hat-making class given by Heidi Lee in collaboration with the Jean Paul Gaultier exhibition. They are wearing creations they fashioned that night based on JPG's Virgins collection of gowns with round mirrored headdresses.

Three muses in hats.

We met artist Annika (in the black and white feathered hat) at Advanced Style's National Hat Day Event at Off-Broadway Boutique. The lady on the left is wearing a vintage Christian Dior pastel satin turban.

Love this lady's outfit and red accessories -- and her glasses are by Sunglass Hut.

This lady and her companion and even the chair are decorated in flowers.

Milliner Yuka and her friend are in traditional kimonos.

Giant handmade crepe paper hats.

How fabulous is Ruth D. Hunt and her head-to-toe silver outfit?

Newly-elected NYC Mayor Bill DeBlasio took a lot of heat  when he used a knife and fork to eat his pizza in a campaign stop. This inventive hat commemorates that political tempest in a teapot.  It seems real New Yorkers eat pizza with their hands.

Jesse took the marshmallow Peeps to a new level by fastening them to his shaved head to create a yellow Easter Mohawk!

Our friend X (wearing and carrying fans) and friend with her pals Linda and Helga as colorful bookends.

The woman in stripes made a custom-fitted silver metal fascinator that very much lived up to its name.  Wish you could see it better here.  Just trust us on this one.

We loved this woman's huge hat and her long hair.

The huge pink feathers on Shien Lee's hat could be seen one hundred feet away.  We should have asked if she'd made it herself.  Where could you buy something like that?!

These women complemented each other so well in their outrageous suits and saturated colors.

A hat made out of a Tiffany box (with a huge Elsa Peretti heart in it).

Cigmond, second from left, is a wonderful milliner.  We didn't ask, but we wouldn't be surprised if she made all four of the hats here.  You can't tell, but the bearded gent had two small flowers at the end of his waxed moustache.

Anny Dao (right), a student at Parsons School of Design, made the two hats flanking Jean.

An exuberant 1940s look.

We don't always know what we're looking at, but we know what we like.  The gent in yellow with the "sunny-side-up" egg hat could teach us a thing or two about tying turbans.

It was, thankfully, a beautifully sunny and mostly warm day after a much too long spate of cold weather, so everyone took advantage of the opportunity to get some vitamin D.

These dresses were as much fun from behind as they are in front.  The black jacket actually has very long swallow tails in the back.

This woman had bedecked her bicycle with flowers, as well as her hat.

Let's end with a mother and daughter team.

Stay tuned for our second installment which contains more couples, guys and dogs! Also, check out more great pictures in 40+ Style (we're in it!), and photographer Helen Oppenheim's coverage of the parade on her blog and on Facebook (ditto).

What we're wearing:

Jean is wearing an Ignatius hat (from the Philadelphia Museum Craft Show); Thai crinkly linen jacket and Tibetan black and white print pants from Mandala; Angela Caputi red resin cuff; red resin and bakelite rings and bangles; black resin choker; customized black and white Dansko clogs; vintage frames from Fabulous Fanny's; Tignanello red leather cross-body bag.

Valerie is wearing a vintage pink felt Chisato Tsumori hat, vintage pink straw earrings, Yoshiki Hishinuma shirt, Ivan Grundahl dress, live orchid from Solim Florist, vintage pink cotton gloves, pink perforated suede shoes by Aerosoles, three shoulder bags (unseen) - one green Pleats Please (for necessaries), one gray vintage stamped suede Bruno Magli (for camera), one unlabeled pink cotton trapunto (for business cards).


  1. Hi Jean and Valerie,
    Thanks for sharing the parade with us. Since I could not make it I love seeing the "scene."

    1. We missed seeing you & Richard in your wonderfully colorful outfits!

  2. Oh. My. God. THE HATS!!! I love the sentence, "we don't always know what we're looking at, but we know what we like". It does my heart good to see all the creativity and humour that is brought out by the Easter Parade. It's on my list of things to do before I die.

  3. I'm with Shelley, it's a must at some point. I found myself wishing that people did this everyday. I adore everything both of you are wearing. Valerie, the colors are so pretty and Spring-like, and Jean, your hat is the crowning touch. Umm yeah, couldn't resist that one. XXOO

  4. Enthralling! The festival of hats! The pink feathers leaping to the skies gave me goose bumps. And of course the two of you never disappoint with your headwear.