Sunday, April 5, 2015

Hats Off! We Make the Centerfold - of The New York Post

Recently, we were approached by New York Post Senior Features Writer Jane Ridley to be interviewed and photographed for an article about the Easter Parade to run on Saturday, April 4th, the day before Easter Sunday. We jumped at the chance and recommended several other friends who participate with us in the Easter Parade and subscribe to the more traditional approach of wearing stylish hats, not the more circus-like atmosphere of recent years (e.g., people who flower pots as headwear or dress in outfits to match their dogs).  Jane interviewed us in a couple of teleconferences. The photo shoot took place last Sunday, March 29th.  Our instructions from the NY Post editors were quite simple:  "dramatic and colorful"!  You be the judge of how well we did.

Photographer Zandy Mangold shot this photo of us on Palm Sunday, which appeared in the centerfold of yesterday's New York Post. From left to right: Cigmond, Xtine, Lynn, Valerie, Carol and Jean posed in front of St. Patrick's Cathedral.  We're actually standing across Fifth Avenue from the Cathedral to take advantage of the great sunlight.  Zandy had us do our thing on the steps of the Cathedral as well, where we drew quite a crowd, as if we were shooting the latest fashions for Vogue.  Zandy was extremely patient with the competing photographers.  (Photograph courtesy of Zandy Mangold)

We interrupt this blog to insert a poem composed by Eric R in homage to Jean's Dr. Seuss hat!
A cream color hat I wear
A black hat the kids I would scare
My bonnet is fun
Looks I get a ton
Easter 2015 is my year!

But wait!  There's more!  We're just showing you a tempting morsel here.  Click on this link to the online version of the article:

We have long admired the work of theatrical milliner Cigmond and were thrilled when she agreed to participate.  Her dapper husband Kevin accompanied her to the shoot.  The Modern (one of our favorite restaurants, just next door to the Museum of Modern Art) is our traditional stop at parade's end for a cocktail and a nosh.  The Modern generously allowed us use of what insiders call its PDR (private dining room) before opening time as a base of operations for the shoot.  Several of these photos were taken in the PDR. Cigmond designed and made her hat and outfit, as well as Kevin's hat. As the New York Post states, she designed the amazing hats for the Broadway revival of "Gigi", which opens April 8th. And the Post article used her last name (Meachum), which was news to us.

X, our long-time friend and Jean's fellow East Village denizen, graciously consented to participate.  She paired her vintage Comme des Garcons hat with a Jill Anderson duster and skirt, flower print Doc Martens, scarlet gloves and lots of bakelite bangles. She added the bird and flower to her chapeau.

Lynn Dell Cohen and Carol Markel rounded out our stylish half-dozen. Lynn, who owns Off Broadway Boutique on the Upper West Side, wore an outfit from her store in vintage Rudi Gernreich fabric.  Carol, an artist, painter, milliner and jewelry designer who lives on the Lower East Side with her husband, artist Richard Cramer, is now designing dresses!  Her outfit is by Alpana Bawa.  Anastazia Martinez from the Post accompanied Zandy and conducted additional interviews for the article.

We were like kids in a candy-store. As you can see, we were having a ball.  Here we are doing the hat lover's version of The Usual Suspects.

Zandy photographed us on the patio outside the dining room overlooking MOMA's sculpture garden. We lined up and locked arms like Dorothy, the Cowardly Lion, the Scarecrow and the Tin Man in The Wizard of Oz and strolled toward Zandy as he took shot after shot. (Photograph courtesy of Zandy Mangold)

Then we walked over to Fifth Avenue to take the shots outside St. Patricks. All too soon, the frivolity came to an end.  Most of our crowd dispersed, but we returned to The Modern with X.  The weather was decidedly un-Easterlike, so what better way to warm up than with a cocktail and light repast?

What we're wearing:

Jean is wearing an Ignatius hat (from the Philadelphia Museum Craft Show); Issey Miyake dress; Trippen platform boots; Sock Man red arm warmers and tights vintage bakelite and plastic bangles; faux amber prayer bead necklace; faux jade green gumball choker; Heydari red necklace and earrings.

Sharp-eyed readers will have noticed that Valerie wore two costumes.  This is because during the interview process we mentioned Valerie's Guggenheim hat, which intrigued The Post's editors.  When they asked if she would wear it for the shoot, we pointed out that they had asked for color, and the hat and its suit have none.  Then wear two outfits, the editors said, and we'll choose the one we prefer.  So in the opening photo, Valerie is wearing a pink straw Susy Krakowski hat, vintage pink straw earrings, Perry Ellis jacket, Issey Miyake dress, vintage gloves, a museum toy as a bracelet, and pink suede Aerosoles shoes.  With the Guggenheim hat (an Ignatius commission), Valerie is wearing vintage red and white plastic earrings, a Calvin Klein suit, vintage Guggenheim souvenir tee shirt with a Miro print, red plastic ring, red wooden bangle, and Icon shoes with an Andy Warhol soup can print.


  1. I want to thank you so much for helping me be brave;because of you two beautiful women, I feel that I too, can go out into the world and wear my clothes. When I think something is "too over the top" I think "Why be normal?" I love today's Easter hat post with all you beautiful ladies and your gorgeous outfits. Thank you for your posts!

  2. Wow! You all look absolutely amazing and it was a pleasure to work with you on this fabulous story for The New York Post! Jane Ridley (NY Post)

  3. Congratulations on the Post spread!! What a spectacularly stylish group you are - definitely dramatic and colourful! I love the shot of all of you linking arms and striding towards the camera - that should be a poster ;)

  4. This is so INSPIRING-- thank you for making me smile down to my toes. When I grow up I hope I will look like all of you.

  5. I am so excited for you! Yes, the Centerfold! Everyone is stunning and I adore the photos! Congratulations!