Picking Straws

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.Slim Paley photo

Summer hats in the front entrance of my beach house

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.Slim Paley photo

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Slim Paley here, coming to you with another tip to “Summerize” your space (to prove I’m not bitter, even though we haven’t woken up to sun in Santa Barbara a single day in June, or so it seems) My willow trees have rust and are actually sporting moss on their trunks.  There are Baby’s Tears growing in the lower slope of the lawn. But I digress…

HATS! Straw hats, and lots of them!  Pull them out and give them a prominent place to perch this summer.  If you’re low on hats, hit your nearest Target or the like and buy several to create a summery tone in your entrance- they’re so inexpensive and once the “Wasting away in Margaritaville” embellishments are removed, they look great.

Same goes for straw bags.

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I know I don’t usually share pics of myself but today…

oh wait…this isn’t me  :(

Going back to bed…

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At least I have that belt.

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I lost the credit for this photo but it has to be one of my all time favourites- I adore everything about it.

Of course to know me is to know I’m a complete sucker for a pith helmet and if this tile floor is heated, I could be buried here.

Although, on second thought…maybe not such a good idea.

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 J.Crew

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Lauren Hutton

How we all want to look in a hat

This super cute chapeau and many others are available on NET-A-PORTER.COM  right now and a few are ‘On Sale’

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Brent Black, is the preeminent purveyor of handwoven straw hats in the world today.

Authentic Montecristi Panamas, the world’s greatest, are made from extremely fine toquilla straw and woven only in Ecuador; a handful of master weavers produce the best of the best, which sell for tens of thousands of dollars apiece.  No joke.

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Can you even imagine hand-weaving straw this fine??  I can’t even braid my own hair without it veering to the right.

Black offers dozens of different styles and bespoke finishes, some based on vintage patterns. In 2009, he commissioned  “The Hat”. Woven by his master weaver, who only produces 3 or 4 hats a year, it was so incredibly fine it weighed less than one ounce. “It is as thin as my stationery,” Black said. “When I handle The Hat, I do not worry that it might fall to the floor if I drop it; I worry that it might float away.”

Black’s best hats sell for $5,000 to $30,000. Black, who’s based in Hawaii, started the Panama Hat Company of the Pacific in 1987 for the specific purpose of trying to preserve the art of hand weaving the finest Montecristi hats. Each of the hats is custom made to order – hand woven, hand blocked and styled, custom sized. The price isn’t about the label; it’s about the labor. And the art. “I believe the most direct way to encourage any artists is to buy their work and to pay them high enough wages and commissions that they will be eager to create more of their art,” Black says. “So I pay the weavers higher prices than anyone else in the world. Plus I pay the artists commissions when their art is sold.

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Hats taking shape

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All photos via Brent Black and info. from a  Luxist article (2009)

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Stack those babies!

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Maison Michel $475

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Carolina Herrera

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Shelly Kroeger Photography

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 Net -A -Porter.com

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.Slim Paley Photo

An old hat sits in my front hall

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Also from Net-A-Porter.com

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A vintage french Boater on my sideboard in the kitchen (it actually opens up, a real treasure)

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What an adorable outfit

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What an adorable outfit

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 $80 on Net-A-Porter.com!

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I tip my hat to you   xx

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