Friday, July 13, 2018

Let me shell you somethin!

Lobster is my lobster. Truly, it's one of my favorite foods. 
Lobsters abound! My dress is from eShakti; hers is Lily Pullitzer.
I may or may not have once eaten four lobsters in one sitting.
Lobsterpalooza is an outdoor affair, so a straw hat to block the sun is both stylish AND practical.

Several years ago on a Caribbean cruise, when the rest of my group ordered dessert after a succulent lobster dinner, I opted for a second lobster.
Sometimes white sunglasses are just right.
So, I'm pretty excited about the Indianapolis Opera's "Lobsterpalooza" fundraiser coming up on Saturday, July 21st.
Pearls fit the East Coast vibe of a lobster bake, and the sand dollar pendant echoes the coastal theme. I picked up the large pendant at an open air market in Charleston, South Carolina several years ago.
This annual event features a traditional New England style lobster bake complete with corn, potatoes, and all the fixins. It's on my "can't miss" list of Summer events.
My hatband is actually the self-tie fabric belt that came with the dress. I opted for a solid belt and repurposed it to better coordinate the total look.
The evening also includes a VIP reception with host Kevin Pritchard, the President of our Indiana Pacers, and live music and dancing. And did I mention the lobster?
Pearls may be a conservative East Coast staple, but this double strand of the freshwater variety from Ross Simons is paired with braided pink leather for a more modern, fun twist on a classic.
Beyond the lobster (as if that wasn't enough), I love Lobsterpalooza because it raises critical funds for the Indianapolis Opera and allows our community to enjoy professional productions like La Boheme (coming in September!)
The lightweight pink cardigan was a Steinmart find.
I'm not gonna lie, it's also a fun opportunity to break out a little crustacean themed attire. Come on, would you really expect anything less from me?
I picked up these Coach sandals up, new in the box, at a thrift store for... wait for it...two whole dollars!
This bright cotton sundress was last year's Lobsterpalooza ensemble, and as tempted as I am to crack it out again this year, you might not be all that surprised to hear that it's not the only lobster in my, closet.
A pink and white croc-textured leather tote from Brahmin completes the look and holds my lobster bib until I'm ready to dig in.
If you're local and want to join me for the lobster festivities next weekend, you can get your tickets here. Lobster themed attire not required, I promise, but I do recommend a bib!
After several years of supporting the Opera and attending Lobsterpalooza, KDef just joined the Board of Directors. Hmmm, I wonder if that means he gets an extra lobster...
Oh, and if you're one of those people who doesn't appreciate the king of shellfish, there will also be chicken and vegetarian options. I'll happily eat your lobster!
Fashion is what you buy; Style is what you do with it!
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Thursday, May 3, 2018

Time for Friends

My dear friend Eva (left) and I sporting our Longines timepieces - mine the prize for winning the Longines Kentucky Oaks Fashion Contest in 2015, and hers the prize for winning the Longines Most Elegant Woman Contest at the Breeders Cup in 2017. 
The first weekend in May is always an exciting one for me because it means a trip to Louisville, Kentucky for the Kentucky Oaks and Derby. I love this weekend for the horses; the pageantry; the hats; and most importantly, for the people I've met and the friends I've made.
Hats bring people together! It was a shared style aesthetic that led to my friendship with Chicago native Eva (center), and Irish beauty Sharon (right). We connected at the Breeders Cup and have all kept in touch since.
Take my friend, Eva, for example. She started following me on social media after seeing me in the Longines Kentucky Oaks Fashion Contest in 2015. We met in person last August at the Arlington Million in Illinois, and subsequently spent two days together celebrating the Breeders' Cup in California last November.
The Italian straw, one-of-a-kind chapeau I wore for the second day of the Breeders Cup was made by couture milliner Loreta Corsetti. This hat is one of my favorites and I've worn it to multiple events.
We bonded over a shared aesthetic and love for hats, but a friendship grounded in racing fashion has led to adventures in both her hometown of Chicago and my own Indianapolis.
Eva and I were both finalists in the Longines Most Elegant Woman Contest at the Breeders Cup, and Eva was awarded the grand prize in her stunning striped dress from Asos with coordinating hat and shoes she embellished herself!
This weekend's festivities at Churchill Downs will be yet another opportunity to spend time with Eva and so many other great people we see at the track year after year despite how challenging you might think it would be to find familiar faces in a sea of more than 150,000 people. 
My love of hats is rivaled by my love for shoes, and this crystal studded orange pair with metallic gold heel from Littleboutique is a favorite.They were the perfect complement to my chapeua, also trimmed in crystals and coral.
Of course it's also a fun weekend for fashion. I can't wait to see what my stylish friends will be wearing on the Longines' Kentucky Oaks Pink Carpet. Happy Derby Weekend!!
Fashion is what you buy; Style is what you do with it!
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I'm hooked up with Hat Attack!

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Bumblebees, Baseballs & Bes-Ben

I love textile and fashion exhibits. Over the past several years, I've been to see collections at the Met; the Fashion Institute of Technology; the Chicago History Museum; and of course, the Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields.
I was drawn to the yellow bumblebee hat on display at the IMA like a bee to honey, as it's so similar to my own Bes-Ben bee hat. I paired my vintage piece of wearable art with Burberry heels accented with crystal bee brooches.
The new Bes-Ben millinery exhibit at the IMA, however, is particularly close to my heart. I love hats and have an affinity for whimsical pieces of wearable art, so I've been looking forward to it for months. When I stumbled onto an original Bes-Ben bumblebee hat at a vintage fair in Chicago a few months ago, I new it was the perfect piece to wear for the museum's special Member preview of the exhibit.
A relatively sedate black military-inspired dress lets the hat make its own statement.
What I didn't expect, though, was to see a very similar style in the museum's collection! The bumblebee on "licorice" hats were apparently an iconic Bes-Ben design. I'm not gonna lie, it was pretty cool to be standing there looking at a museum piece that was so similar to the hat I was wearing!
A bumblebee brooch from Amazon serves as a "barrette" and echoes the theme of the hat.
This exhibition is also special to me because it features a bespoke piece that my husband and I donated to the museum. It's a small cocktail hat covered in tiny baseballs. A little wierd? Perhaps. But, less so when you consider that it was custom-made in the late 1950s for the wife of hall of fame Chicago White Sox owner Bill Veeck.
I've looked but haven't been able to find a photograph of this bespoke hat's original owner Mary Frances Ackerman, wife of Chicago White Sox owner Bill Veeck, wearing this unique piece. If only camera phones and social media had existed in the 1950s and 60s...
 My only regret is that I didn't take an opportunity to wear this little gem myself before it became part of the museum's permanent collection, never to touch a human head again. Even so, it's exciting to see it on display, and to know that we've helped preserve a little piece of millinery history.
The baseball hat's original owner, Mary Frances Ackerman, with her husband, hall of fame Chicago White Sox owner Bill Veeck. Mary Frances was a PR woman for the Ice Capades, and was dubbed "the world's most beautiful press agent," according to this colorful article in the Washington Post.
Believe it or not, baseballs and bumblebees aren't the most unusual themes in the collection. Over the course of five decades, Bes-Ben founder and designer Benjamin Green-Field became known as the "Mad Hatter of Chicago" in recognition of his avant-garde, whimsical creations, which were wildly popular in the 1940s, 50s, and 60s with celebrities like Elizabeth Taylor, Marlene Dietrich, and Judy Garland. Bespoke Bes-Ben pieces in the 1950s cost up to $1000, and were recognized as more than just hats, but as coveted pieces of art. If you're in Indianapolis between now and January 6, 2018, don't miss the opportunity to see this most unusual array of surreal wearable art! Get details here.
Fashion is what you buy; Style is what you do with it!

I'm linked up with Hat Attack!