Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Book Review: The Painter from Shanghai

Title: The Painter from Shanghai
Author: Jennifer Cody Epstein
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company, New York, 2008
Category: Historical Fiction
Number of Pages: 408 pages

What it is about:
Pan Yuliang was a mid 20th century Chinese artist, renowned for her Post-Impressionist self-portraits and paintings of nude women. She had been sold to a brothel by her uncle at age 14 after her parents died and was rescued from working as a prostitute by an idealistic customs officer Pan Zanhua. He married her and ultimately supported her artistic journey in Shangai, Paris and Rome. This book is the fictionalized story of her life (b. 1895 d. 1959).

Favourite Passage:
"Has it ever occurred to you that our wounds are what drive us to create?" He looks thoughtfully back at Goya's Saturn. "After all, loss in one arena compels us to compensate in others. Think about the senses. The way Loss of sight leads to heightened senses of smell, touch, and hearing for the bling. What if the same is true of the creative process? What if those who've lost comething compensate for it in their work? In that case their damage helps them. It's what compels them to create" He turns back to her." And it might explain why the best artists tend also to be the poorest." (page 251)

I read the first chapter of this novel in the bookstore and was breathless with anticipation. I love reading about artists, because I understand the exquisite agony that accompanies creation. The first chapter really seemed to resonate with me and I really enjoyed the chapters that followed Yuliang through the brothel and onto her voyage of self-discovery as an artist.

Ultimately, I finished the book only out of a sense of duty. Something was missing for me and I am struggling now to explain what that was. Pan Yuliang seemed hollow, without real emotion or real dimension especially towards the end of the book. Artists are anything but hollow. I've never met a real artist who did not feel things deeply. I'm not sure a non-artist would really understand or even notice what I am talking about, but in the end, I felt dissappointed. And I really wish that the author had bothered to get permission to use one of the artist's paintings for the cover or as an appendix in the book. A picture is worth a thousand words they say.... (To that end, I've included a couple of her paintings here).

Monday, March 30, 2009

Portraits of an Artist

Oscar Wilde once said "Every portrait that is painted with feeling is a portrait of the artist, not the sitter."

I used to paint a lot of portraits and here are a couple of my favourites:

Portrait of a Young Woman, by Ingrid Mida Oil on canvas, 30x90 inches, 2007 (Model Holly in front of her portrait)

The Lacemaker after Vermeer by Ingrid Mida, 2006 Oil on canvas 20x20

Blue Jean Babes (#3 and #1) by Ingrid Mida 2006 Oil on canvas, 30x40

What these works say about me, I'm not sure....

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Portraits of Marie Antoinette

Portrait of the Archduchess Marie Antoinette by Martin van Meytens the Younger, 1767-1768 (Schonbrunn Castle, Vienna)

In the many portraits of Marie Antoinette, she is portrayed with smooth, white skin, blonde hair, pretty blue eyes, a high forehead, and an aqualine nose. In the Portrait of the Archduchess Marie Antoinette by Martin van Meytens the Younger shown above, painted before she left for the French court, she seems to be perfection personified.

In spite of this lovely image, it's been said that Marie Antoinette was not considered especially beautiful. Apparently, her "Habsburg jaw and prominent nose were a bit heavy for eighteenth-century taste" (Source: "The Art of Dress" by Aileen Riberio, Yale University Press, 1995). As well, there are few images of MA in profile because she was self-conscious about her aqualine nose.

In the letters between Marie Antoinette and her mother (1770-1780), she makes several references to the portraits being painted of her and that she does not think they have achieved a proper likeness. Here are two extracts from her letters to her mother:

Marie Antoinette to Maria Theresa, 13 August 1773
"I am being painted, right now; it is true that no painter has yet caught the way I look: I would happily give all I own to anyone who could express in a portrait all the joy I would feel in seeing my dear Mama; how hard it is to be able to kiss her only by letter." (page 117).

Marie Antoinette to Marie Theresa, 16 November 1774
"The painters kill me and make me despair. I delayed the courier so as to allow my portrait to be finished; it has just been brought to me; it looks so little like me that I cannot send it. I hope to have a good one next month." (page 155)

(Source: Secrets of Marie Antoinette by Olivier Bernier, 1985)

As an artist, I know how difficult it is to achieve a likeness when painting a portrait. And even if all the features are precisely in place, considerable skill is required to capture the spirit of the sitter and translate that onto canvas. I wonder if the portrait artists mentioned in Marie Antoinette's letters failed to flatter her sufficiently to win her approval or were lacking in sufficient skill to capture her likeness.

After her mother's death, Marie Antoinette sat for several portraits with Elisabeth-Louise Vigee Le Brun. One of her portraits of Queen Marie Antoinette was exhibited at the Salon of 1783 and depicted the Queen wearing a chemise gown causing tremendous controversy. The portrait was withdrawn. To read more about Madame Vigee Le Brun, please refer to my earlier posting on the subject.

Queen Marie-Antoinette by E.L. Vigee-Lebrun, 1783, National Gallery of Art, Washington

I'd hazard a guess that Marie Antoinette would not have liked the contemporary portraits of her painted by Elizabeth Peyton.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Beautiful Libraries

My mother was a librarian and often insisted on visiting libraries when we went on holiday. I never appreciated her interest. And yet, now that she is old and frail and cannot travel anymore, I find myself drawn to libraries so that I can tell her about them when I get home.

The Athenaeum Music and Arts Library in La Jolla, California was built and furnished in 1921 by the efforts of Helen Browning Scripps. Antheneum is a Greek term for place of learning , culture and discourse associated with Athena, the goddess of wisdom and the arts.

This non-profit membership library (one of only 16 in the USA) is devoted to music and the arts and has a collection of books and other media such as DVDs. Concerts and art classes are also offered.

This has to be one of the prettiest libraries I've ever seen. Don't you agree?

Anthenaeum Music and Arts Library
100 Wall Street
La Jolla, California 92037

Monday, March 23, 2009

Fashion (and Light Bulbs) in Contemporary Art

Given that fashion is my muse in my artistic practice, I'm enchanted when I find work by other artists who use fashion/clothing for inspiration. The photo shown is of a bronze sculpture in the outdoor garden at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego in La Jolla. Titled Eden it is by Judith Shea, an American, born 1948, whose elegant work reflects her background as a fashion designer.

Inside the gallery, there is an engaging show of work by Jasper Johns (January 18 - May 10, 2009), highlighting the significance of the relationship between his two-dimensional and three-dimensional work. Included in this show were Jasper Johns first sculpture Light Bulb I and his related sculptures, prints, and drawings including several works from the artist's collection that have never been exhibited. (Sadly, no photos were allowed inside the SDMCA).

For Johns, the light bulb is a "Thing the mind already knows," an object so familiar that it is rarely truly observed and a thing seen so frequently that it is usually ignored.

Johns treated the simple light bulb as an object of beauty, by sculpting it in bronze and by featuring it as the primary focus of his drawings in graphite wash and paper, etchings, and lead relief sculpture. His work makes the viewer question his/her perception, labeling and categorization of objects. The light bulb was the subject of Johns first sculpture and became one of his signature images.

Besides the Jasper Johns exhibition, there were a number of other contemporary art works on display including one by Cornelia Parker called Rorschach (Accidental IV) 2006. In this installation piece, she suspended 70 silver plated objects crushed by 250-ton industrial press with metal wire just inches above the floor. In this symmetrical Rorschach-like composition of flattened silver-plated objects, Parker played with the ideas of status, meaning and power. She began this work with silver-plated objects of desire, commemoration and status such as candelabra, tea sets, platters -- objects that she considers traditional signifiers of class of her home in Great Britain. The Rorschach reference becomes a way to measure the unknown and reveal personal histories and secrets. I was mesmerized by this work. The glittery surfaces of the silver took on a different cast when crushed flat. They still were beautiful but there was an associated element of destruction and decay. This was my favourite piece on display at the Museum.

And finally, I had to laugh when I tried to take a photo out of a window cut-out in a gallery overlooking the ocean. I was stopped by the guard (NO PHOTOS!!!!) who told me that it was a work of art and therefore no photos were permitted through the cut-outs. This piece was called “” by Robert Irwin 1997. It was a witty piece of contemporary art in which the artist framed the best views of the ocean with cut-outs. It was very clever but incredibly frustrating not to be able to photograph the ocean, never mind "the art"!

Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego La Jolla
700 Prospect Street, La Jolla 92037

Friday, March 20, 2009

18th Century Embroidery Techniques

Embroidery in the 18th century was a professional occupation, dominated by men who belonged to a Guild. Creating the intricate and elaborate decorative effects on courtier's clothing required considerable expertise, patience and time.

In one of my earlier posts about Marie Antoinette's letters to her mother, she refers to a waistcoat she was embroidering for the king. While it is not known if she ever finished that waistcoat, I thought it might be fun to see a photo of an embroidered waistcoat from that period.

Man's Waistcoat, 1750-1770
Gawthorpe Hall, Lancashire, UK

This elaborate waistcoat in cream satin illustrates the metal-thread technique known as rapport embroidery. This specialized technique required a high level of skill and I'd hazard a guess to say that it is highly unlikely that Marie Antoinette could execute it.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Valentino: The Last Emperor

Valentino Retrospective, copyright Ingrid Mida 2007

The latest must-see movie for fashionistas opened last night in Manhattan. The documentary: Valentino: The Last Emperor by Matt Tyrnauer offers glimpses into fashion designer Valentino Garavani's opulent lifestyle.

This 96 minute long documentary portrait includes scenes in his atelier, at Valentino's lavish palaces, on his private jet and on his yacht with his life and business partner Giancarlo Giammetti and their six pugs. When asked the question "What do women want?", the legendary designer responded "They want to be beautiful".

The movie also documents the 45th anniversary celebrations of the Valentino line in Rome, which included a retrospective of his work at the Ara Pacis Museum, a ball at the Villa Borghese and a spectacular party at the Colosseum. (I was in Rome at this time and attended the retrospective which was breathtaking in its beauty and took some fabulous photos one of which is posted above). Two months later, Valentino retired.

I am a huge fan of Valentino, especially of that special shade of cherry-red known as Valentino red. I must say I was sorry to learn of his retirement. The line is not the same without him!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Milliner of Note: Luke Song

When Aretha Franklin stepped onto the podium during the inauguration of President Obama in January, her hat was a show-stopper. I don't remember what she sang, but I certainly remember her hat. That lavish gray felt hat with a huge bow will be going to the Smithsonian where it will be on display until it becomes part of the Obama presidential library.

Photo source: nytimes.com

The creator of the hat is an unassuming milliner from Detroit named Luke Song. After studying biochemistry in college, he left (one credit short of his degree) to pursue art studies at Parsons the New School for Design in New York. His parents refused to pay for his art schooling. Uncertain how to pay off his loans after he completed art school, he turned to a career in millinery, seeing parallels between sculpture and the creation of hats.

The demand for Luke Song's hats has exploded since the inauguration. Working in a cramped workroom in Detroit, with the help of his family and a team of eleven staff, he creates about 100 hats a day, many of which are custom made. Although Song would like to "double his workforce", finding experienced staff has been difficult for the milliner. Song says that "millinery is a dead art".

P.S. This will be my last post on hats. I'm all hatted out.
P.P.S. Yesterday was my 100th post and I didn't even notice. Hurrah for me!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Book Review: My Life in France

Title: My Life in France
Authors: Julia Child and Alex Prud'homme (her husband's grandnephew)
Publisher: Anchor Books, New York, 2007
Category: Non-fiction, biography
Number of Pages: 352
Price: $14.95 Paperback

What the book is about:
Julia Child tells the story of her life and how she came to write the classic book "Mastering The Art of French Cooking". It all began when her husband Paul (who she married at the age of 34) was stationed in Paris as a cultural attache. Julia learned to speak French with intensive daily lessons at Berlitz and tried to teach herself to cook using recipes from Gourmet Magazine.

But her passion really took hold at age 37 when she took cooking lessons at the Cordon Bleu. Not satisfied with the lessons for housewives, Julia transferred into the more intensive professional program. As she grew ever more knowledgeable about French cuisine, she supplemented her learning with private lessons and her own research. Eventually she met two Frenchwomen who had started writing a book on French cuisine and who needed an American to assist them with translating the recipes for a US reader. Spearheading the creation of this tome on French cuisine, Julia made it a labour of love spanning many years. After publication in 1961, Julia embarked on a self-structured USA publicity tour that ultimately led to her introduction to tv and "The French Chef".

Why I chose this book:
Being a passionate home chef, I have always been in awe of Julia child. I have vague recollections of watching reruns of "The French Chef" on PBS and seeing the spoofs of her on Saturday Night Live. I also have her cookbooks. And of course, I read "The Julie/Julia Project: 365 Days, 524 Recipes and 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen" about the food blogger who nearly loses her sanity cooking every recipe in "Mastering The Art of French Cooking". But it wasn't until I read this book that I truly appreciated the contribution that Julia Child made to the world of the home chef.

Favourite Passage:
"The more I thought about it, the more this project fired my imagination. After all, the lessons embedded in these recipes were a logical extension of the material we used in our classes. I liked to strip everything down to the bones; with a bit of work, I thought this book could do that, too, only on a much more comprehensive scale. I had come to cooking late in life, and knew from firsthand experience how frustrating it could be to try to learn from badly written recipes. I was determined that our cookbook would be clear and informative and accurate, just as our teaching strove to be." (page 144)

Rating: A
This is a delightful book. There were many twists and turns in the story that made for a fascinating read, even for a non-gourmet. I had a whole new appreciation for her success as a chef and a writer. And I felt like I got to know her as a person, shortcomings and all.

More Mad Hats from the Paris Runway

I find it amusing that as soon as I took notice of hats, they are everywhere, including the Paris runway shows. Peek back at my post from Friday for a look at the curious hunting-style caps at Dior by John Galliano.

Karl Lagerfeld included these amusing hats in last week's runway shows in Paris for Chanel (did you know that Coco Chanel began her career as a milliner?)

Photo credit: NYMag.com

Don't they remind you of the Mad Hatter?

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Another Mad Hatter's Tea Party!!!

Welcome back for the second Mad Hatter's Tea Party!!

'Have some wine,' the March Hare said in an encouraging tone. Alice looked all round the table, but there was nothing on it but tea.'I don't see any wine,' she remarked. 'There isn't any,' said the March Hare. Then it wasn't very civil of you to offer it,' said Alice angrily.
(Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll)

I'm sorry to say that there won't be wine. But pour yourself a cup of tea and enjoy today's selection of lovely hats.

Mad Mad Hatter's Hat by Tristan Robin Blakeman at Enchanted Revelry:

Origami doll hat by Peggy Gatto at Peggy's Mixed Up Art

Three fabulous hat collages from Judith Thibaut at Studio Judith.

Judith also tried the origami hat and produced this fabulous gold paper hat creation.

And finally, a lovely spring hat by Kelly from The Chic Geek.

Aren't they just divine! If you like them, please leave a comment for our party guests.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Hats from the Paris runway Dior show

Fashion scribes have been writing about the sobering impact of the recession on designer's visions for the fall. I was plenty sobered after looking at these hats from this week's runway show at Dior in Paris. Was John Galliano forecasting an apocalypse when he featured these hats? They remind me of hunting caps!!

And while this is not a hat per se, these bobby pins are fantastic! I thought they were a hat until I looked closely. Now that is recessionista style!

To see more from the runways of Paris, check out nymag.com

Tomorrow, I'll be hosting another Mad Hatter's Tea Party. Hope to see you there!

Book Review: Madam Campan's Memoirs

If I mention Marie Antoinette in a post, I know that I will attract a lot of readers. She is a fashion icon, a history superstar! Everyone is fascinated by her, including me. I see a book about Marie Antoinette and I want it! But I've learned the hard way that not all such books are worthy of being in my library (or yours for that matter) and that is what this post is about.

Many history books mention Madam Campan's memoirs as a source of their material and so I ordered this book at www.amazon.com. But as soon as I opened the book, I realized it was a sham. The book does not indicate who translated these memoirs not does it list an editor. This is appalling to me because this information is very important for readers. How else can a reader judge the integrity with which these "memoirs" have been handled if no one is willing to stand behind their work and state their name. This book is "published" by IndyPublish.com.

One of the first pages cites this book as being "the historic memoirs of Madam Campan, First Lady in Waiting to the Queen". My friend, Catherine Delors, of Versailles and More, informed me that Madam Campan was NOT first lady in waiting to the Queen but was, in fact, first chambermaid. This is not a trivial mistake!!

Catherine warned me to "Beware of English translations of memoirs of that time. They are either inaccurate, as in this case, or edited in many ways!". She recommends Mercure de France edition of Madam Campan's memoirs (written in French) as being accurate and informative.

I do not recommend buying the English translation of Madam Campan's Memoirs. Sadly, I've come to the conclusion that many publishers (and some bloggers too) are exploiting the public's fascination with Marie Antoinette. Buyer beware is the lesson of the day.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Another Mad Hatter's Tea Party this Saturday!

Illustration of The Mad Hatter from Alice and Wonderland, Lewis Carroll

I'm hosting another Mad Hatter's Tea Party this Saturday, March 14th and I hope you'll join me for some more fun and frivolity.

This is what you need to do: take a photo of a hat you made (origami, crafted, knit) or a hat that you adore and send it to me no later than Friday, March 13th at 12 noon EST at artismylife@mac.com.

If you need some inspiration, scroll back in March to see last Saturday's riotous posting and other postings about hats or visit the on-line site for the Victoria and Albert exhibition Hats: An Anthology by Stephen Jones (photo below). And take a peek at Judith's studio and The Chic Geek to see their fabulous hats.

Photo of Stephen Jones from Hats: An Anthology by Stephen Jones at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, England.

And lastly, consider this quote from John Galliano:
"Hats are the ultimate finishing touch, the piece de resistance that shows grooming, panache and style. They really complete a silhouette, whether they are modern or eccentric, work of art or functional. I think everyone should wear one -- there's nothing to fear from hats."

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Yves Saint Laurent's Library

I've always wanted to have a home library with shelves from floor to ceiling. When I saw the photos of the late Yves Saint Laurent's beautiful library, my yearning came back. Aren't they beautiful?

Origami and Fashion

After following the origami instructions to make hats, I couldn't help but notice the influence of origami on the Calvin Klein collection for spring 2009. Look at the exquisite folds in these dresses by designer Francisco Costa! Don't they remind you of origami?

Monday, March 9, 2009

Barbie's 50th Birthday!!!

Today is Barbie's 50th birthday! Happy Birthday Barbie!

I'm not ashamed of being a Barbie fan. I have many fond memories of playing with Barbie, and making her clothes. I longed to own a store-bought Barbie outfit, especially a beautiful emerald green gown with a strapless bodice and a poufy skirt made of tulle that my best friend owned. Years later, when I went to the toy museum in Prague, I chuckled when I saw that same emerald green gown on display.

It is astounding how many fashion designers have cited Barbie as their first muse, client, inspiration. During the recent New York fashion week, Barbie was celebrated with a line-up including Anna Sui, Diane von Furstenberg, Michael Kors, Marchesa, Tory Burch and Tommy Hilfinger. Christian Louboutin designed a pair of peep-toe hot pink pumps in honour of her birthday.

Even the revered Karl Lagerfeld has created an exhibition using Barbie as his muse at the Collette stores in Paris (213 Rue Saint-Honore, Paris, 75001). This exhibition called "Barbie and Ken by Karl Lagerfeld" will be on display from March 9 to 28th.

The Architecture of Happiness

Title: The Architecture of Happiness
Author: Alain de Botton
Publisher: McClelland & Stewart, Toronto, 2006
Category: Non-fiction
Number of Pages: 280
Price: Paperback Canadian $22.99

What this Book is About:
This book considers how the beauty and design of our surroundings interplay to affect our moods and emotions. We may not always be aware of architecture but we are affected by it.

Why I Chose This Book:
After I read The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand in my teens, I wanted to become an architect. I studied architecture but transferred into arts when my illusions about the profession were shattered by reality. But I've always had a great fondness for architecture and when I read a very positive review of this book, I went out to buy a copy.

Favourite Passage:
"The buildings we admire are ultimately those which, in a variety of ways, extol values we think worthwhile -- which refer, that is, whether through their materials, shapes or colours, to such legendarily positive qualities as friendliness, kindness, subtlety, strength and intelligence. Our sense of beauty and our understanding of the nature of a good life are intertwined. We seek associations of peace in our bedrooms, metaphors for generosity and harmony in our chairs, and an air of honesty and forthrightness in our taps. We can be moved by a column that meets a roof with grace, by worn stone steps that hint at wisdom and by a Georgian doorway that demonstrates playfulness and courtesy in its fanlight window." (page 98)

Rating: MUST READ!
This book is both well-written and witty. Using a multitude of photos to support his arguments and convey specific principles of design, Alain de Botton helps the reader understand the importance of our surroundings in shaping our identity. I especially enjoyed his writings on beauty applying Stendhal's motto that "beauty is the promise of happiness". One need not be a fan of architecture to enjoy this perceptive and original book.

While writing my review, I noted that Alain de Botton is also the author of books on Proust (How Proust Can Change Your Life), travel (The Art of Travel), and philosophy (The Consolations of Philosophy). I'll read anything if it is well-written and given his superlative skill at conveying his ideas, I'll be looking for his other titles.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Mad Hatter's Tea Party!

Welcome to my first Mad (Hatter's) Tea Party!!!

"The table was a large one, but the three were all crowded together at one corner of it. 'No room! No room!' they cried out when they saw Alice coming. 'There's plenty of room!' said Alice indignantly, and she sat down in a large armchair at one end of the table."
(Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll)

Don't worry, there is room for you all. Please pour yourself a cup of tea and admire all these lovely hats.

Paper Hats in a Teacup by Ingrid Mida (aka Alice).

Origami hat by Tristan Robin Blakeman of Enchanted Revelry (who provided me with the inspiration for this party!)

Origami hat by Peggy Gatto of Peggy's Mixed Up Art

Queen of Hearts Crown by Lynn Wheeler of The Vintage Nest

Glamourous, an oil painting by Neda Maki at www.neda.ca

Ship Hat 4 by Judith Thibaut from Studio Judith.

Aren't they simply marvelous! Please share your thoughts by posting a comment!

If you'd like to join us next week for another Mad (Hatter's) Tea Party, please email your hat creations (of any kind) or a photo of yourself wearing a hat (if you're shy, pull down the brim) to artismylife@mac.com. If you want inspiration, please see the origami instructions and other postings in March (it's hat month on Fashion is my Muse).

Book Art

I love everything about books and when I see art that incorporates books, I'm a goner. I just want to swoon at the artist's feet.

Cliff Eyland is an artist that uses books as inspiration for his work. When he was at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in the 1980s, he cut up a copy of the classic art history textbook "History of Modern Art" by H.H. Arnason into 3 by 5 inch rectangles. He inserted the proxy art pieces into the school's library catalogue (sadly, this would no longer be possible in the digital age) thereby closing the gap between library and gallery. Since that project, all of Eyland's work has been 3 by 5 inches.

In Eyland's current exhibition Bookshelf File Cards at the Leo Kamen Gallery in Toronto, he has created tiny libraries on his computer, made them into 3x5 prints and mounted them onto MDF. Some works are also hand-painted.

Of course, I had to see this work in person and visited the gallery on Thursday. These colourful miniature paintings and illustrations of bookshelves made me smile. Eyland claims to be hopelessly in love with books and libraries and this passion comes out in his work. He even once said "I want all the books in the world!" (I can definitely relate to that). There were several book paintings that I coveted. I wonder if he wants to trade for some miniature origami hats?

Cliff Eyland
Bookshelf File Cards (February 21 to March 21, 2009)
Leo Kamen Gallery
80 Spadina Avenue, Suite 406
Toronto, Ontario
Tuesday to Saturday, 11 am to 5 pm
www.leokamengallery.com 416-504-9515

P.S. If you are in town and a book lover, don't miss The Old Book & Paper Show & Sale. For sale are rare books, comics, magazines, old advertising, maps, magazines etc. It is on today, Saturday, March 7th at the Thornhill Community Centre, 775 Bayview Avenue, Thornhill.
For info, check out www.antiqueshows.canada.com

Friday, March 6, 2009

More 18th Century Hats

These gorgeous photos of 18th century hats were sourced from my favourite fashion reference book: "The Collection of the Kyoto Costume Institute: Fashion, A History from the 18th to the 20th Century" published by Taschen. (This book is an absolute must for anyone interested in historical fashion).

I found the man's hat particularly intriguing since it is similar to what you get when you follow the origami hat instructions I posted previously.

Don't forget tomorrow is the first Mad (Hatter's) Tea Party at 10 am EST! Please join us for some frivolity and fun!!