What I wore today (3.12.12): Inspired by Coney Island.
Ever since I got my hands on the perfect vintage boater hat from the 1930’s at Billy’s Antiques last Summer, I haven’t been able to shake off my adoration. This is one of my absolute favorite hats, not only because of how great it looks but the history behind it. Boater hats were created in the late 19th century and popular throughout the early 20th century and were normally made of stiff sennit straw and has a stiff flat crown and brim, typically with a solid or striped grosgrain ribbon around the crown. These hats became a really popular item for men in the 1920’s. They were specifically worn for sailing but became an all around fashion statement. I saw my first boater hat when I researched the history of Coney Island years ago. I am really inspired by the history of Brooklyn’s first and oldest theme park. I remember seeing old videos and photographs of Coney Island in the 20’s popularly flooded with people and all you saw were the tops of boater hats on gentlemen in suits and women dressed in black long frocks. Those videos and photographs are what inspired me to find my very own boater hat. As you can see, as much as I love pinup girls I am also very much inspired by the dapper gentlemen of the 20’s, 50’s, and 60’s and I love being able to pull off these looks with my own feminine touch. I would love to collect more of these Boater hats but I these things take time and patience. The one I own practically fell on my lap (not literally) and was in the right condition, the right size, and the right color. Boater hats are supposed to be worn on the top of the head or at a tilt pushed slightly forward. Call me a perfectionist, snob, or the fashion police but It hurts my soul when I see girls wearing boater hats on the far backs of their heads lol. It has become the new trend I cannot seem to accept. I guess I am loyal to the history of fashion despite creating my own rules. I guess you can do what you want, I just personally don’t like to see a good hat worn the wrong way.
My hat wasn’t the only historical piece that was part of my outfit..I also wore a blue vintage bow tie from the 30’s. It was the perfect match to my hat and I paired it with a white button down, American Apparel trousers, a vintage navy blue belt, my Zara grey blazer, and my leopard Tecasan pumps to add a little flavor and femininity. My vintage purse is a cute little navy blue suitcase that I eventually want to paste old stamps on to give it an older feel. It was the perfect outfit for the type of weather we have been getting lately, plus I was off to the Bob Mackie showroom to pick up a doll he signed for me <3. After that I met up with my girl Ingrid for some good noms at the Meatball Shop when we came across this new AMAZING retro painting DFace created on Lafayette. Check out more info/photos on Coney Island, one of my favorite videos of Harold Lloyd in Coney Island circa 1928, DFace’s new retro portrait, and more about what we wore inside!
It is hard for me to pinpoint one main reason I love this place, maybe it is because my mother would bring me there all of the time, maybe it was the Freak Shows that intrigued me; the mermaids, the siamese twins, bearded ladies, tight rope walkers, and other freaks that were no freaks to me. Maybe I could relate to how different they felt amongst other people and maybe this is why I embrace who I am now. I have become a living, breathing, work of my own art exploring all realms of my creativity and advertising it like a one-woman-freak-show. I guess I have a lot to thank Coney Island for, what an inspiration and influence it has had on my life.These are old photographs of Coney Island in the 20’s and 30’s. Look at how many men wore suits and their boater hats, even on the beach!I wish Coney Island stood the same.Can I turn back time?This is a snap shot from a Harold Lloyd silent comedy in the 1920’s. I’ve watched probably 199 of the 200 films he has been in both silent and talkies. The video below is my favorite because it takes place in Coney Island. You can see the late great old New York in many of his films. Here is a little more about him best described via Wikepedia.
Harold Lloyd ranks alongside Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton as one of the most popular and influential film comedians of the silent film era. Lloyd made nearly 200 comedy films, both silent and “talkies“, between 1914 and 1947. He is best known for his “Glasses Character”, a resourceful, success-seeking go-getter who was perfectly in tune with 1920s era America.
His films frequently contained “thrill sequences” of extended chase scenes and daredevil physical feats, for which he is best remembered today. Lloyd hanging from the hands of a clock high above the street in Safety Last! (1923) is one of the most enduring images in all of cinema. Lloyd did many of these dangerous stunts himself, despite having injured himself in August, 1919 while doing publicity pictures for the Roach studio. An accident with a bomb mistaken as a prop resulted in the loss of the thumb and index finger of his right hand  (the injury was disguised on future films with the use of a special prosthetic glove, though the glove often did not go by unnoticed).
Although Lloyd’s individual films were not as commercially successful as Charlie Chaplin’s on average, he was far more prolific (releasing twelve feature films in the 1920s while Chaplin released just three), and made more money overall ($15.7 million to Chaplin’s $10.5 million).
Thanks to my dear friend Chris, here is a close-up of my bow tie and hat. I also wore my vintage blue cat eye glasses.See how men wore boater hats in the 20s? DAPPER.The boater hat phenomenon was so popular they started creating feminine versions of the hat. The female version of the boater hat was commonly made with a flatter surface and adorned with all different kinds of colored ribbons, netting, hat pins, and flowers.This one has a netted vail, I would love to find one like this in the future.The woman dead center in this photo has a boater hat on that has a fairly longer brim, however it is still a boater hat and worn exactly the way it should. LOVE IT.
I was so happy I got to pick up my signed Bob Mackie Countess Dracula Barbie! BEST DAY EVAR.The icing on the cake to my wonderful day was seeing my friend Ingrid for some downtime girl time and as we were walking to the Lower East Side we came across this beautiful DFace mural that was TOTALLY my style. People have been tweeting me photos of this mural for a few days now and I was so glad I got to see it in person.Everything about this mural is amazing. I’d love to have these images painted all over my new place. I love the ghostly painted train tracks on the ground too.Ingrid looked like a funky Parisian princess in her cute printed jumper, striped top, and beret. Tres chic!This has become one of my signature looks so I know this isn’t the first time I have been in a boater hat on my website but I like to change it up every time and make each time different and unique by adding funky wild cards to the mix. I can’t wait to explore more realms of menswear.Cutie patootie!I love how she adds elements of color to her outfit with a green beret and hot pink lipstick.