The Sanctuary Of Home

September 26th, 2016


Photo By Mr. J

After traveling for weeks, I’m ready to be home.  I find myself behind in every area. I’m in the midst of unpacking and my sanctuary is disorganized and cluttered.  It will take time to process my adventures and learn from them as I move forward.

As I resume my yoga schedule, everything will become more clear.  My path will open before me.  I need rest and quiet. And contemplation. I feel that I have taken on too much, and my spirit is tired and overwhelmed.  Every bone and muscle in my body yearns for rest and renewal.  As I mindfully put the pieces of my living space back together, perhaps the puzzle in my brain will fall into place as well.

Do I need to change course?  Am I at a fork in the road?  What does it mean to be 73? Do I want to become more involved in activism and aging?  Or do I just need to change out my hat room from summer to fall?

The origin of the composition of my ensemble will remain a mystery today.

Linking up with Catherine’s #iwillwearwhatilike HERE at Not Dressed As Lamb and Patti’s Visible Monday HERE at Not Dead Yet Style.

Art In Minneapolis

September 21st, 2016


Photo by Ann Wood and hat by milliner, artist and blogger Carol Markel HERE.

After visiting my mother, I traveled to Minneapolis to visit friends and explore art in the city.  My first stop was meeting up with artists Ann Wood and Dean Lucker of Woodlucker HERE in their exquisite studio. I followed Ann during the time that she was blogging as Blue Hue Wonderland HERE.  Dean was her photographer.  Her style was amazing, the photographs were excellent and the backgrounds always artistic.

When Ann stopped blogging to focus on her art, she and Dean launched a Woodlucker Instagram account, which I follow and admire.  It was wonderful to finally meet this talented and dynamic team in real life.  They were generous and gracious, and I was excited to see the beautiful art that they create, individually and together.


“Woodlucker is a visual partnership and studio founded by Ann Wood and Dean Lucker in 1987, after graduating from Minneapolis College of Art and Design. This partnership is based on both individual and collaborative practices. Ann creates mixed media portraits and theatrical tableaus of mysterious beauty and solace whose identity is grounded in the timeless aesthetic and ethic of rural America. Dean’s work is driven by a passion for vernacular animated traditions which combine a personalized mythology to create mechanical storytelling. Their collaborative work combines a love for illustrated paper art and forgotten histories into engaging objects full of sentiment and longing.”  ~From the Woodlucker website


Above is a photo of one of Dean’s mechanical masterpieces.


Above is a collage of Ann’s feathers, flowers and a butterfly created with handmade paper and wire structures.


My next stop was Karen Morris Millinery HERE.  I found Karen online before my trip, and was excited to meet her in person.  We spent several hours engaged in “hat chat” and of course trying on the gorgeous headwear in her studio.  I found her to be talented, beautiful and kind.  In the photo above I’m wearing her “Eclipse,” which was just one of the beauties that floated their way to my head.


“Karen Morris is an accomplished milliner. She is proud to have her work featured in fashion magazines such as Elle and Vogue, and on the runway around the globe.She was born in Hong Kong, a cultural crossroads of exuberance, fashion and character. She was trained by top milliners in Britain, Australia and the States.” ~The Karen Morris website


The hat blocks in Karen’s studio are works of art!  Just like her hats!


My Minnesota adventures always include a visit to the Walker Center of Art HERE. This year I was greeted by an exhibit celebrating 75 years of Art at the Center.  

“In 2015, the Walker will celebrate the 75th anniversary of its founding as a public art center dedicated to presenting and collecting the art of our times. Curated by the Walker’s executive director Olga Viso and guest curator Joan Rothfuss, the exhibition looks at 75 years of collecting at the Walker—a history distinguished not only by bold and often risk-taking choices but also acquisitions that have consistently breached the boundaries of media or disciplines. The exhibition foregrounds many of these prescient choices and will be up for two years.”~From The Walker website

The following photos are four pieces from the exhibit.


“Tonbild (Sound Picture)” by Dieter Roth HERE.


“Freedom: A Fable” by Kara Walker HERE.


“Synchromy in Green and Orange” by Stanton Macdonald-Wright HERE.


Poster by the Guerrilla Girls HERE.

My Minnesota adventure lingers in my memory as I travel to LA for Ari Seth Cohen’s Advanced Style: Older And Wiser HERE book signing at Louise Green Millinery HERE.  I’m looking forward to the artistic combination of books and hats!

Because of my travel schedule, it has been difficult to keep up with blogging and commenting.  I am living in the moment as I enjoy new adventures.  I will be returning to my regular schedule soon.

Linking up with Catherine’s #iwillwearwhatilike HERE at Not Dressed As Lamb.

Mom at 96

September 15th, 2016


I just returned from a visit to Minnesota to visit my 96-year-old mother Norma.  Living in an assisted living facility, she continues to be an inspiration to me.  She loves to play bridge, and every evening in the facility, a group of residents gather to play cards. For this activity, my mother wouldn’t miss an opportunity to adorn her hands with rings from a collection which she has maintained over a lifetime.


Her white hair is her crowning glory, and since I’ve grown my hair out from red to white, I’m happy to say that our hair is now the same color.  She never lets a day go by without choosing earrings and other accessories to partner with an outfit from her closet.


Macular degeneration limits her eyesight and she walks with a walker, but it doesn’t interfere with her ability to enjoy life to the fullest and engage with a sense of humor. Enlarged cards facilitate card playing and she loves to listen to audio books. Totally independent with activities of daily living, Mom loves to tell stories of the past, but she lives in the present.  Currently the oldest resident in the facility, she is admired by her peers for her positive mindset and kindness.  She provides an example for all.

Linking up with Catherine’s #iwillwearwhatilike HERE at Not Dressed As Lamb and Patti’s Visible Monday HERE at Not Dead Yet Style.


I Made This Hat

September 5th, 2016


I made this rose-colored straw hat in the 90’s when taking a millinery class taught by a talented milliner who had graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC and was living in Denver. The hat was first blocked and then I molded it into a free-form sculpture.


This is not the first chapeau that I had created.  I experimented with blocking during my hat shop days in the 80’s.  There’s not a lot that I remember from that time of learning and expansion.  I would have to practice and repeat to improve, just as with any practice, art or skill.


Over the years I’ve thought about becoming a milliner or hatmaker.  I’ve never moved forward with pursuing the magical art that has been the object of my passion and interest since the 70’s.  Currently I love to seek out the work of others, admire and collect favorites and wear them with abandon and joy.


I don’t know what the future will bring or where life with take me as it organically and mysteriously unfolds.  At the present moment I’m content and happy with where I am in relationship with the world of my favorite accessory that brings me immeasurable pleasure and adds to the quality of my life every day, in every way.


Photos By Daniel at City Park Denver

Rose-colored straw hat – by Moi, Vivienne Westwood multicolored patterned two-piece dress – consignment store sale years ago, jewelry – estate sales and gifted, vintage burgundy heeled sandals and vintage burgundy patent leather bag – estate sales.

Linking up with Catherine’s #iwillwearwhatilike HERE at Not Dressed As Lamb and Patti’s Visible Monday HERE at Not Dead Yet Style.

Hat Attack #38

September 1st, 2016


September’s Hat Attack celebrates my first formal collaboration with a milliner.  Months ago Cha Cha HERE contacted me by email, asking if I would be interested in working together.  In the past, nothing of this nature had peaked my interest, but when I visited her website I was very impressed and to my surprise, and without hesitation, I said “yes.”


During my most recent trip to New York I visited her studio, and it was then that I realized that my instincts had been right.  Cha Cha was warm, fun, interesting and engaging.  Her staff was welcoming and her workroom was abundant with activity that drew me in. Her studio was filled with racks of gorgeous headwear, and it was clear that she was talented and skilled.  It was at that time that I fell in love with this ruby velour top hat with its captivating red and black pheasant feather.  And so my thrilling collaboration with Cha Cha began.  Another unexpected gift from the world of blogging.

Nothing is more exhilarating to me than supporting and engaging with the headwear community.  My love for the art of millinery and hat making is written all over this post.  Thank you Cha Cha, for initiating a new chapter in the series that is Hat Attack.


Photos By Daniel

Description of the Melora by Cha Cha

“The Melora is a distressed, ruby velour top hat with tonal lambskin leather piping on the brim. The leather piping on the brim is one of my signature details. It holds the brim shape well and makes the hat a “Cha Cha”. The Ruby leather trim is piped with black patent leather. Distressed black tulle and a black/red wrap around pheasant tail complete the look.

This season we looked to some of my favorite hat wearing music icons for inspiration. Melora is the lead singer of a long time favorite band called Rasputina HERE. She plays cello and writes quirky songs about Victorian oddities.” ~Cha Cha

Video – Finn Wells, Creative Director – Daniel

Cha Cha’s Melora has inspired me to add video to my monthly Hat Attack, and today I’m posting my first attempt at this new medium.  I’m totally “101” at this, but there’s a thrill in starting something new.  Thank you to Finn and Daniel for the expertise and fun!


Visiting Cha Cha in her studio in NYC in April

Cha Cha’s Biography

“Cha Cha began studying the craft of millinery in 1994 under the
tutelage of the highly regarded milliner, Anne Allbrizzio. After completing
the millinery program at FIT she began designing for private clients.
Soon she started collaborating with the East Village designer Mark Montano.

In August of 2001 she opened her millinery design studio,
Cha Cha’s House of Ill Repute. Since then she has steadily built a unique
clientele ranging from NYC to Tokyo to Shanghai. All hats are made in NYC.
They are hand blocked on Cha Cha’s collection of vintage and specially
designed blocks using the finest quality straws and felts. She scours local
& regional flea markets for vintage millinery, antique trimmings and feathers
to inspire her designs. Her signature style includes hand dying blended
with free form blocking techniques which give the hats a unique vintage
look while remaining modern and wearable.

Cha Cha’s hats have attracted the attention of the entertainment industry.
She counts several celebrities as devoted clients including Alicia Keyes and
Justin Timberlake. Her hats have also been purchased by Queen Latifah,
Pink, & Christina Aquilera among others.”


 Calvin blocking a straw hat in Cha Cha’s millinery workroom in April.

“Why I love Millinery” – By Cha Cha

“I became a Milliner because I absolutely love the process: blocking, finishing, etc. I originally went to school for fashion design but was a terrible pattern maker, sewer, etc.

When I landed in NYC after graduation I took a millinery class at FIT and fell in love with the techniques, much more like sculpting or pottery, very hands on. Also more room for errors which can lead to interesting accidents and new ideas. I felt very at home here and was inspired creatively which had never happened in design school. I love wearing hats frankly because I’m naturally shy and wearing a hat attracts attention these days. Walk into a party in a hat and you may not talk to the coolest or most popular person there, but you likely will end up talking to the most interesting one. They will seek you out.

I like the community around hat wearing and the way they make you feel and the confidence they confer to the wearer, almost by accident.

One of my favorite quotes about wearing hats is by Lily Dache. I like the idea of literally putting on a new hat and adding that to your personality stew.  It’s also an easy way to stand out and look great without too much worry about the rest of your outfit.

“A woman’s hat is close to her heart, though she wears it on her head. It is her way of saying to the world: See this is what I am like-or this is what I would like to be.” ~Lily Dache

The Melora is available on Cha Cha’s website HERE.  Cha Cha is offering a 15%  off discount through the link on my post using the discount code “stylecrone” on her website from Sept 1 -7.

The Melora is courtesy of Cha Cha. All the writing (except for quotations) and opinions are my own.  Style Crone does not receive commission from purchases.

Now it’s your turn to throw a little headwear my way. Give The SC a SEPTEMBER HAT ATTACK and kindly link to Style Crone somewhere in your post. The link-up will be open through September 30th.

Anyone can participate in the celebration of headwear!  All you need is a URL, which can be acquired from Instagram, Facebook or your website.  All forms of headwear are appreciated:  hat, headwrap, headscarf, headpiece, fascinator, hair flower, headband or other adornment for your head that you enjoy.  Multiple photos are encouraged!

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