Central Park Hat Lunch Scene: Paulson, Bommer, Tisch, McVey

Bronfman, Paulson
Stacey Bronfman and Jenny Paulson. Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

It’s a tradition to wear hats to the annual Frederick Law Olmsted Awards Luncheon thrown by the Central Park Conservancy Women’s Committee. This year’s edition conjured Ascot, the Kentucky Derby, the Riviera, the runway, and Etsy ingenuity as it raised $3.5 million to maintain the park.

It started late Wednesday morning with men in white jackets extending their arms to escort guests into the park (read: an elegant affair). Then came gawking and mingling as attendees inspected the millinery jutting out, rising above and sliding off heads (read: the kind of fun that draws groups of friends back each year).

Laura McVey and Cinthia Gil. Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg
Laura McVey and Cinthia Gil. Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

It’s almost impossible to single out a few hats from a sea of more than 1,200, but that’s the point. Laura McVey was cute as a button in a vintage Prada straw cloche. Stacey Bronfman wore a top hat “from the old days” that she inherited from her father-in-law, Edgar Bronfman Sr. Jenny Paulson was romantic in red, the color of her Suzanne fascinator and the carnations on her Dolce & Gabbana dress. Allison Mignone wore a Philip Treacy design with a hot pink flower and veil, one she won’t be wearing on family downtime in Montana.

Kristy Korngold and Allison Mignone. Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg
Kristy Korngold and Allison Mignone. Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Donya Bommer said she “peaked” in the hat department a few years ago, when she made a foil version of the fanciful topper Princess Beatrice wore to Prince William’s wedding. This year, she went with a tiara from an online beauty-pageant supply store.

Donya Bommer and Nathalie Kaplan. Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg
Donya Bommer and Nathalie Kaplan. Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Recycling Enthusiasts

Former investment banker Tina Swartz. Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg
Former investment banker Tina Swartz. Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

“You know, I don’t do hats,” said designer Lela Rose, seated for lunch (pea soup, chicken curry salad) with Gillian Miniter, who almost literally had some bees in her bonnet. But rules are made to be broken. So when Rose heard former investment banker Tina Swartz was wearing one of her dresses, she ordered lavender-colored pencils and got out her glue gun.

Gillian Miniter in an Eric Javits bee hive hat and Daisy Prince. Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg
Gillian Miniter in an Eric Javits bee hive hat and Daisy Prince. Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

It was the year of the French macaron, the miniature horse-drawn carriage and the fluffy toy puppy as topper, a reminder that Central Park is for everyone and its supporters can make hats out of anything.

Amy Tarr and two friends decided to represent the park’s new recycling receptacles. Tarr wore a hat decorated with newspapers, Lara Marcon one with trash (candy wrappers), and Sarah Kurita one with bottles and cans.

Sarah Kurita, Lara Marcon and Amy Tarr dressed as the different kinds of receptacles in Central Park: bottles and cans, trash, and newspapers and magazines. Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg
Sarah Kurita, Lara Marcon and Amy Tarr dressed as the different kinds of receptacles in Central Park: bottles and cans, trash, and newspapers and magazines. Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

British milliner Stephen Jones was at his first FLO luncheon, fresh off designing magnificent headpieces for the Metropolitan Museum’s new Costume Institute show.

“It’s wonderful,” Jones said, surveying the tent filled with bobbing feathers, silk flowers and countless hairpins. “It’s like wearing a party on your head!”

Standing next to him was Lizzie Tisch, co-founder of the private fashion boutique Suite 1521, sporting a dramatic creation by Jones and Thom Browne. Tisch described the hat as her “little black dress,” with a torso on top adding a foot to her height and the pouffy skirt as a wide brim.

Lizzie Tisch and milliner Stephen Jones. Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg
Lizzie Tisch and milliner Stephen Jones. Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

As she bowed her head to show it off, Jones spotted and fixed a wardrobe malfunction.

“I had to pop your right breast out!” Jones said.

“Do my boobs look bigger now?” Tisch replied.

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