Friday, June 3, 2016

Amy Downs Pops Up in the Big Apple

Amy Downs Has a Pop-Up Shop
Memorial Day weekend turned out to be memorable for me because I went to an Amy Downs Trunk Show with a bunch of my pals.

Who is Amy Downs? Let's go back to 1985 when Richard and I moved to NYC and rented a loft in a former dance hall on Rivington Street. The loft had two big rooms and two bathrooms, no kitchen and no shower. We installed a shower in one of the bathrooms, purchased a small refrigerator and hauled out our double burner for cooking. In summer, we built our famous air-conditioned room for sleeping. The room was constructed from 4 by 8 foot panels covered in clear vinyl with edges sealed in green duct tape. I believe that MoMA has a replica in their design department.

For fun, Richard and I would wander the wild and woolly Lower East Side, stepping aside to let the random drug dealer or drug taker lurch by. It was the time of Mayor Koch's reign and Operation Pressure Point was trying to push the drug trade out to the boroughs. It was on one of these walks that we came upon the wonderland of Amy Downs, The Hat and Mary Adams, The Dress, two intrepid designers who shared a storefront at the corner of Ludlow and Stanton.
Me in an Amy Downs hat. 
Four hat people have just come from Amy's Trunk Show
on East Broadway.
L-R, Dayle, Debra Rapoport, Teresa Taylor and Carol Markel.
All but Debra, who wears a hat of her own design, are
wearing Amy Downs' toppers.
We were giddy as we began the trying on.
There was picture-taking.
 Much style advice was proffered.

 Choices were made.
 Theresa's choice: a becoming red straw.
Dayle in a lemon-lime tulle which
complements her yellow glasses.
Amy makes darling mannequins.
Debra is a consummate milliner.
She models this big-bow hat
of her own design.
Leaving the scene of the crime
(assault and battery on our wallets)
we head to Seward Park
for a lawn party!
 Joining us at our Seward Park Co-op,
were Diana Gabriel and Valerie of  The
Idiosyncratic Fashionistas.
Diana holds a bag of donuts
from The Donut Plant.
Truly forbidden fruit.
 Valerie uncorks some bubbly.
 Richard and I are fortunate to have a wonderful
lawn area on our co-op's property.
Red chairs are set out every day.
Diana models Teresa's Amy Downs hat.
A sun-dappled tableau.
 Families and children share our outdoor space.
Some years ago, Amy moved to
Centralia, Washington.
You can look at her studio in
a charming video or order a hat,

A Big Hat Thank You
to Denton Taylor
for these photos.

À Bientôt!


  1. Great day and even greater finish!

  2. I love the story, top to bottom. More history (with pics?) about you and Richard, please!! Hats can always bring folks together and I'm sorry I missed this delightful moment! Thank you for sharing it here though.

    It was lovely to see you this past weekend. Sending much love to you and Richard. xoxo