Sunday, April 15, 2012

NYC's Easter Parade 2012

In which two Easter chicks pick up two Easter roosters

We get dressed up every day for the sheer pleasure of it, but Easter Sunday is the one day a year when the city stops traffic to allow us to sashay down Fifth Avenue in our finery, so we take full advantage of it. This was a great year for lovely outfits and creativity.

You can see the New York Times’ (that is, Bill Cunningham’s) photo essay of the Easter Parade here and the New York Times video with commentary (also by Bill Cunningham) here.

We found, on looking through the Times, that great minds think alike, and we photographed some of the same people you'll see in the Times. So that you can get the fullest possible idea of what the parade was like, we edited down our photos to include only those that didn't appear in the Times. (As fate would have it, that also included US!!!)

And so follows a sort of Easter Parade 2012 Salon des Refusés.

Milliners and Their Millinery

We know some milliners who wore their own hats, and we know some women who made their own hats and should be milliners. Here are a few.

We zoomed in on Jennifer Ouellette because of her remarkable coat (we've left this photo in high resolution so you can click to check it out), but when Jennifer introduced herself we realized she is one of New York's high profile milliners, and one of her hats (round beret-style straw, with a New York skyline all around its brim) is in the soon-to-close hat show at the Bard Graduate Center. Be sure to see it if you haven't!

Speaking of Bard, milliner Kathy Anderson broke our hearts when she told us that we'd missed Stephen Jones (who helped curate Bard's Hat Anthology show from the Victoria & Albert Museum). Wearing top hat and tails, he'd been at 57th Street with her and other members of the Milliners Guild. Drat! (Sharp eyed readers will recognize Kathy from our recent posting on FIT's "One Block Many Milliners" show.)

We fell in love with Penny Chu’s pink piggy hat. Penny was not familiar with the expression ‘pigs in a blanket’ until we mentioned it to her. Valerie sooooooo wants this hat!

Later in the afternoon, in some small irony, this surrealistic bacon and egg hat in felt floored us. And she'd made it that morning!

Elaine, an artist and graphic designer, paints a blank straw hat with a different New York theme every year. You have to see the other side, too, a bit further below.

The Tipsy Topper who made these three hats can just about be seen behind her models. Don't worry - you can see a full picture of her yellow straw hat in the Times. We loved the little hat on the right with bird houses. (For more of her hats, go to .)

Here's Yuka Hasegawa, whose hats sell at Barney's. On Easter, in kimono, she played down the millinery side of her life, and opted for a small spray of feathers.

More Wonderful Women's Hats

The ever-fabulous Xtine looked amazing. Her expression is absolutely blissful.

We loved the orchids decorating X's picture hat. On the right is another friend, artist Katherine D. Crone.

This woman looked positively regal in her mudcloth hat.

Three lovelies rocked their vintage look head to toe!

We both loved this straw saucer hat, which perfectly set off the rest of her outfit.

We were thrilled to run into Helen Uffner in one of her gazillion marvelous hats.

This hat was a frothy delight in robin's egg blue.

This lovely young thing was a vision in cream.

From this angle, you have to look carefully to see the spray of carrots on the side of this woman's blue hat. It's easier to see her fabulous automobile bag and her great asymetrical skirt.

This elaborate bird nest hat was beautifully constructed.

Don't you just love this vibrant shade of red?

Men in Hats

Every girl's crazy 'bout a Sharp Dressed Man (with thanks and apologies to ZZ Top). ... Gentlemen, does he make you want to go out and buy a matching suit and hat, or WHAT?

This charming gentleman showed the rest of us how it's done!

Daniel and his bevy of vintage beauties offer further proof of the ZZ Top theory. Sarah, Daniel, Renée and Carol paused for a photo before heading to see the swing band at 54th Street.

Arturo and Samuel, "sharp dressed men".

The rabbit ears are the icing on the cake.

Another "sharp dressed man".

Fun Stuff

Valerie can be something of a puritan when it comes to the Easter Parade (no hat, no come in), but she also has an odd weakness for crustaceans. At least, for looking at crustaceans, so she couldn't resist this one.

This gentleman's Lilliputian top hat and bow tie made us laugh out loud. (We do that a lot these days!)

And just in case you thought we were content merely to wear hats, we thought we'd show you how we accessorized for the occasion.

The flowers and sculptures on Park Avenue were so spectacular that we paused for photos both on the way to and from the parade.

For you film buffs, between the two cars behind Jean is the corner where Audrey Hepburn and George Peppard sat for a brief scene in Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961). Unseen just to the left is Mies van der Rohe's Seagram's Building, and where there is now a huge silly huge concrete building just to the right, there used to be (during the filming, that is) a charming human-scale building.

In a Class of their Own:

Smoochia de Lammermoor (one of Jean's neighborhood favorites) traveled all the way from the East Village to march in the parade!

What's an Easter Parade without Marni, the Money Bunny?

Sometimes, there are just no words. (OK, we made an exception to today's rule of not running photos of parade-goers featured in Bill Cunningham's column, because we just couldn't resist. Besides, rules are made to be broken.)

Sometimes there IS a word, and that word is "Glamazon". We met Marcus at last year's parade and he made a bee-line right to us when he saw us (having to literally break through the large crowd gathered around him). Marcus rocked his green net fascinator. (Those of us of a certain age will recall that in the 1960s, they were called "cages".)

As we have done for the past several years, we went to MOMA's restaurant, The Modern, which has become our own private Easter tradition. We both ordered wild mushroom soup (yummy!), and cocktails. At the end of our stay, Dan Jones, the manager, surprised and delighted us with our very own Valrhona chocolate roosters, made by Modern chef Marc Aumont!!! As you can see, our roosters were agog, and perhaps you can also see that we were too!!!

What we're wearing:

Jean is wearing a vintage wool jacket with silver and blue metal stud arrows ("An Original Letty Doyle") from What Once Was. (That's what was in the bag at the last Pier Show!) Yohji Yamamoto hat; Issey Miyake Pleats Please shoulder bag; Brigitte harem pants; Trippen boots; vintage bakelite rings; vintage aluminum flea market earrings with marbles.

Valerie is wearing a vintage straw hat (no label) with velvet ribbon, earrings from Japan, neon green glasses from a tourist boutique on St. Mark's Place in the Village, silk jacket labeled Ricarda from a thrift shop, felt collar button from the Museum of Modern Art, dress from a Pleats Please sample sale, neon cuffs from the local flea market, Big Bird head rings from Pylones, shoes by Melissa.



  1. I am sitting at my computer, all agog at the Easter Awesomeness!!! What a stunning array of fabulous outfits and hats--especially the men (and Marcus does rock the green fascinator). I remember Penny Chu from Stephen Jones' talk at the Bard (nice to see his photo on Bill's page). There should be a special prize for the woman who made the "bacon & eggs" hat that morning. You two look just brilliant, as always, and it was worth the wait to see Jean's jacket from the Pier show. It suits her to a "T".

  2. You look great as always. I had never heard of this New York tradition, thanks for posting.

  3. Amazing! It's hard to know where to begin! Your outfits are stunning and I see that Valerie did a perfect job with her new hair with hat. So that unbelievable jacket was Jean's 'bag secret.' And the hats! A beautiful display of diversity and you did such a great job of showing the highlights. It was a treat to see men in hats as well. Thank you for making my day.

  4. Elaine's hat is AMAZING. I thought it was good until I realised she painted it herself. What a talent.

  5. bravo!!!
    chef Aumont

  6. You make me smile, smile, smile. Thank you.