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Landmark Exhibition Celebrates the Enduring Art of Millinery

HATtitude: The Milliner in Culture & Couture Set to Open at ArtsWestchester in February

January 15, 2014 (ArtsWestchester) White Plains, New York – Hats are art according to ArtsWestchester, which will be showing fabulous, exciting, unique headwear from February 11- April 12, 2014 during HATtitude: The Milliner in Culture and Couture. The exhibition will prove what the Duchess of Cambridge and Lady Gaga already know – that hats are more than mere accessories, they’re the crowning glory of any fashion statement. Over 160 hats will be featured in this exhibition that has gathered over 40 contemporary milliners, many of whom are sought after by fashionistas around the world. Through hats that range from playful expressions of individuality to symbols of propriety or sculptural masterpieces, the show highlights the hat’s function in global cultures, as well as its prominent position in 20th and 21st century couture fashion. An exciting calendar of engaging lectures by fashion and art historians rounds out additional, related programming. In addition, hands-on workshops led by exhibiting milliners will introduce the public of all ages to the art of hat making. For more info, visit: www.artswestchester.org/hattitude

“According to an old saying,” says ArtsWestchester CEO Janet Langsam, ‘If you want to get ahead, wear a hat.’ That’s particularly true in today’s day and age as hats are becoming more like works of art and fewer people are wearing them. So to stand out in the crowd, wear a hat.”

A well-designed hat is as much a statement about its maker as is it about its wearer. At the heart of HATtitude is the milliner and the skills and creativity of the trade. Louise Green (Los Angeles, CA) of Louise Green Millinery is hat-maker to the stars, designing period-influenced headwear for television and movies. Among the celebrities she dresses are the cast of Gossip Girl; Seth Rogan in his role as the Green Hornet; and Taylor Swift, who wore a Louise Green top hat in her 2013 Grammy Awards performance. Catherine Stevens of Cat Stevens Derby Couture creates flamboyant, feathery fascinators and hats guaranteed to stand out within the race-track crowd and beyond. Alongside conventional hats made from traditional materials like fur felt or straw – are pieces that stretch the possibilities of the art of millinery.  Dramatic and fanciful sculptural pieces by milliners like Jasmin Zorlu (Brooklyn, NY) and Anya Caliendo (Long Island, NY) turn the head of their wearer into a pedestal. Mrs. Caliendo apprenticed under the famous British haute-couture milliner Stephen Jones and is the only American milliner invited to show at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in New York.

Local milliners are featured prominently, including several who create pieces for clients in communities across multiple faiths. Cejunel “Sister CJ” Lewis and Carlos NY Hats of the Bronx are sought after by African American church-goers who want unique, runway-ready attire for their “Sunday Best.” Rivka Zorbaron services the Scarsdale Jewish community and Sara Khan is known for her Middle Eastern head scarf designs. In HATtitude, functional hats, whimsical hats, hats from bygone eras and from different global cultures will all be on display, providing context for contemporary designs while examining the hat’s enduring social significance.

The exhibition will also feature One Block, Many Milliners, a mini-exhibition within the larger show. The forty unique hats on display in this area were all formed from the same basic hat shape. The collection emphasizes the boundless creativity of milliners, who see endless artistic possibilities in a simple form. One Block, Many Milliners is both organized by and on loan from the Milliners Guild, an organization of small millinery business owners and milliners who specialize in the design, production and promotion of handmade headwear.

HATtitude: The Milliner in Culture & Couture is curated by Kathleen Reckling, MA; Judith Schwartz, PhD; and Thomas VanBuren, PhD, and is presented thanks to support from the New York State Council on the Arts and the New York Council for the Humanities.

The public is invited to attend an opening reception on Sunday, February 9, from 2-4:30pm.  Guests are encouraged to wear their most eye-catching headwear. If you don’t have a hat, don’t worry – fascinating pieces will be on sale in ArtsWestchester’s Art Shop. RSVPs for the opening reception are required. Contact Lea Banks at LBanks@artswestchester.org or 914.428.4220 ext 330.

HATtitude: The Milliner in Culture & Couture 
Curated by:                           Kathleen Reckling, MA, Tom Van Buren, Ph.D. and Judith Schwartz, Ph.D.
On view:                                 February 11 – April 12, 2014
Gallery Hours:                     Tuesday – Saturday, 12-5 pm
Opening Reception:           Sunday, February 9, 2-4:30 PM, RSVP required.

Docent and curator tours are available for groups of 20 or less. Please contact Lea Banks, Gallery Assistant, to book your group’s visit.  LBanks@artswestchester.org or 914.428.4220 ext 330

Exhibiting Milliners:
Abigail Aldridge                                              Kathy Anderson                                              Linda Ashton
Moire Bagale                                                    Melissa Bolin                                                    Conney Borda
Anya Caliendo                                                 Sally Caswell                                                     Wanda J. Chambers
Ellen Christine Colon-Lugo                        Nicole Cornell                                                 Jill Courtmanche
Marie D’Antoni                                               Kimberly D’Auria                                           Anne Depasquale
Deana Gibbons                                                Louise Green                                                   Christina Helmer
Jennifer Hoertz                                              Amanda John                                                   KAR
Miki Katagiri                                                   Patrick Kavanaugh                                        Aaron Keppel
Kip Kirkendall                                                 Marcia Lacher                                                Jacqueline Lamont
Grace E. Lee                                                    Carlos Lewis                                                      Cejunel Lewis
Janet Linville                                                  Marcus Malchijah                                          Cigmond Meachen
Regina McCarthy                                          Joanne Mooney                                              Linda Pagan
Evetta Petty                                                    Cha Cha Pisani                                                 Siripak Priyawat
Debra Rapoport                                             Ryan Elisabeth Reid                                      Chris Rohmer
Shin Jeo Park                                                  Lisa Shaub                                                          Eunae Shim
Janet Sikirica                                                  Paula Singleton                                                Judith Solodkin
Monika Stebbins                                            Barbara Volker                                               Rivka Zorbaron
Jasmin Zorlu                                                    Judith Schwartz

Additional hats on loan from the collections of:
Ballet Folklórico Acuarelas del Perú
Sana Musasama
Judith Schwartz
Louise Green
The National Trust for Historic Preservation, Lyndhurst

Acknowledgement: One Block, Many Milliners is on loan from the Milliners Guild.

Presented with support from the New York Council for the Humanities.

Thursday, February 13, 7:00-8:30pm
The ‘Big Three’ in the 1940s-1960s New York Hat Industry: Mr. John, Sally Victor and Lilly Dache 
Lecture by Colleen Hill, Associate Curator of Accessories,
The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology, New York.

Thursday, February 27,  7:00-8:30pm
The Smithsonian Will to Adorn  Project and Folklife Research on Style and African American Hat Makers in the Bronx and Brooklyn
Lecture by Jade Banks, Folklorist, Mind-Builders Creative Arts Center, Bronx, NY.

Saturday, March 1, 1:00-3:00pm 
Up-Cycling Sweaters Into Hats 
Workshop with Debra Rapoport
Space is limited. Email LBanks@artswestcester.org to reserve your spot.
Sweaters have been kindly donated by Eileen Fisher.

Saturday, March 1, 3:00 – 5:00pm 
Dance Hats of Peru with the Ballet Folklórico Acuarelas del Peru  
Performance and Demonstration.

Thursday, March 6, 7pm 
Studio Artists – Popular Culture – Vogue – Couture Artists: Who Were They and How They Got
Their Hats Out There
Lecture by Ellen Christine Colon-Lugo, Ph.D., Exhibiting Milliner and Historian of Millinery.

Saturday, March 8, 1-3pm
Fascinating Headbands with Evelyn Eidelberg (ages 5 and up)

Thursday, March 13th, 7pm 
A Look at the Origins of Head Coverings in the Middle East
Lecture by Nazanin Hedayat Munroe, M.A., M.F.A. Textile Artist and Art Historian.

Saturday, March 15th,1-3pm
Hat-Making with VIVA paper Towels
Workshop with Debra Rapoport
Space is limited. Email LBanks@artswestchester.org to reserve your spot.

For more information, visit:  


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