As New York and the East Coast were pummeled by a huge and devastating storm and now its aftermath, my thoughts have been with the many wonderfully spirited and generous people that I spent time with just a few short weeks ago.  I’m hoping that all are safe and that the days ahead provide the help that is needed for everyone to thrive and recover from this overwhelming crisis. Somehow all of these connections feel more dear in the face of adversity.

The Luncheon Hosted by Carol Markel

The SC caught the bus with Debra Rapoport, enveloped in her wrap on a chilly fall day and wearing a hat of her own creation, as we journeyed to Carol Markel and Richard Cramer’s home on the Lower East Side.

One of Debra’s cuffs made of recycled materials.

The SC had been wanting to meet artist and milliner Carol of Femme et Fleur HERE ever since discovering her fabulous blog.  I was very touched by the luncheon hosted by Carol in The SC’s honor, which was filled with laughter, tales of hats and blogging.  Carol and Richard Cramer (above photo on the right) also an artist and very stylish dresser, have been together for 45 years.  They recently returned from a trip to Paris and Nice, which you can read about on Carol’s blog.  Thank you to Carol and Richard for a warm gathering on a cold afternoon in October.

Carol wore a glorious headpiece of her own design.  If only I had captured a close up of this amazing piece of art.  I have been admiring Carol’s helmet cloches since I first saw them on her blog, and I purchased one from her, which will soon have its Denver debut.  I’ve known for some time that there was a chapeau waiting for me in Carol’s studio.

The SC was enthralled by Carol’s pink and silver flats, her kind and gentle spirit and wicked sense of humor.

Photographer, filmmaker and director Lina Plioplyte made an appearance in the above show stopper ensemble.

I was thrilled to meet Maryann Van Dongen, a regualar on Ari Seth Cohen’s Advanced Style HERE, dressed creatively in lace.

The Hat Rotation Project Created By The Idiosyncratic Fashionistas HERE.

One of the photos from the hat rotation project.

Left to right, Shelley of the Forest City Fashionista HERE, The SC, Jean and Valerie of the Idiosyncratic Fashionistas HERE

Valerie and Jean of the IFs came up with another of their creative ideas!  As stated on their blog, “For several years, we have wanted to do a posting showing several people wearing the same hat, to show how differently that single hat ‘performs’ on different people.”  As avid hat wearers, Shelley and The SC jumped at the opportunity to participate.  Who wouldn’t love to wear eight hats within a few hours, just for the fun of it?  Photos were taken with a timer as we rotated hats from head to head, all in the name of chapeau science.

I realized, as I read the post by the IFs, that I preferred some hats over others, but there wasn’t a chapeau in the photos that I wouldn’t wear.  Perhaps this means that the hats that are chosen by women that I admire are hats that I would appreciate as well.

In this post, the IFs also provided useful tips for those who want to start wearing hats, but feel hesitant to do so.  But be forewarned! Before you know it you may fall in love with this powerful and mysterious accessory after discovering that you can change your mood in a split second when you add a chapeau to your style repertoire.

Our reward for the completion of the hat rotation project was Valerie in her famous Guggenheim hat. Have you ever seen a hat this spectacular?



  1. Wow Judith – I love to see your stylish friends!
    Thank you for sharing the link of Femme et Fleur i didn’t know her
    And look at the Guggenheim hat! it is fantastic!


  2. Carol is lovely – I was so glad I had the opportunity to meet her while I was in NY. It is hard to believe that we were just there two weeks before the storm hit – I’m so happy that our wonderful friends are safe, but I feel terrible for the people who lost their homes, businesses or were otherwise impacted by the storm. I keep forgetting to put the link to the IF’s hat post – thanks for the reminder!

  3. Just so lovely! Those customised and created items are wonderful. I may feel I have to copy, just telling you.

  4. I have been thinking of NY as well!! The hat orgy is delicious and I’ve been wishing I had more in my collection. Can we talk? I have a big head, described by a milliner as a “long oval”. That makes it hard to find ready-made hats. Please advise!!

    Sending love, Jean

  5. I like the photo of the four of you from the hat rotation project. Very elegant.
    My heart is with NY and the hard hit east coast. I hope and pray for a speedy

  6. I have been watching the news reports about the devastating effects of Sandy and feeling worried for all those affected.
    I think your New York trip was an inspiring adventure, and meeting up with like-minded bogging friends is always a joy (did it myself yesterday!) the final photo of the hat rotation is fabulous! xxxx

  7. Hi Jean. We had a hat stretcher in our hat shop, which allowed hats to fit almost any head. I think they can still be found at millinery supply sites. I’ll check around and get back to you. Love, Judith

  8. What amazing adventures you’ve had in NY with the most colorful, stylish people! And to think a few weeks later the city’s been abruptly, but temporarily, stopped by a storm. The life cycle prevails, does it not?

  9. I do love wearing a hat, I think those who’ve yet to discover the joys of head gear are missing a treat. Carol looks amazing and I love you and Shelley rocking the hats in the line-up with the IFs.

  10. Major storms have their own sartorial signs. Television meteorologists appear sans jackets, shirt sleeves rolled up and ties askew. Reporters bundle up in sturdy rain gear to appear from the midst of the storm to give us an “in the eye of the storm” view. Many of us rush, dressed from the day at work, to pick up a few “extras” from the grocery store before the storm hits, and since just a few months ago in my community we were without power for 8 days, we are perhaps a bit more cautious than needed.

    Then, most of us, wait it out from home. We sit in comfort. Me, I watched the storm coverage in my pajamas and slippers, and though the wind howled and brought down a few branches, we were safe. For me, life returned to normal very quickly, but for many, clean clothes, a hot meal, and electricity may still be days away. The comforts of home may be even farther ahead…

  11. Judith,
    This is a lovely, fun account of some of your events in the big Apple. Sandy took a little bite out of the Big Apple, but we are coming back. Thanks for all your thoughts for New York and its denizens.

    We do love to dress up, don’t we?

    It was splendid to meet you. Could not have been better.

  12. I have high HOPES to visit New Yor with my daughter Rebecca in septembers, and I would love to meet and hug all of you very tight.

  13. I actually thought of you this week as the storm hit NYC. The hat rotation is a really creative idea and I can only imagine the variations. I’ve read about the party at Carol’s blog too.

  14. What a warm comfort you provide- thoughts for the New Yorkers and then a reminder of their fabulous spirit and style. What a treat to see this gathering of stylish souls- and hats!

    I need to see this IF project- I agree- hats sing the personality of the wearer!

  15. What a wonderful gathering of extraordinary persons, an incredibly open-hearted energy! Thank you for letting us catch a glimpse. I loved the hat rotation project as well.

    My thoughts too go out to those still struggling in Sandy’s wake.

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