Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The New Yorker Festival

With the New Yorker Festival this weekend, and chill in the air, naked heads can look to Ellen Christine for hats and such to warm the cockles of any intellectual heart.
 Ticketholders can look forward to a generous 20% retail discount from us all weekend, and with the hub of the bub located just down the street, there's no reason not to take advantage of a good thing!
Those with a Citi credit card, or Citibank debit card will receive additional benefits, aka, an additional 5% discount.
Fie upon thee, economy, the New Yorker will feed your soul, stimulate your intellect, and give you a break in the pocketbook so shopping doesn't become a figment of anyone's imagination, lost as an art, asleep at the wheel.
go to: www.festival.newyorker.com/index.cfm for information, tickets, updates, you know the drill................

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Time to Listen

Not to the politicians, I'm not pointing you in that direction........you can indulge in drama and politicking all you want, on your own time.  Here, I want to steer you into fashion drama, and barring that, into fashionability at the very least.
Every year Ellen Christine makes cloches..........and berets, by demand, more than by habit.  I call them hats for virgins, because of their easy wearability, and because people not yet used to wearing hats (!?) can handle both of these shapes .  The beret is the most sought after hat when the weather begins to turn.  We do a soft fabric beret in several styles, and a blocked fur felt beret, very jaunty, and popular this week because of the High Holidays.  
The cloche hits the shelves by August, and the first round is sold out by September.  That means I have to design new ones, so I won't get bored.  The cloche, named after the bell shape it mimics, can be had in a round shape, a flat, Art Deco shape, in fabric...we have original 1920's textiles we make them in every season.....   We add feathers, beads, trim from the Edwardian era, buttons, ribbon, or nothing, as some customer prefer. 
I'm including two of our basic cloches: one a simple entity with a perky rose at the side of the hat, and one with a milliner's felt rose, sculpted from the same felt as the cloche.  Both can be found on the Ellen Christine website, an online catalogue of our classic repetoire and both are within reach economically......(www.ellenchristine.com).  Order yours directly through the website, and get on the cloche wagon.
See, I'm listening!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Surface Magazine and it's Editor

We've made an appearance in the current issue of Surface magazine, with two of our ingenious pieces from the Fall Collection.  The twisted and covered wire tiny Top Hat Skeleton is perched on the left hand page, and on the ever important right hand side is the Wave, from the Architectural /Frank Gehry Group.  Done in fur felt, and wired to assume the position, we mounted it on a circlet to sit on your head, either tilted, or directly. See these pieces on our MySpace page, to order at the Chelsea store.
The delightful Amy Prince, editor at Surface, popped into the shop to have a try-on afternoon, and left with her new Ellen Christine: a one -of -a-kind felt headpiece, named Gehry's Mandala, part of the Architectural Group as well.  (If you're a fan of this blog, you read when the new building Mr. Gehry put up served as the inspiration for all of this collection.  And now it's Fall, and the hats are finding their homes on heads.)
She wore hers to the Marc Jacob's show at Fashion Week, and sent us a photo of herself and friend in her new hat!
Surface is an industrial becoming topical, leaning towards lifestyle, with lots of fashion kind of magazine.  Visually stimulating, and  vastly interesting, it serves up solid interiors in a futuristic mix, with intelligent articles about the design world around us.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Sailing to Waterworld

...and in your own back yard!  Who needs Disneyland, when we have Deitch Galleries.......their new installation provides visual as well as tactile inspiration for designers and art buffs alike.  When I look at these constructs, I see Peter Pan, Kevin Costner, the Sub-Mariner..........every merman and pirate fantasy come to life...........it's easy to imagine Johnny Depp mischievously peeking out from behind one of the sails. But that's where my head is at, post-1960's drug culture.
This clever and colorful art has been amiably  brought to my attention by Amy Prince, effervescent and intelligent managing editor at Surface Magazine (please see the current issue for some of our hats).  She's sent me the link, and now you all can benefit from the extended arm of networking, just in case you don't know about it as yet.  
Long Island City, just across the East River from the 35th St. stop on the Water Taxi, used to be a world away from Manhattan.  SilverCup Studios, where we did the American Craft Council campaign eons ago it seems, is out there somewhere, if I'm not mistaken.  Take a quick vacay, and go see this installation, to amuse your friends and dinner partners, spark your imagination, and view Manhattan from a different artistic angle.  
Ship ahoy!
Swimming Cities of Switchback Sea, Deitch Studios, 212-343-7300, www.Deitch.com

Thursday, September 18, 2008

vive La Rentree!

At the end of the summer, and the beginning of the Fall season, the French wisely celebrate the transition with a phrase that means bad things to some and good things to others.  To schoolchildren it means the end of fantastic summer days playing and having fun in the country. To the workaday minion it means back from the vacation sublime, onto normal, working, family and drama.  To those of us in fashion, it means get ready for the retail onslaught, and the shows. Two seasons coincide in the same month in the fashion world: the stores have the new Fall fashions stocked and ready to sell, and the designers present their Spring next year on the catwalk.  No wonder the world at large sees designers as dramatic personalities......at any given moment, we're thinking about a minimum of two seasons at once...very schizoid. The summer is for research, relaxation, and assimilation.  At least for me.  What goes into my head as I travel, read, and observe, comes out of my head in many little ways......hats here, headpieces there, feathers, trim, edges, finishing details...........
La Rentree , an end, and a beginning.........

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Fashion Victim

ahh, and a tired one I am indeed...........while everyone has run off to Europe for the shows in London, Milan, and Paris, we get a breather over here in New York City. So of course the mags descend, craving new designs, for issues on next years roster already. And they haven't even begun to clamor for the pieces Galliano hasn't shown yet.......is there no rest for the weary?  
Well, all in fun..........we've just updated the Myspace page with Spring 2009, and some updated press pages.  those of you following the trials and tribulations of  The Cause of the Hat on this blog will recognize several of the images the lovely and able Amelia has uploaded for our viewing pleasure....it's a recap of the Italian Vogue story that Camilla Nickerson did with our pieces in the July issue.....some current August/ September press, and bits from our Bergdorf Goodman kamikaze appearance.  No, they haven't called yet, in case you were wondering.
We're back from another astounding weekend on Governor's Island, sun and frolic for all. It's the perfect venue for our sample sale, and so we will continue with the idea next June.  Keep posted, and if you're one of our regular customers, you'll find out all about it.  If not, we may even advertise it , so keep an eye out........
Off I go to dream up something spectacular for Amanda Harlech's daughter.........

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Don Jose Ramon Reyes

Really too young to be a Don in the Spanish sense, Jose Ramon hails from Santo Domingo, and has been doing very well with his sportswear line.  Happily, we have collaborated before, just last Spring, and we've been honored to be included once again in this Spring 2009 collection.
The pieces in this collection are able and designerly in a wonderful way: JR uses fabrics to combine a mood.......using a gingham check on a heel of a shoe, AND the hat, as well as the garment itself, pulls us back into the days of early Dior combos.  Touches like this are the sign of a passion and a very organized mind.  The dresses are wonderful in this group, and they offer a wider range of client base selections......not just for kids, in other words.  Beautifully crafted, with a perfectionist eye for line, balance, detail, and flow.
I liked it, and I'm not just saying that, kids..........
p.s. the hats looked great!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Mystery at Bergdorf's

Who made those fabulous hats in the Bergdorf Goodman Fall 2008 catalogue?  Ellen Christine Millinery, of course.  No, we haven't yet started to wholesale, but since the stylists who call the shots for these layouts love our hats, they pull from our stock for dressing up the looks.  In this case,  the lovely Marina Burini, a fan from way back, commissioned the pieces for the story.  this is  a case of collaboration:  meetings occur  in advance, with a spread of ideas, and a feel for the story.  We make what the stylist wants, or what they dreamt of, and sometimes it works.  In Marina's hands, it always works. 
 It helps if there's a synchronicity as well. the process is always a pleasure when it works, and then some....look at these gorgeous shots in the Bergdorf catalogue of our draped suede turban, and the magnificent quilted leather Samurai Helmet.  Photography is such a marvelous art, and when the styling is excellent, nothing can go wrong.
Both pieces are available exclusively at Ellen Christine Millinery, and can be ordered in any color that works with your Fall wardrobe.
Oh, and Bergdorf's, we'd working on a collection just for you!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Hit the Deck!

Ah, Manhattan!  We forget we're an island, surrounded by water and waterways, and that those waterways are becoming accessible with transportation.  It's not quite the same as a subway, but think about a Water Taxi the next time you have to go to Brooklyn from Mid-town.  The shape and scope of this city is different  when viewed from the water.  Suddenly, you're passing groups of islands, marinas, kayaks, sailboats.  Although we're in high pressure NYC, and the rivers run right by us, the magic of those waters isn't put into play unless you're actually ON the water.  Yes, the East River, and the Hudson River protect us from the evil spells of our invaders, but when you're on the water, the magic is real.  
I've always chosen a Ferry ride as a mode of choice, often taking extra hours just for the pleasure of the passage.  The movement of the boat on the water, what's behind you, and what's in front of you, create a different funnel of time.  Pre-Chunnel, there I'd be on the bumpy Ferry from England to France.  In France, from Royan to the Medoc, another Ferry.  From Cape May to Delaware, again a Ferry ride.  So relaxing.
All over either river, there are tours for the Waterfalls.....a free ride to Ikea has now joined the pack of busy little boats filling the waterways.  But now, besides just doing a party on one of the many wonderful boats for rental, think about grabbing the taxi, hopping a ferry, or taking a kayak course.  Your point of view will change, and boy is it exhausting getting that many positive ions in one day!
P.S. Don't take your cell phone with you!