Sunday, September 30, 2012

Hats: An Anthology by Stephen Jones...Boston

On Saturday, September 8, 2012, I was lucky enough to attend the opening day festivities of Hats: An Anthology by Stephen Jones!  This is the final stop on a world-wide trip this exhibit has taken over the last few years--starting at the Victoria & Albert in London, then Brisbane, Australia, then New York City, and finally to Boston, Massachusetts (actually Salem) and the Peabody Essex Museum. The PEM is the oldest continuously operating museum in the USA.

To say I was excited about seeing this exhibit would be an understatement!  My friend and fellow milliner Janet, from Philadelphia, met me there.  We anticipated a whole day of millinery bliss.  We were not disappointed.

 I left the airport and had the taxi drop me at the waterfront in Boston.  I'd heard taking the ferry up to Salem was a great way to see some of the skyline, harbor, and beautiful sailboats.

A beautiful day for a ferry ride up to Salem (yes, Salem as in witch trials)!  Fall air, sunshine, water, history, boats!

Janet and I arrived at the PEM early on Saturday, just after opening.  Guess what!  As we were just about to enter the museum Janet said, 'There he is!'  We turned and Mr. Jones himself was just getting out of his taxi.  I'm basically a pretty shy person but I was determined to meet him and this might be my only chance of the day.  We walked over and introduced ourselves and he was exceptionally nice and friendly.  We had a nice little discussion about his support of wildlife (as is Janet), his lavender patent leather shoes (!), and our excitement to be at the exhibit. I could have left right then and the trip would have been worth the cost to get there. 

First event of the day was an interactive discussion by Boston's top milliner, Marie Galvin of Galvinized Headwear.  I'd never met Marie but have been aware of her contributions to the millinery world for quite a few years.  The crowd loved her as she had audience members come up on stage and she tried different shapes and styles of hats on them to give them different perspectives on how to wear a hat.

Marie had contacted me before I got to Boston hoping we'd be able to sit and chat a bit.  We did get a chance to meet but didn't have much time to sit and chat as there was so much to do that day.   I told her how much I enjoyed her presentation and all the tips, challenges, and thrills she mentioned about owning a millinery shop.  Owning a millinery shop myself, I SO related to her entertaining stories.

Next up?  A Conversation with Stephen Jones.  This sold out presentation by Mr. Jones, the V&A's curator of fashion, and the curator of the PEM's collection, was very enlightening as they discussed how the exhibit started, how some of the hats were added to the mix, Mr. Jones' first hat (great story), and how fashion itself is now regarded as more museum-worthy.  I thoroughly enjoyed this 'conversation'...except for the very annoying woman in the audience who thought the Q&A part of the event was all about her.  But I won't go into that!

Above...check out the patent leather lavender shoes!!!  Love!!!!

 Got a chance to have Stephen Jones sign my copy of Hats: An Anthology by Stephen Jones, which I bought when the exhibit first opened in London.

 Here I'm asking him what he thinks about some of the newer or less traditional millinery materials like plastics and wood-shaving.  Of course, his 'Wash and Wear' hat is quite an SJ icon, and was included in the exhibit.

 Because his first hat had spray-painted plastic flowers on it (yes!), we had a little laugh about using plastic in/on hats.

 Some of my favorite hats of the 250+  in the exhibit?  (Sorry I can't show pictures as photography was not allowed in the exhibit...although that didn't stop one woman from thinking the rules didn't apply to her, and had the nerve to post on a popular social media site.)  Favorites:  Striking (a hat of struck wooden matches) by Stephen Jones, the Schiaparelli 'Shoe' hat, a Caroline Reboux tricorn feather hat, Rose Royce by Stephen Jones, and so many more I can't describe.  If you get the chance to go to Boston/Salem, DO IT!  See for yourself the wide range of what millinery can be.  You will not be disappointed!

Til next time!

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