The Best Gifts are from the Heart and Sometimes on the Head

Submitted by windupkitty March 6th, 2011
Certifikitsch WinnerClassique d Camembert

One of the many things I love about the AWMOK is that it seems to draw people who are not only insanely creative and talented, but also very kind…If ya ask me, it’s the online Shangri-La (I think even Mary Wells might agree). There’s nothing but good vibes here: people submit things to share, make each other smile, laugh, plotz and have a welcome and supportive place to share their art.The AWMOK makes me want to get up in the morning even on the days when my body tries to dictate otherwise.

So this past November, when I sent Denny (painter and kitsch collector extraordinaire) a few dust collectors for his (albeit very belated) birthday, we started a lovely email love-chi thing which includes far too much talk about our pets and sometimes even the humans in our lives. How blessed am I to know so many people who have the ability to make my heart grow exponentially and indubitably with so little effort?!  But then, that’s the power of the AWMOK! Anyway, this week, after much suspense, a gift that Denny got me arrived. Seriously, I almost passed out!!!! I won’t write here what I wrote to him because I’m pretty sure it was not much more than loosely strung together profanities…I was in shock….So, here it is, my new hat, which I love and can not wait to wear out. I won’t even begin to attempt to quantify the amount of vintage 60s clothing I have to compliment this perfect chapeau. I owe Denny big time, that’s for sure!!

This hat is completely felt. This style was very popular in the 60s and it’s one I would consider mod, but funnily enough, I guess it also fit in the the Preppies too…I can definitely see a well-to-do housewife playing golf in this. I used to own a similar styled hat by Oleg Cassini. It was fabulous, maybe even a little taller than this one, white with felt black stripes all the way around it. I sold it years ago because I needed the cash. I am so over the moon to have a hat like this in my collection again, I can’t even tell you! Don’t you LOVE the green ribbon?!!!! I know I do!!!

So, I looked up Peck and Peck and they were really quite the clothiers!!!! I actually have a piece of history here too…It’s not just a hat, it’s documentation, which I LOVE more than anything!! It seems that Peck&Peck largely catered to the preppy folks and were big on A-Line dresses, a preference of mine since the early development of my rather, uh, obtuse (only very slightly less than 180, but certainly NOT 90) hips…So, thank you, Peck and Peck!

Here’s the link to wikipedia

It looks like Lacoste gave a much needed nod to this style in their 2009 collection…You go, Lacoste!

Of course, what could be better than Audrey Hepburn in How to Steal a MIllion (one of my very favorite films, of all time) sporting her Givenchy HI-Hat?!

While I’m no Audrey Hepburn (how was even Audrey as beautiful and fabulous as Audrey?!), when it comes time to change out of my usual elaborate ball gowns (or well, pajamas) and just go casual, I will definitely be wearing this hat, all the time, everywhere, and with ferocious pride. I usually don’t like pics of myself, but I’m also one to just get over things, so here I am, in my perfect new hat, in pajamas, in my bathroom, late at night, fairly tipsy after 2 celebratory glasses of wine, showing off the fabulous profile of this amazing hat :D Thanks, Denny, seriously, THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It’s ON now!!!!!! I have to find something for you just as fabulous!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Let this friendly competition continue!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

16 Responses to “The Best Gifts are from the Heart and Sometimes on the Head”

  1. Allee Willis

    I’m crazy about this post on so many different levels it’s insane. First of all, that hat is classic. I recognized it from the second I saw it so it’s great that you’ve assembled so many vintage shots with it.

    Second, I’m elated that since aKitschionado Mark Blackwell and I bombarded you with so many photographs when we met you last month in Alameda that you’re modeling the hats on your own head as opposed to just exhibiting their beauty on a Styrofoam model!

    Third, it’s so great that you and Denny have struck up a friendship as you are both wonderful and reasons why I slog on with AWMOK every day because I get to meet great people like you both. And I must say, both of you have sent me boxes full of kitsch that make me gasp for air so I am eternally grateful.

    Hat on!!

    • windupkitty

      Thanks! Aw, Im sorry if I was such a party pooper about the pics you and Mark were taking! I’ve never liked having my photo taken..I’m not photogenic and honestly, I was in a world of hurt that evening, but I really didn’t want to miss the party…I hope I wasn’t rude…sometimes I have to sit down and tune out so I can control nausea by kinda relaxing/vegging out for a minute…I might have left a conversation abruptly etc, but I SO don’t mean to be rude…Everyone there was so fabulous to hang out with..I hope I wasn’t rude!!!

      And then, as far as photos go, there’s the whole public life thing because of the internet, which I pretty much dislike…of course I could easily be put in my place about that too after a brief search of me on the AWMOK, where I behave like a narcissist on steroids…hey everyone, have you heard about me yet and wouldn’t you love to know what i think!?! :D

      BUt yeah, I’m also one to just get over things,especially myself, and you’re right: self acceptance is always key…thanks for keeping me in check! I definitely owe you one for that! I think there’s a balance too of course, and I’d rather snuggle up with some warm fuzzy self loathing a la Larry David or Richard Lewis than think I’m better than I am…

      I live in Silicon Valley where competition with others, arrogance, and self-aggrandizement reign supreme…I can not stand it…I recently heard Jon Stewart (I think it was on Terry Gross?)say something like “we were not in the world where everybody was special” (referring to the era of his youth) …I love that observation because it puts into words exactly what I think about the obsessive personal updates people broadcast about themselves…I swear, I do plenty of thinking about myself because of my health issues and it gets pretty old…I am, almost all the time, sick of my own shit, maybe I should post that repeatedly on my twitter account :D

      • Allee Willis

        You weren’t rude at all. And we took all those great Pigmy Will hat shots.

        I spent an enormous amount of time in Silicon Valley In the early and mid-1990s when I was developing a prototype and raising money for my idea to build a social network, 1992-97. The scene there and 95% of the people I met made me absolutely ill. Arrogant, money obsessed and without much artistic merit. The most soulless place I had ever been.I had a great time on this last trip to Alameda for the party and kookykitsch’s and Meshuggah Mel’s Clean House garage sale. But other than that anytime I’ve been there to work since the tech boom, including writing music with artists there, I’m so anxious to leave I can’t tell you. So I understand if you’re susceptible to feeling low about yourself that Silicon Valley is not the needed ray of sunshine. I certainly hope you continue to use AWMOK to feel better about yourself. The truth of the matter is feeling good about yourself is the only way to be comfortable anywhere.

        When you say “…AWMOK, where I behave like a narcissist on steroids…hey everyone, have you heard about me yet and wouldn’t you love to know what i think!?” I don’t think that’s what you’re doing at all. You’re just showing a side of yourself that you probably wouldn’t have shown if we all met in person. Which is the charm of this place. It’s not narcissistic; it’s being open and unafraid to be yourself. And that feels good.

    • windupkitty

      And oh yeah, being self obsessed, I forgot to say the important thing: thanks for all the slogging because the AWMOK is the best things that has ever happened to the internet…and yeah, it has certainly been the one of the best things that has ever happened to me…..knowing you, denny, and everyone else here pretty much made my life a billion times better…so thanks for that too…..

  2. denny

    I think I’m plotzing from reading this. For me kitsch is about 2 main things, collecting and connecting. I knew when I saw this hat that I had to immediately snatch it up. How could I have not purchased this for you?

    Another aspect of collecting kitsch that I love is knowing what really makes other people tick too! I can’t remember bio-psyche homework to save my life but I sure can remember what friends collect and what makes them happy. It’s like I have this running list in my head about who collects what types of kitsch.

    I too have some pretty heavy s*** going on here and believe me when I say, I love posting here at and I look forward to it, it makes my day.

    I’m inspired by so many people here at and I am so happy to have connected with you outside of

    Wear that hat proudly. You’re a lucky lady, if that hat would have fit my very large hat, I might be wearing it! :) But how could this fabulous hat not end up in your most amazing collection!



  3. Michael Ely

    Dear Windupkitty (I love that name!), I think you look awesome in your new hat….and I think you are a beautiful person inside and out.

    I can’t tell you how much AWMOK means to me. Every morning I get up, have a cup of tea, and then I come here to enjoy all the kitsch and the wonderful people. It starts my day off in a positive and happy way. Thank you, Allee, for bringing us all together!

    And, Denny, I think you are a great guy, very creative and kind.

  4. shirlie williams

    I love this post..if Xander would just let me type , she is half on the lap top…. I have to say that I just love your profile its very beautiful….I love the posts we share about our cats..

    I am also a little in love with Casper, his pictures make me smile.

    The hat is just gorgeous…oooh that green ribbon makes me squeeze my hands together. You must go out in it it looks fabulous.

    Its a joy to get to know like minded people, and I must get my act together to post more.

    Im going to hit the jealous button for your hat and that fablicious shower curtain..I would so love you as a neighbour, all your treasures and cats !!!

    • windupkitty

      oh man, we need to be neighbors someday…..:D i love my neighbors…i’m truly very neighborly! :D and you could always borrow hats!