|Jacqueline Lamont is electric. She whizzes into Showroom Seven, where were meeting her for the interview, with a bag full of just-completed hats.
|She greets everyone she recognizes, at the same time taking off her coat, putting down her belongings, and chatting with me and my photographer. She is warm and charming and attractive. Lean and chic in black slacks, black T-shirt and a black zip-up sweatshirt. Her hair is cropped: very neat and short.
Jacqueline shows me her Spring collection. The hats are displayed on "hat trees," and they look like delectable candies. Colorful, simple--yet with just enough adornment, and beautifully shaped. You realize right away: you are looking at unique hats.
|For all her collections, Jacqueline shops for materials that incorporate what's going on in fashion now.
|Jacqueline designs hats in style groupings. Every grouping has a theme, and within each theme every hat has its own name.
|First we see Jacquelines
bi-colored toyo braid series of hats--the classic "lady look," but updated. The
hats are white, combined with either turquoise, burnt tweed, olive or rose. There are
shapes such as cloche, cowboy, wide-brimmed, and Jacqueline's signature shape, which she
describes as an "Emma Peel (The Avengers), Rasta-inspired" design.
"Emma Peel was a heroine of mine when I was little." An Emma Peel hat,
called Eva, is below.
The Summer Daze series are beautiful Panama hats in black, eggshell and tan, with raffia trim in either black or natural. The cowboy hat Transition above is a real knockout.
|Jacqueline says cowboy hats are regarded as "younger," an important issue because women who buy hats are traditionally older. But when it comes to the Lamont line, age doesnt seem to matter. What is so appealing about her collection is that each individual hat style in each of her groupings has a wide enough scope to draw in women of every age.
|A marvelous solution to a rainy Spring day
(but really any time) are the Baker Street hats and umbrellas inspired by the
1939 Sherlock Holmes movie The Hound of the Baskervilles.
Like the Beryl and Brolly above, they're made of 100% French cotton in a lovely tattersall plaid, and they come in luggage, olive, charcoal and burnt orange--all with black contrast.
|Moving on closer to summertime weather are
Jacquelines handkerchief linen hats in pastel shades as well as white and black.
Every style in this series incorporates antique Swiss velvet flowers, petals and band in
soft greens and rose.
Geraldine is particularly charming. Softly formed with a medium brim, the detailing is truly divine. Along with the velvet band, the top of the hat has a frayed fringe edge.
|The Calypso Group is made of light,
soft polished cotton with top stitching.
The Calypsos are done in wonderful batik fabric from Nigeria.
|For weekends in the country, by the beach or
pool (but then again, we think, just fine for a balmy city day, perhaps sitting in an
outdoor cafe drinking something cool), is the Sport Group,
made from 100% cotton pique. These hats come in white with either black, blush, kelly, chocolate, navy, red, royal, or sunshine.
|Jacqueline creates an exquisite
wide floppy brimmed polished cotton hat below with multi-colored top stitching. We see one
in red (not shown) and one in yellow at the showroom.
But we've also seen a black version in someone's private collection.
|Finally there are the yummy and essential
cotton canvas hats in many colors and shapes.
These hats, like many of the hats in the other series, have pretty, funky, linings.