Sunday, June 24, 2007

Yesterday I walked through half of Paris in search of oyster sauce and got terribly lost. My object was not only the procurement of an asian food fix but to launch my hat onto the Paris street fashion scene.

This is the hat in question.

My straw boater

The tolerably well educated will recognise it as a traditional English straw boater, the kind only now worn by British eccentrics, boat punters in Cambridge and the schoolchildren of upper class English toffs. In fact, I had to go to a upper class English toff school outfitters in London to purchase the one pictured above. A man with a plum wedged in his gullet called me "Madam" - which was either very obsequious or highly facetious, depending on which way you look at it - and after establishing that the hat was required for Madam and not her child, set about professionally fitting it to my head. Suits you, Madam, suits you very well indeed, I think were the concluding remarks, which I believe were highly appropriate under the circumstances.

Of course, I could never gad about in England wearing this hat, because people would think I was a right arse wearing a schoolgirl's hat and ask me where my lacrosse stick was etc etc. But that's all by-the-by because I bought it with the express intention of gadding about in it in Paris. I've fantasised about this hat for about six months, purchased it recently, and now am convinced it is Quite The Thing, fashionably speaking.

And what has the impact of my boater been? Well, I'm afraid that can only say that it has been a hit among the 60+ set so far. The other day an old gentleman complimented me on the thing, and said that it gave an air of sophistication and Cote d'Azur style class. Waving his hands around he pointed to the passers by and bemoaned their hatlessness as a sign of the general degeneration of the Parisian population.

And then surreally, after I'd trudged for miles with my asian food shopping in tow, I passed a man also wearing a straw boater (wtf???) and he tipped his hat to me! A group of elderly onlookers saw this and commented "Oh mais c'est un beau petit chapeau, ca!".

So you see, progress is being made, and though the idea is not quite catching on in the demographic that I would like, I remain optimistic. Any day now, some young loon from FaceHunter will spot it and history will be made.



At 6:29 pm, Blogger Ned said...

Magnifique canotier !

Je cherche de mon côté un chapeau colonial, mais souple, en toile.

Facehunter has moved to London, you'll be safe here.

See you soon.

At 12:51 am, Blogger The Rantolotl said...

That, is a most superb hat! I wish you luck in your endeavour.

At 8:56 pm, Blogger Kipper said...

My hat tips itself to you all for your kind remarks.

Je te souhaite bonne chance dans ta quête, Ned. Mon chapeau va peut-etre rencontrer le tien, un de ces jours, quand il fait beau et les jardins sont en fleur.

At 11:31 pm, Blogger Ben.H said...

I just saw that hat and immediately thought of Lalla Ward in "City of Death". So that's good then.

At 11:39 pm, Blogger Kipper said...

You mean this one here: ?

Lalla Reid - the best Doctor assistant ever. Do you remember her pink trenchcoat? Wow. When I was a kid I so wanted to dress like her...

At 1:47 am, Blogger Ben.H said...

Damn, I gotta get back to Paris soon. I thought the name was Ward, but I took an oath upon entering puberty to never argue about Dr Who so I'm not going to Google it.

At 2:22 am, Blogger Kipper said...

No, you're right, it's Ward. I'm phonemically dislexic.

Yes come to Paris. The Placard festival is on here in July - you could come for that!


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