Pennsylvania is a love for me. I grew up there! I love the landscape, the people and the climate. I even love the sky - the gray skies. Anyone who has spent time in PA knows that there can be long but beautiful gray days!
I grew up in southeastern Pennsylvania outside of Philadelphia. Having grown up on that side of the state, made me a northeasterner, and to me the other side of the state was considered almost the start of the mid-west. Different accent, different economy, industry and definitely different sports teams! Like most places I guess each side of the state has its own thoughts about ownership of, and pride in, all things local, especially fashion! While not new to the Pittsburgh area jumping into the hat scene there has been an exciting experience. My collections have found a new home in upscale, top-designer, couture Larrimor’s, the wonderful women’s and men’s boutique at PNC Plaza in the heart of Pittsburgh. Larrimor’s has been a destination for savvy shoppers in Pittsburgh for the past 75 years.
In my business, I love to find places where hats are a year-round staple, and with the change of season in Pittsburgh Larrimor's has it all. The women and men in Pittsburgh know what to wear in the summer, spring, fall, snowy winters and rain. I am known for my spring styles, especially my styles for racing but have other collections that are a perfect fit for Larrimor’s too. Last year at a Trunk Show we saw a large draw to our water- resistant rain hats. These styles are packable, stylish and a must have for a rainy Pittsburgh day.
Women in Pittsburgh are certainly stylish especially the professionals who know a smart fall hat when they see one. We also sold quite a few fall wool and felt pieces, mostly medium brims but some cloches as well. I love meeting customers at Trunk Shows. One of my passions is to find the perfect hat to add to a customer’s wardrobe. I love to talk with each customer and investigate each of their needs, the type of event they may have planned, their likes, dislikes and what they may already have in their collection. I Love having them try on styles that may get them thinking out of the box but still remaining in their personal comfort zone. I love the smile in the mirror every time this succeeds!
I was originally drawn to Pittsburgh and Larrimor’s because of the experienced hat wearing crowd for the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy Hat Luncheon. This pinnacle spring event is a hat wearers dream and an event not to be missed. I have been involved with many Parks events such as the Central Park Conservancy here in New York, the Trust for the National Mall Hat Luncheon in DC, and botanical events such as the Naples Botanical Garden Hat luncheon in Florida and the Huntsville Botanical Garden event in Alabama. So, I was naturally excited when Larrimor’s wanted to partner for a Trunk Show focusing on this prestigious luncheon. Events like this in moderate summer climates provide an excellent opportunity to sport our straw collection. And that is exactly what we did last year and will do again this year. I got to meet many exciting women at a greet and meet at Larrimor’s and custom designed a wonderful piece for Susan Citron, Co-founder of A Woman’s Palate. She chose a piece from our botanical collection, which perfectly showcased the beauty of the parks flowers with our hand-made silk flowers.
As a designer, I try to incorporate fresh ideas into my collections while maintaining classical, timeless designs to fit a wide variety of tastes. This year for spring I have focused on hand-painted silk trims. Each flower is meticulously cut and painted and captures the beauty of many garden flowers.
For a city built on steel, both in structure and economy, Pittsburgh and its citizens are accustomed to things that last. Like the steel structures and beautiful Pittsburgh architecture a well-made, well-kept hat will last forever. I love what I do, and every hat in every one of my collections is hand-made and shows a dedication to this kind of workmanship. Each hat is proudly made in New York City, USA.
Christine will be at Larrimor’s October20-22nd for Fall Trunk Shows, and will once again return in March for Spring Trunk Shows focusing on the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy Hat Luncheon.