Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Hats Off to NAC's Bonnet Bash

Very, very exciting news: two weeks ago I had the honor of being a judge at the National Art Club's Bonnet Bash. The NAC's Fashion Committee chair David Zyla says he likes to think of it as spring Halloween. Using the theme night and day (as in the Cole Porter song), guests were asked to dress in their favorite period outfits for either evening or day and don an appropriate hat. The NAC presented the event with the Milliners Guild here in New York, who had an exhibit of wonderful hats in the exhibit space on the first floor. Everything was gorgeous.

In addition to all the hats in the exhibition space and on the milliners, there were gorgeous wedding gowns by Gilles Montazin. I also loved the touch of clips from films like Top Hat playing on the screen in the room. The Michael Arenella Trio provided a soundtrack straight from the Cole Porter Songbook and in between dinner and drinks, guests had a chance to sit down with Evetta Petty of Harlem's Heaven Hat Boutqiue and Lisa Shaub of Lisa Shaub Fine Millinery as they helped you make hats of your own.

Suzanne Newman (Suzanne Couture Millinery), Enrique Crame III (Fine and Dandy Shop) and I had the tough job of choosing winners for Best Period Hat, Most Outrageous Hat and Most Glamorous. People really went all out with their outfits and hats (I'm fairly sure I spotted an original Dior hat from the 1940s) so do know there was some very intense debate happening. The winners:
The prize for Most Outrageous Hat was sort of a no-brainer, but then the decision-making process got hard. Credit: Lauren Slusher
Elegant turban + satin dress =  the prize for Most Glamorous Credit: Lauren Slusher

Best Period Hat was where the judges got stuck. There were so many great hats on women to choose from, but we did want a man to win a prize, and his military approach to his outfit was really interesting. So this gentleman walked away with a basket full of goodies.

It was an incredible night, full of so many people who loved what they came for and got really into it. This is what keeps me going to these events: the commitment. I really can't thank David Zyla enough for putting on such an fun, beautiful event and letting me participate.

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