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Museum to host tea, fashion show

Jan Butler and Gail Page show off their hats at a luncheon held at the Santa Ynez Valley Historical Museum.

Kay Spilker from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art will be the guest speaker at an afternoon tea and hat fashion show from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, June 16, at the Santa Ynez Valley Historical Museum, 3596 Sagunto St. in Santa Ynez.

In conjunction with the museum’s current “hats through history” exhibit titled “Hats on Parade,” the afternoon festivities will begin at 1 p.m. with a talk titled “Shoes and Hats” by Spilker, who is curator of costumes and textiles at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA.)

She will speak on her favorite topic, hats and shoes through fashion history. Curator at LACMA since 1987, Spilker has gained national recognition for her curatorial work in developing a variety of exhibitions ranging from pre-Columbian textiles to European high fashion.

A tea, complete with traditional afternoon tea goodies, will be served as attendees enjoy a fashion show of hats in all shapes and styles.

The hats in the fashion show range from fanciful to outlandish, and will be modeled by National Charity League member mothers and daughters.

Attendees are encouraged to wear hats and gloves, and the museum will provide hats for those who don’t have one. Men are welcome to attend and are asked to wear a hat or ball cap in the spirit of the theme.

“We hope everyone will come wearing a hat and dressed up in afternoon tea attire — humorous or fancy,” Morris said. “This is an occasion for everybody to look in the back of the closet or on a top shelf to find some hidden fashion “gems” to wear and have fun with during our event.”

The Historical Museum’s current hat exhibit, “Hats on Parade,” will be open for viewing throughout the afternoon. The exhibit, created by the museum’s Costume Council, features historic hats from the museum collection along with several of Madame Gana Walska’s hats from Lotusland in Montecito and 14 from the Lompoc Historical Society.

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The hats on display are representative of the late 1800s through the 1980s. Many hats were so old and misshapen that they had to be steamed, sewn and restyled by museum textile curator Kathleen Graves.

Tickets for the talk, tea and hat fashion show are $30 for museum members, or $35 for others if purchased in advance. Tickets will also be available at the gate on the day of the event for $40.

To purchase tickets in advance, stop by the museum or visit