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Archive for August, 2010

So, two weekends ago, I essentially dragged Trench to a college fair. The day generally resulted in confusion and a little disillusionment, but we did get to meet some awesome people. This mom-daughter duo caught my eye with their interesting style.

Mom and daughter wearing cool clothes

Pastel Asian Boho, and the coolest purse ever

I’m afraid that the picture isn’t very high-quality. I took this before I received my new digicam. But these two were so sweet to talk to. They also came to look at colleges. I love Mom’s embroidered Asian-inspired blouse, and Daughter’s bag… it’s actually a vintage WWII map case!!

And yes, I do live in NYC now, for Fashion Design school. It’s gonna be… interesting paying for all this, but I’ll wait tables if it means living the dream! Pictures later… I haven’t really explored my new stomping grounds yet – been busy with Orientation.

Love and Blessings,

Naomi R.

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So, I’ve been unconsciously been collecting hats for about 4 years now, but at the beginning of this year, I decided that I’d become a *real* hat collector.  Since hats are often such an important part of my design ideas, and because the local hat sellers and fellow collectors have become such a big part of my life, I decided to put together this little homage to my hats and the people I owe their pleasure to. This will be in several parts over several days. :3

Suzan Hittle (The Hat Lady)

She’s actually the real reason for this blog post. This incredible lady has suffered with all sorts of ailments since her youth. Multiple times she’s been told she only has a few more years to live, but she has gone on to have two beautiful kids, became an accomplished lyricist, and nurtures her second love, hats and those who need them, through her Arlington, TX shop, Dress Hats and More. Every year, she gives away hundreds of hats (nice ones, too) to chemo patients who wouldn’t be able to afford them otherwise.

My first “Hittle Hat” was my black Bigalli bowler, size 7 and 5/8 (yes, I have a big afro). This thing has gone with me everywhere. It’s the one hat I almost always have with me. :D After I bought it, I was excited to discover that the Bowler was originally designed to be the “practical tophat”. The collapsible crown and the sturdy brim makes a great old fashioned riding helmet!

Listenin' to some Porcupine Tree in the Texas heat, me, my new camera, and my bowler hat.

A better view of the shape of the hat.

Detail shot (I <3 macro setting) of the Art Nouveau stickpin I like to wear in the bow. I got the stickpin from Jana's.

Next, after about a year of sporadic visits, I laid my eyes upon what I call “The Tim Burton Hat”…

'Nuff said.

It's the perfect of blend of old-world class, and whimsical Church lady/derby race styling.

This one took a little longer to acquire. I’m pretty slow to spend money, but when I do, it’s on something really special. I paid for this one by degrees over 2 months, but it is finally mine.

Just look at theis excellent curled felt. <3

Suzan also gave me this inexpensive little knit cap.She sensed that it’d look good on me. As you can see, she has an eye for these things.

A good, casual beanie with a little sparkle. <3

Yesterday, Suzan called me. Her shop is having some financial troubles, and she asked me to come over and talk. I ended up buying this little number… which, hilariously, used to be Ashley’s hat! She had bought it vintage from Jana’s (more about her next time), then sold it to Suzan to help pay for her own lady’s derby hat! When Ashley bought it, it didn’t fit me, but now that my hair is shorter in back…

This hat is so hard to photograph. ^^;

I love the 40’s fedora style. <3 <3 <3

Detail of the feather spray.

Trenchcoat met me at Suzan’s to both pick me up and brainstorm ideas to keep the shop afloat. He ended up finding a fedora that perfectly fits his lifestyle – A classy, textured hat that is also collapsible and practical. He’s been needing a hat for a while, too. :D I’ll add those pictures in another post. :)

Dear, dear Suzan then pulled out a blue, broad snap-brimmed fedora. She explained that it was the first hat that they had bought for the shop 4 years ago, but incredibly it had never sold. Even though I tried to refuse, she insisted that I take it as a gift, even though she’s in a bind. ;__;  *tears of joy* Yes, that is the kind of person Suzan is. Giving away her things, even when she could try to get a pretty penny for them.  I’m leaving this hat with the family and with my friends when I head to New York. It looks good on everyone at the house, and I have plenty for myself. :)

More feather details. :3

Obligatory Myspace shot with the cool hat. :3

Inside of the fedora. I did some research, and this is a Bollman Hat Company product. Funny enough, the logo was a turn-off when I first saw the hat, but it's grown on me. <3

Mr. Toby (of Marquis of Vaudeville) also bought himself a lovely derby hat (basically a more structured, fancier version of my bowler) when he visited the store with me and Stacey, his girlfriend (the one with the awesome mask).

Toby wearing his Bowler hat and Stacey wearing her mask

Doesn't it suit him perfectly? Suzan always manages to have just the right hat for everyone. :3

I’m really going to miss Suzan and her shop. She always has a story for you, and she does her utmost to find exactly what you need at your price range, even if that meant her losing money. I think she plans to re-open her shop as a website. Please send her your love and blessings, and if you’re in the area, check out her shop before it’s too late!!

Love,

Naomi

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Almost done…

Hello, dearly beloved readers. I just finished one of the major steps on Toby’s tailcoat. Aaaaaand I made a video about it. Check it out!

I plan on having each of these outfit pieces done by Friday. Wish me luck!

I’m leaving for school next Tuesday, too. Things might be a bit slow here as I re-adjust/look for work, but I’ll be back… :3

Love and blessings,

Naomi

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