Sunday, September 25, 2011

Hats: An Anthology at Bard Graduate Center (Part 1)

A hat show. The Idiosyncratic Fashionistas. Need we say more?

On September 14th, we attended the opening night exhibition and party for Hats: An Anthology by Stephen Jones at the Bard Graduate Center. The show, a collaboration between the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and world-renowned milliner Stephen Jones, is comprised for more than 250 hats, the majority of which were chosen by Stephen Jones and Oriole Cullen, a curator at the V&A, from the museum's extraordinary hat collection.

Here Stephen Jones and Oriole Cullen pose on the first floor by the Bard Gallery's spiral staircase. Both were, of course, wearing hats of his design. In addition to his two-tier deep red fez, Mr. Jones was wearing a long coat with his famous silhouette on the back, rendered in black leather.

Where to begin???!!! Hats in the show ranged from a twelfth-century Egyptian fez to a 1950s Balenciaga design to contemporary pieces by Jones and his contemporaries like Philip Treacy, whose Feather Hat 1995 (of flamingo pink goose feathers) graces the Bard's program. The Union Jack top hat on the mannequin is by Stephen Jones. (See the video on the third floor for a step-by-step view of the creation process.) We took so many pictures that, in a radical departure from our usual style, this week's post comes to you in three parts, to make sure every delectable gets its due. Today, we're only covering opening night hats worn by guests. Please come back on WEDNESDAY and FRIDAY this week to see our favorites among the 250+ stunning hats in the show. We were not disappointed (and have already seen the show twice). If you are a hat lover, you won't be disappointed either! And so, in no particular order:

The wonderful red felt hat worn by Bard professor Amy Ogata echoes the shape and color of Stephen Jones' hat that evening. Jean's hat, which puts an entirely new twist on the tricorne concept, is made by Ignatius Hats.

Rebecca Allan, who SO kindly invited us to the event, posed with Jean in front of Stephen Jones' famous silhouette in the lobby of the Gallery. Rebecca is head of Bard Graduate Center's education department.

Leigh Wishner (in leopard beret) of Cora Ginsburg (an amazing source for historic textiles) keeps popping up (unsurprisingly) at fashion-forward events.

New York City milliner Ellen Christine.

Fashion and garden designer Dianne B. (Benson) was escorted by none other than Tony Award-winning, Emmy-nominated actor John Glover.

New York milliner Gretchen Fenston, center. She and her guest are both wearing Fenston creations. Gretchen is also registrar of the Conde Nast archives. She and Rod Keenan are collaborating on a Study Day program at Bard on November 11th from 10 AM to 4:30 PM entitled "Archives as Inspiration".

Stephen Jones signs Valerie's copy of the catalogue. It says: "Dear Valerie, Guggenheim fabulous!" What better inscription than that from the master himself??? The Guggenheim was also made by Ignatius Hats.

Co-author Oriole Cullen also signs Valerie's book. A collectors's item!

New York milliner Rod Keenan, far right. Both mens' hats are his creations. He is Gretchen's Bard Study Day co-presenter.

A hat made to look like the interior of a yarn basket, complete with knitting needles.

A fabulous red vinyl doll's hat. Probably from the 1960s, said the wearer.

This hat was designed by New York milliner Anthony Maxwell.

Men in hats were too few and far between, but this wonderful exception to the rule wore a turban.

Linda Zagaria with Jean.

New York milliner Jennifer Ouellette sports a hat she made out of metro cards, the plastic version of subway tokens. Her guest also wears an Ouellette creation. One of Jennifer's hats appears in the show (on the second floor).

Christina Viera in a hat she made herself, Jean, Tziporah Salamon in a vintage Chinese hat, and Valerie.

Chinese takeout boxes re-purposed into hats. As you can see, guests really went all out for this event.

We had so hoped to link you to Bill Cunningham's photos for the New York Times of the hats worn the evening of the fund raiser (when hats by such well known names as Frank Gehry and Yoko Ono were auctioned off. Click here for a look at the auction offerings.) Haven't found the link, but we did find this small version. There really are some stupendous hats. Hope we can find a link, or you can somehow find the newspaper.

BE SURE TO JOIN US AGAIN THIS COMING WEDNESDAY (9/28, late, late as always) when we'll put up the first batch of hats from the show.

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"The shape of things to come!" While rushing to the subway in Tribeca to get uptown to Bard, Jean ran right into our friend, fashion designer Jeffrey Williams, winner of Bravo TV's "The Fashion Show". We'd invited him to the 9/13 Ace Hotel Advanced Style Fashion Week Event. (Check last week's post to see what he wore!) On Thursday evening, 9/22, we attended an exhibit of his latest clothing and handbag collection. Since we're so totally hat-centric this week and won't be posting about his show until a later date, we wanted to give Jeffrey a shout-out and you this coming attraction.


  1. I was excited to read your review of the exhibit, can't wait to see it for myself in October. Definitely looking forward to the next installments! I'm going to have to bring a fabulous hat with me, but there's no way I can compete with the Guggenheim!

  2. This looks like such a fun event!

  3. This post is absolutely fascinating and your hats are outstanding. I must see this exhibit before it closes. Can't wait to see your Wednesday photos!