Cover of the book purchased at the Bard Exhibit with a photo of Isabella Blow in a hat by Philip Tracey, 1996.

This journey to NY was different from any other in my past.  I brought my camera, but didn’t use it until the final hours of the day before we returned home.  What  blogger walks the vibrant streets of NY without her camera?  The movements required for photography felt unavailable and leaden, as my lens was internal. Reminding myself that the focus of this trip was a memorial tribute, I accepted that my memories would be accessible in a different form.  It was a time to be spent with people, with friends old and new.  No visits to my favorite haunts.  No explorations of hat shops or flea markets. No attempts to discover new milliners or vintage venues.

However, to fulfill a promise made to myself last fall, I visited the exhibit at the Bard Graduate Center HERE, ‘Hats: An Anthology by Stephen Jones.’   Needless to say, I was in awe of the beauty and creativity displayed before my eyes.  As stated on the Bard site, ‘The exhibition is divided into several sections that reveal the practice of creating hats, how they are worn, by whom, and how they are presented to the client.’  In a spellbound state, I viewed a celebration of the accessory that brings art to my daily life.

Hat quotes from the exhibit:

‘I simply live my life and put it into a hat.’  Stephen Jones

‘Take the one you fall in love with.  Which mysteriously does something for you, which magically makes you feel more  beautiful.’  Genevieve Dariaux  (This quote could also refer to a beloved life partner).

Camille (second from left) was laughing with friends Cynthia, Christianna and Shomeiko; something about this moment brought my lens to the exterior. Perhaps it was the animated light in my daughter’s eyes or her dazzling smile that reminded me of her father.  The SC picked up her camera!  This is the photo I took on our final night in New York.


  1. Why does this of all your posts make me tear up so? Camille is beautiful…and to see him smiling back at you in this smile is wonderful.

  2. I usually bring my camera to special events and never touch it; usually doing a sketch brings back the greatest sensory flashback. On your trip it seems you were already brimming with sensory recalls, too important and precious to clutter up… (But I like your last picture! Much happiness.)

    The hat exhibit sounds inspiring. Isabella Blow, what an icon she was.

    Beautiful writing.

  3. Thoughtful and a beautiful wring style…..I check your blog everyday (no pressure) and read it with relish. Camille is beautiful

  4. That moment with Camille and her friends was definitely photo-worthy! She is a lovely young woman, and Nelson would be so proud of her, and you…. Even though I have my camera with me at all times, there are some experiences that would be diminished by an attempt to capture with a lens, and it can take away from fully being in the moment. I am glad you got to see the Hat exhibit though – it was one of my favourite things from my trip.

  5. Interesting and provoking comment on our lives with our cameras. When my children were young I disliked being behind a camera lens because I felt like I was outside of the experience. I would capture a few moments and put it away. Interestingly, many of the photo’s are essentially the same and do not specifically address the occasion. i found some of the last “event” photo’s of my son yesterday in my digital albums and really enjoyed studying them. It was one of our last really happy moments before his illness took over. Like the photo of your beautiful daughter, he was happy, with family, smiling and enjoying life. What I remember most though is in memory, not in photo. Here is hoping the memories of this tribute to your beloved Nelson will stay with you and sustain you in the next year of this journey.

  6. “Take the one you fall in love with. Which mysteriously does something for you, which magically makes you feel more beautiful.’ Genevieve Dariaux

    I love that quote, because its good advice for more than hats.

    I get the need to put down the camera at times. And for the moments when you pick it up. I think your daughter is beautful and the joy expressed on her face is certainly worth capturing. xo. Bella Q

  7. Both of the quotes you share in this post speak volumes. I smiles immediately upon reading them.

  8. Camille’s smile does indeed remind me of the big joyful smile I remember seeing in pictures of Nelson. What a wonderful moment you captured.

  9. I love the photo of Camille and her friends. Her lovely smile made me smile.

    The hat exhibit sounds fabulous, I’m so glad you were able to go. That picture of Isabella Blow wearing the black feathered Philip Treacy hat is also in the biography “Isabella Blow: A Life in Fashion.” It’s a great photo.

  10. Although I didn’t make it to that exhibit, I knew you would! Thank you for sharing a tiny glimpse.
    So glad you were able to share time with Camille and her friends. It means so much, I know.

    Love you!

  11. Hi Judith!
    Lovely pic of Camille – this hat exhibit looks amazing
    NY is such a wonderful place
    I too sometimes in some situation did not take pics when i should of, but there is always time for more!

    Congrats Judith ! i am impressed! you in Adavanced Style, well you are one stylish amazing Lady !

  12. Just read about your visit to NYC with the Idiocyncratic Fashionistias. I would have LOVED to be there with you, but then there would have been 4 witches, and that just doesn’t have the same ring to it. I really want to get back to NY again someday. How fabulous you and Valerie and Jean looked! And what fun!

    Love from England,

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