Sunday, November 30, 2008

Holiday "Hats-Off"

     Go to right away and get a copy of this wonderful film for every hat lover on your list.  Throw in a hat, and you've got the perfect present. 

     Directed by Jyll Johnstone, produced by Jyll Johnstone and Michael Arlen Davis, the documentary traces the day to day life of  the indomitable Mimi Weddell, actress and hat wearer sublime.  Mimi Weddell plays herself: she taps, acts, poses and happens to be 93 years of age.  Named by New York Magazine as one of the "50 Most Beautiful People in New York", Mimi has appeared in television, films and ad campaigns since she began her acting career 30 years ago.  
     The darling of the film festival circuit, both here and in Europe, "Hats Off" celebrates the life and whimsy of a determined, pragmatic woman "rising above it" in New York City, in an industry that calls for singleminded determination, at any age.

     This film will make you get up, get out, and celebrate your every waking moment.  
Now, go buy a hat and have an adventure!

Photo courtesy of Nicole Begiveno/The New York Times

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Post Party Syndrome

We did it!  We had the march up Fifth Avenue, and the party at Haven, and the coverage in the New York Times.  For our first event, I'd say the Milliners Guild of NYC has hit the streets. Party planning in New York is difficult at best, but with a group of designers as a committee, it's downright challenging.
When in doubt, delegate, and so we did.  We had Monika as the party hearty planner; Lisa as the decorating committee for Haven.  Anastasia was the liason supreme with the owners of Haven.  The p.r. committee was comprised of myself, Linda Pagan, and Michelle Peglau.  there were sub-committees, as well:  the makers of the feathered headpieces we gave as gifts in the goody bags; the stuffers of the goody bags; the rest of the Guild as back-up and consultants.  for those of you out there, feel free to ask any questions about doing a serious gig with a very small budget, and I'l be happy to steer you in the right directions.
Oh, the goody bags!  Moire from Rochester baked organic cookies in the shape of hats!  We had CD's contributed from several of our respective clients, and gift certificates from our affiliates.
Jewelry, make-up, and containers of mints with the Guild's brand on them as toppers.  Any member of the press received this little token of our appreciation, although it isn't done quite so much anymore.
The open bar served vodka martinis created especially by Haven for the event, and the dislay of hats from the Guild members was superbly executed by Lisa on the mezzanine .  Get thee to Haven for their ambiance, food, bar..........a great spot, truly comfortable and ultra-hip. Rare on the Upper East Side, without being stuffy.
Milliners, rejoice!  We did it, and did it in New York style!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Hat On the Town

...Onward march the Catherinettes!  Tomorrow in NYC, leaving from the Millinery District Synagogue at 1025 6th avenue, the NYC Millinery Gu1ld , and proceed in an orderly, abeit hatted, fashion, through Midtown, up to Rockefeller Center and on to Haven.  The idea of this promenade is to celebrate St. Catherine's Day for the first time in New York, and honor our fellow milliners the world over who put the needle down once a year for this Fete.  
St. Catherine is the patron Saint of milliners, and in Paris, for decades, the "grisettes", who work behind the scenes in the Grands Maisons, unmarried, 25, and dressed in green and yellow, march en masse to the statue of St. Catherine and climb up to crown her.  
Where is our St. Catherine, you might ask?   We haven't designated a statue as yet for the crowning, but we will gather en masse in commemoration of the day.
Join us, with a fabulous hat on to be sure, and come up Fifth Avenue.  Let the tourists wonder and be amazed!
Onto 51st St., and then to Haven, where we will have a vodka bar open for one hour.  A selection of hats, and a selection of milliners will be at your disposal for interviews, and gawking.
Come, join us, for this, the first Hat Happy Hour.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Time and Time Again

     Pick up this week's Time Out for an article about Ellen Christine Millinery.  It's a brief interview, highlighting some of the Fall 08 styles, a gorgeous headshot of yours truly, and some nice words from the reporter.  
Although we are included in many, many editorial layouts, in  the important High Fashion magazines around the world, features of the shop are not as frequent.  Having said that,I must point out that this is the second one this Fall (see Sept: Actives, France), so maybe it's a new trend.  On a roll here, next week we are doing a piece for Threadbangers, an online clue to how, from a NY team of fashion seekers.  We'll highlight it here as soon as it's released.
     So, a loud thank you, to the editors of Time Out NY Magazine, and to the writer, Jacqueline Colette Prosper for her wonderful article.
     She picked up on my dream contract:  a  new Tiara for the Statue of Liberty every few years. Why not?  She's probably wondering why she never gets to change her outfit .  After all, this is New York, and she is from Paris.  Doesn't she have a reputation to maintain?
     So, instead of cows, let's do a collection of gigantic tiaras, placed all over town, funded by an approapriate arts group (are you listening, Mayor Bloomberg?), and sold, to make money for the city.  I'd love to see huge tiaras all over town, on top of the bull on Wall Street, in the North Marina, in Madison Square Park..need I go on?  I shall ponder this, my next project, and you, dear reader, feel free to send your ideas and comments to this blog.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Chanel Leaves New York Airspace

It's sunday, the last day of the Chanel Mobile Art Pavilion, done by Zaha Hadid.  the only way I was going to see this exhibit was to get myself up at 5 a.m. to stand in line by 7.  Instinct told me to get there even sooner than that, and it's a good thing I listen to myself: I was now alone, to say the least, at 6 a.m. when I got there.  
Amid the glory of Central Park's autumn palette, the construct sits demure and calm amid speakers that even at 6 a.m. were emitting sounds of white music. New Yorkers were already out, wondering what the line was for, and the Chanel boys were all in a row, giving instructions, help, and directions.  Chanel designed a lightweight jacket for the uniform of the outdoor crew, and a tshirt for the indoor crew.  I 'm told the jacets travel with the show, but I'll bet the tshirts show up on eBay.
Tickets are had by ascending a staircase, standing in line, and strolling across a leaf strewn courtyard to a module that mimics the mothership.  then, the ticketholder gets in the appropriate line and waits for 15 minutes until entry is permitted.  All very controlled, and regimented, but somehow not irritating.  The feeling is civilized, organized, and anticipatory.
Inside, the art installation is segmented, and you are given an MP3 player of your very own as a gude.  The voice is that of Jeanne Moreau, seductive and soothing,  in a poetic composition that manages your progress through the exhibit.
Art is sometimes disturbing, sometimes relative, sometimes boring.  Chanel Mobile Art curated it's content based on the questions "What is Chanel", using the 2.55 iconic quilted bag as a starting point for inspiration. It's never boring, but some of it will be your cup of tea, and some of it won't.  
The result is a changing body of work that allows perspective, meditation, and opinions to happen and grow on an individual platform.  As a collective stream of humanity, the flow through the Pavilion is only restricted in the time chosen for pacing.  As selective single voyeurs, the observers form their own point of view, free to see which corner of each space they choose . 
 As the art works are textural in inspiration, they use depth perception as fabric, layering their chosen medium and imagery . The floors and walls read textural, whether it be reflective mica, or 3-D tiled floral composition, the texture of Chanel streams in harmony with the modernist shapes, forms and divisions within the structure.
On to Moscow and London, landing in Paris, the module defines fashion as life, and will garner criticism, witticism and reaction at every stop on this trip.  
Fashion bridges boundaries as easily as architecture becomes art in our New World.  The concept of blurring these boundaries has always been a part of any artist's basic creative flow, but fashion has been fighting it's way onto the art front for decades.  
Let it's art, as well as fashion, given it's context.