Monday, August 20, 2012


I suggested we wear a wacky hat when Anna Piaggi died and I repeat the sentiment with the passing of one of the great original Americans, Phyllis Diller.  I have had the pleasure of getting to know Madame (as we affectionately called her) over the last decade.  I have co-curated an exhibit of her artwork for PAPER magazine, perused her many closets, dined and wined with Ms. Diller, and was always particularly thrilled when I could make her laugh.  We were together at a fundraiser around five months ago and a few weeks after that we spent some time (on camera) going through her collection of clothing.  She was such an inspiration.  Without fail, we always sent flowers to Ms. Diller on her birthday which was just on the 17th of July.  She turned 95.  We lost Phyllis Diller today but her legend will endure.  In addition to her famous wig collection, she had her way with hats and actually invented the clear plastic hot bag so she could easily identify each fabulous plume de resistance.  Ms. Diller didn't do subtle.  For around thirty years she kept a full time costume designer on staff to create her costumes which would make you smile before she uttered a single word.  Her silver Herbert Levine ankle boots were designed to hit her at the most unflattering part of her leg.  She understood the power of fashion to make an impression.  Privately, her closet was filled with Valentino, Oscar de la Renta, Judith Leiber minaudiers, and a stash of Roberta di Camerino trompe l'oeil totes.  She always asked me about what I was wearing and had a keen interest in fashion.  Channel your inner Phyllis Diller with this camouflage and feather Philip Treacy derby hat.  You will make people smile and maybe burst out in laughter, It was a gift that Phyllis Diller gave the world.  We always drank gin martinis and I will toast one of the great artists (comedienne, actress, author, painter, concert pianist) tonight and I hope Madame will be cackling in heaven.

Philip Treacy camoflage derby hat, c. 1980's SOLD
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