City’s elite attend Central Park Conservancy’s Hat Luncheon
Hats off to the glamorous ladies – and a few fine men – who attended the Central Park Conservancy’s Hat Luncheon, where the talk was about how the fashionable occasion could predict what will be worn at the British royal wedding.
More than 1,200 guests donned their finest fedoras and creative chapeaus for the event, officially titled the Fredrick Law Olmsted Awards Luncheon, which raised $4 million for the park’s preservation on Wednesday.
Actress Stephanie March arrived in a head-turner from Lock & Co Hatters, the official milliner for the royal family and a favorite of Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge.
“I was in London a few weeks ago, for reasons in no way related to the royal wedding, unfortunately. I bought it and now I have a place to wear it. It’s a very discreet place…but I think they’ve had the charter for the royal milliner for maybe 150 years,” she said.
“They custom made this for me. The culture of wearing a hat in the U.K. is so different, I think they just assumed I’d be wearing it every Sunday to church. Fortunately, I can wear it here and drink rosé instead.”
Of the anticipation for Prince Harry’s wedding to Meghan Markle in London on May 19, “Meghan and I both went to Northwestern and were theater majors. I like to think of her as a classmate even though I’m about 100 years older.”
March added that she wasn’t fretting about the fashion faux pas of three other women wearing the same dress as her at the event, “What can you do? It’s New York? There’s a woman dressed as a margarita, she’s a friend, so when that is happening we can’t be worried about the same dress.”
Indeed, seated with board member Gillian Miniter (who wore a colorful floral creation custom-made by master milliner Eric Javits) was fashion designer Lela Rose, whose hat creatively combined the key cocktail ingredients, limes, salt, ice, and tequila.
Rose told Page Six, “I pick the dress and then get the hat to match, the dress is green striped, and so I told my hat designer to make me a margarita. I came here by bike, (without the hat on) and I can’t wait to ride home wearing it, with all the funny looks I’ll get going down Fifth Avenue.”
Miniter added of the occasion, where tables can go for up to $100,000, “This is one of the most popular events, if not the most popular event in New York in the charity world. We have 1,200 women, it sells out mostly before the invitation goes in the mail with repeat supporters.
“It’s a lot of fun, it’s whimsical and a happy climate but at the same time it’s a very serious fundraiser. We raise over $4 million a year, it is the most important event for the Central Park Conservancy.”
Plus, on the hottest and most beautiful day of the year so far, “The urban tale is that it never rains at the hat luncheon.”
“Decades: A Century of Fashion” author Cameron Silver (whose topper for the day was “big hair”), said of the fashion on parade in the park ahead of British royal wedding, “There’s some elegant hats here fit for the Queen and others that would have you sent to the Tower,” pointing out a wide-brimmed bonnet topped with cut-outs of Stormy Daniels and Kim Jong Un.
He added, “What is great about this event is there really is no limit to how creative your hat could be [such as Shannon McLean’s fan finery]. There are other hats that could take out someone’s eye. You definitely have to air kiss at this event to avoid being decapitated.
“The royal wedding will certainly be more toned down and tasteful, but it is proper etiquette for all ladies to wear a hat at a royal wedding and many will want to make a statement.” Fascinators are old hat, apparently, but pill boxes and boaters are in fashion, as well as swirls and disc-shaped sculptured hats, we’re told
Those at the lunch in the most marvelous millinery included Katie Couric, co-chair Elyse Newhouse, Karen LeFrak, Hilary Geary Ross, Blaine Trump, Jamee Gregory, Norma Dana and Fe Fendi.
Martha Stewart showed up in an unusually sober number, explaining it was made by a famous Ecuadorian hat maker, and she recently bought it on the way to the Galapagos Islands, which she described as having been decimated by global warming. Of the importance of preserving the park, “My apartment overlooks Central Park, and it is that swath of green every city needs. At this time of year its the most beautiful park in the world. In bloom, its gorgeous.”
Among the few brave male guests was Michael Bloomberg who said he is a regular at the hat lunch because, “Its a bunch of fun people, beautiful women, elegant men. These are people who care about making New York better and giving a everybody a place to come and enjoy themselves and realize how lucky we all are.”
He added of his bare head, “Hats look beautiful, I’m just not a hat person.”
Source: Read Full Article