Confessions Of A Collector

October 24th, 2016


I’ve known for many years that I’m a collector of hats, vintage and recycled clothing and accessories.  This would be difficult to ignore.  All I need to do is look around my living space to realize that my home is a closet.


Most every piece in my collection is organized by category.  Hats in one area (except for a few favorites on display in the living room and dining room), shoes in another, and on and on.  You get the picture!


At this point in my life, I embrace my desire and love to collect. I have no shame about this part of myself that enjoys the hunt and finding beauty in pieces from the past or that have a history that I can only imagine or make up in my mind.


There may be several factors that explain my desire to collect. My brain, my emotions or perhaps it’s an addiction, but it hasn’t negatively affected other parts of my life. I see no reason to pathologize this interest or change a mindful activity that brings me joy and doesn’t hurt others. Rather, collecting enhances my life and my blog.


Photos By Daniel

In fact, if I didn’t enjoy collecting an item because of its beauty, this hat would not have come to mind when I discovered this silk reptilian print Lanvin dress deeply discounted at a consignment shop in Minneapolis during my most recent trip this past summer.  The fabric hat was also discovered in a Minneapolis boutique at least 25 years ago. The gifted vintage faux snake-skin hat pin has been waiting for an outing for years.  Somehow they all came together with consignment shop black skinny jeans, open shoulder top,  jewelry and booties as I was planning my ensemble for a party in September.  This composition was created by scanning my beloved collections!  And so, I will continue to search the estate sales, thrift shops and consignment stores to my Style Crone heart’s content.

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

The Season Of Transition

October 17th, 2016


As autumn arrives full-blown, with its stunning display of colors, I’ve been reflecting from an inner distance on my own life’s transitions.  Seasons of the year can be perceived as analogous to the stages of life.

I see myself in fall as I gaze upon the trees as they shift from green to brilliant red, orange and yellow.  The stage before their leaves fall to the ground in heaps of crisp and spent beauty, they are at their most lovely.  Before they appear stark and barren against the frigid winter background.  Or as with humans, the end of life on the physical plane.


Why lament the lost youth of spring, when we can revel in the glorious colors and the fragrant essence of fall?


Does not every season have its beauty?  Does not every age have its triumphs and pitfalls, balancing on the precipice of regrets from the past and fears of the future? What’s done is done, and we have limited control over the unfolding of tomorrow. Why not leap full speed ahead and embrace every possibility that presents itself in the present?  Before our leaves fall.


As I welcome the adventures of fall, I chose to wear this silk tiger print dress that I discovered at a Los Angeles thrift shop, introduced to me by Louise of Louise Green Millinery HERE.


Rhinestones light the way, along with an array of vintage estate sale accessories and consignment store shoes. There’s an outfit for every occasion.  Such as today with Daniel, on a Tuesday, playing around the periphery of the Denver Botanic Gardens HERE.


Photos By Daniel

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

Several weeks ago I traveled to Los Angeles to the Advanced Style: Older And Wiser HERE book signing at Louise Green Millinery HERE. How could I possibly miss Ari’s book signing in a millinery studio?

This West Coast adventure lived up to my expectations and beyond.  I met many new and interesting people and had the opportunity to explore the millinery wonderland created by Louise and her husband Lawrence (as described in my post of last week). The above video of the event was created by Lawrence, and depicts the fun and frivolity of an experience that I will never forget.  It includes images that I was not able to capture in the few hours that rapidly flew by in a whirl of books, beautifully dressed and intriguing people and magnificent hats.


Ari and his wonderful husband Eric were looking dapper as always!  If it were not for the Advanced Style Movement created by Ari, I would not have been at Louise’s Millinery studio.  I would not have met the wonderful and creative people at the event. I would not have discovered the headwear that now has a prominent perch in the hat room, which evokes joyful memories whenever I lay eyes upon its elegance.  The Advanced Style circle gets larger and more fabulous over time.


Louise and Lawrence Green provided the perfect environment for the book signing. Every detail was seamlessly attended to, and there was magic in the air.  The people who were present and in the book were busy signing their page and almost everyone was trying on hats.  The hours flew by as though they were mere minutes, as laughter and playful connections filled the space of the showroom.


Louise’s 87-year-old mother Sheila Raznick was lovely and vivacious in one of her daughter’s floral whimseys.  I was entranced by the stories of her life and her resilient spirit.


It was a family affair, with Ari’s parents Jack and Frances Cohen in attendance.  It’s easy to see where Ari gets his sense of style, with Jack in understated black and denim, accessorized with a camera, and Frances in splashes of glorious color, topped off with the perfect hat.


One of the highlights of the event was meeting beautiful bloggers Sandra Sallin of “Apart From My Art” HERE and Susan Blakely of “une femme d’un certain age” HERE. I have followed Susan’s blog for many years and felt that I already knew her.  She is even more beautiful and clever in person, and we had great fun catching up on each other’s lives face to face.


The artist and designer Gretchen Shields HERE was lovely in layers.  The background of hats accentuates her beauty.


Ryh-Ming Poon and the glamorous and kind Colleen Heidemann were radiant and resplendent in Louise Green headwear!


The colorful artist and designer Suzi Click HERE was caught signing her page in Ari’s book!


The beautiful model Ellen Jamison rocked polka dots and her stunning silver hair.


New friends (from left) artist Kerrie Smith, designer and photographer Susan Freedman Londoner of “What Would Susie Wear” HERE and artist Allyson Rowen Taylor were smashing in black and white.


Thank you to Ari Seth Cohen for posting this photo of The Style Crone on Advanced Style HERE.  For the book signing event I combined pieces gathered from my travels over the past few years.  The vintage Diane von Furstenberg maxi dress was purchased at Lili Vintage Boutique HERE in New Orleans and the feather headpiece flew to my head at Fabulous Fanny’s HERE in NYC.  The vintage pearl accessories are treasures discovered at Denver estate sales.  I love how Ari’s brilliant eye captured the bird-of-paradise as bracelet.  That’s one accessory that did not travel home with me to Denver!

I was thrilled and honored to be included in the Daily Mail’s piece on “The six senior street style stars that are taking over social media HERE.”  I was humbled to be in the company of gorgeous and creative Instagrammers Debra Rapoport, Colleen Heidemann, Linda Rodin, Cynthia Pastor and Sarah Jane Adams, all over the age of 60. Do wonders never cease!

As a reminder, Hat Attack is open for participation, all day, every day






Two weeks ago I had the privilege and honor of visiting Louise Green Millinery HERE during my trip to Los Angeles to attend the book signing for Ari Seth Cohen’s Older And Wiser HERE.  The book signing took place at the Louise Green Millinery Studio, and was hosted by Louise and her husband Lawrence (I will be blogging about the event next week). I was embraced with open arms and felt very welcomed by their generosity and kindness.


During the book signing I meticulously scanned the hats on display. I was stopped in my tracks by this lush sage green profile fedora with its breathtaking luminous green bow. Its overall personality, perfect workmanship and what appeared to be lovingly handcrafted details drew me in and wouldn’t let go.  That’s what I call hat love at first sight!


Photos By Daniel

The chapeau named “Max” now has its special spot in the hat room, and it will soon have its Denver debut.


Louise and Lawrence work together like an inspiring and impressive “well oiled machine!” Louise designs the hats and Lawrence does the business side for Louise Green Millinery.  It was a joy to behold their mutual respect, admiration and love for one another. As a hat lover and a former hat shop owner, and as a human being, I was captivated by their creation and the magical energy that resides in this space that holds so much beauty and obvious attention to detail.


A glorious sea of headwear covers the walls and hatracks in the display area of the studio.


Who could possible resist sitting in front of this vintage vanity while trying on a hat!


The stunning Louise at work, wearing a floral “whimsy” of her own design, which adorns her silver hair.

The Story of Louise Green Millinery by Louise Green

“In my youth I was a crafter before I even knew there was such a word.  Patchwork, beading, knitting, rug making, hand sewing.  I also loved thrifting.  I studied fine art at a college in England and moved to LA from London in 1983 with two young kids.  I had no usable skills.

I started thrifting for men’s tuxedo jackets and decorating them for women.  Big shoulders were in at the time.  I added a feminine touch to them and sold them in a consignment store.  One day I came upon a box of vintage hats, bought them, took off the trim and re-trimmed them in my own style.  They sold out!

I did that for awhile and decided to look for millinery classes, as I always loved hats. I found classes with the African-American church community.  They accepted me into their circle,  jokingly telling me that I was making white women’s hats.  I was using all vintage materials in dark rich colors in a 20’s style, while their’s were bright and rhinestoned and showy for church. I loved these women. They were fun and funny and would sing to my newborn Jazzy when she woke up from a nap.

I took the hats in bags or boxes around town while very pregnant to the finest stores in LA.  I think they felt sorry for me and my belly because they always bought everything that I made.  A rep from the California Market Center (The Mart at the time) asked me to design a line and she would sell them for me.  Before that, all hats were one of a kind.

That was 30 years ago.  The business kept growing organically.  Lawrence came in with me after a couple of years to deal with the business side.  As they say, the rest is history!”  ~ Louise Green


The millinery workroom was beautifully organized for maximum efficiency.  I loved the shelves of hat blocks, which are pieces of art in their own right.


And then there were the ribbons!


The above photos of Louise and Lawrence’s daughter Jazzy modeling whimsies at four years of age delightfully greet visitors at the stair landing, prior to entering the millinery studio. Jazzy is now 26!  These photos speak to the devotion and commitment to the art form of millinery that is palpable at Louise Green Millinery.

Thank you Louise and Lawrence, and your wonderful staff, for one of the millinery thrills of my life.  It was grand and unforgettable!

Thank you Deborah Boland of Fabulous After 40 for the inclusion in your post “What Over 40 Styleblazers Wore.”  HERE

Now it’s your turn to throw a little headwear my way. Give The SC an OCTOBER HAT ATTACK and kindly link to Style Crone somewhere in your post. The link-up will be open through October 31st.

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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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.

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