Hat Tricks


by James Tuttle

Gentle reader,

Have you ever seen the show My Fair Wedding, in which wedding planner David Tutera takes a delusional bride-to-be’s mess of a nuptial and transforms it into an admirable occasion?  I recently watched an episode where he had to deal with an “Indonesia meets Las Vegas set in a Winter Wonderland” theme that some poor stupid girl and her dumb-ass husband had come up with.  I must say, he pulled it off beautifully.

Today's gratuitous shirtless hunk is Joe Manganianello, the good werewolf from "True Blood," who just announced his engagement, which makes this picture more of a cogent excuse for slobbering than might appear. Still, slobber away.

I became intimately familiar with My Fair Wedding when our dear friend Lisa stayed a few days with us last month and watched back-to-back episodes until they finally cast the lead actress in the “good twin versus bad twin” Lifetime movie she was costume designing and she had to go to work.  Lisa and I have been planning her wedding for several years now and it has undergone many transformations, from a Borgia castle in Italy to a ballroom at the Biltmore, so I personally know a bit about this wedding business.  Something about that Tutera guy bugs me, even though he’s excellent at what he does.  It’s something subtle.  Maybe it’s that his hair is dyed too black or he’s still sporting a fauxhawk in 2011.  I think it might be that his sweetly cloying manner only slightly masks the hissing, foot-stomping queen that you just know is right under the surface.

We were hoping David Tutera would do an episode advising Kate Middleton, but apparently he had too much on his hands yanking overweight bridesmaids out of lilac polyester taffeta.

From a fashion standpoint, La Tutera does an admirable job of scrapping the bride’s original dress choice, if necessary, and putting them in something that looks great.  The transformation of the bridesmaids is what is really incredible.  In most cases, he could just rip off the dresses off and burn them.  That would already be a huge improvement.  But he goes one step further and puts them in something that is appropriate, flattering and still goes along with the crazy wedding theme of the week.

There’s some debate as to whether this whole wedding category is really part of the bona fide Fashion World but that’s a discussion that could get really nasty so, conflict avoidant WASP that I am, I’d really rather not get into it.

Speaking of weddings, it’s been a few days since that big one in London so I’m hoping we can begin to put things into perspective and stop gushing.  I personally couldn’t stay awake to watch it because it was on at 3 a.m. here in Los Angeles but I managed to see the arrivals up to Becks and Posh before I hit the hay.  Some of my clients were actually surprised that I didn’t personally attend the wedding.  I guess they assume that all polo players are automatically invited to Royal Wedding kinds of things.  Well, at least I would have looked the part.

By now, nearly anything that could be said about that wedding has been said.  I have one last thing to add, though.  What the fuck was up with those fucking hats?  I’m all for going out on a fashion limb, assuming you’ll look fabulous, but some terrible things were happening on the catwalks of Westminster Abbey.  There were doilies with feathers stuck over the ear and gravity defying horned saucers clinging to the forehead.  It’s been alleged that Philip Treacy created at least eighty hats for guests at the wedding, so, if you imagine that half of the nineteen hundred guests were women, it would mean that over 8.4% of them were wearing his odd creations—enough, I think, to create a definite atmosphere at the proceedings.  I’ve always been a big fan of Treacy, but this really wasn’t his season, no matter how much the obsequious Fashion Press is raving about him.  I’m sorry, Fashion Press.  You know I still love you, right?

Fashion Rule No. 2013: Just because it's Westwood, doesn't mean you should wear it. Rule No. 2014: Just because it's a Treacy hat, doesn't mean you should look more senile than grandma.

Case in point, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie both wore Treacy hats and might have been the hit of some drag burlesque show in Reno, even in their hideous dresses.  Even if the dresses hadn’t been seen outside of Nevada, Vivienne Westwood and Valentino should still be quite embarrassed.  Unfortunately, the girls stumbled around in their heels like they’d never worn shoes before.  Drag artistes know how to walk in heels, ladies.  If you’re going to attempt drag comedy, you need to practice.  One could attempt to blame it on the princesses being hearty British stock, but my svelte friend Angela runs around Manchester in Louboutins like they’re track shoes.  Game on.

When the cameras panned over the assembled crowd in the Abbey, it looked like a crowd scene from Alice in Wonderland with a not very good art director.  Even though the twenty-foot trees in the nave were a good call, Buck House does need a new art director.  Let me put this out there:  I’m available, but I don’t work cheap.

The trees were an inspired idea. Totally, like, Wiccan chic. And that druid who officiated was rad.

So, I assume that we can all agree that the Wedding was a lovely B-12 shot for the Monarchy, what with Kate and William being so charming, H.M. the Queen being so bright (yellow), and the whole Succession thing tied up with a pretty bow.  One still wonders, though, how David Tutera would’ve dealt with those pesky, horny hats.

In conclusion, don’t wear baggy underwear.

Much love,


Comments: 31

  • Justin May 4, 201111:34 pm


    You are amazing.

  • James Tuttle May 4, 201111:53 pm

    Thanks, Justin! You’re the best! Thanks for reading, my gorgeous friend!

  • Claudia May 5, 201112:29 am

    Ok, you can’t take Fergie’s daughters, as an example of ‘hearty British stock’. I am offended in so many ways by this comment. Sarah Ferguson was an embarrassment to all of us, and her daughters are carrying on the tradition. We almost don’t bother to comment on what they wear anymore because we know it will be ghastly, but even we couldn’t stop screaming about that puce horned hat and zombie make-up.
    I still can’t get over ‘hearty British stock’. We’re not all ungulates, some of us are quite graceful – as you know Mr Tuttle.
    Just a comment on hattage in general at the wedding. It’s compulsory to wear hats, but they also know that the cameras will be up in the ceiling, so they have to find something as small as poss if they want their face/dress/cleavage/smug smirk/schmoozing with other famous guests to be on telly. Notable exceptions, Theresa May, Home Secretary, and the beautiful Princess Michael of Kent wore large brims. The latter was identifiable by her Royal husband, but we didn’t know who the former was til she got as far as the choir. She might as well have been wearing a burka.

    • James Tuttle May 5, 201110:02 am

      Hi, Claudia! Thanks so much for your input but there’s no need to be offended. If you look closely, I said that “one could attempt to blame it on” their being “hearty British stock” then immediately follow it up with an example of a British person whom I personally know to be quite elegant. I’m sure that you, and anyone else with good taste, was taken aback by the appearance of the princesses so I’m not certain why my pointing it out is such an issue.
      As for the hats, I agree with you that there were a few lovely ones at the wedding but, in my opinion, they were overshadowed by the large number of odd Treacy creations and calling attention to the lovely ones isn’t really very funny.
      I hope you’ll continue to read and share your thoughts!

      • oldancestor May 5, 201112:10 pm

        I assume Claudia doesn’t read Baker Street, what with me saying the English are wicked and all. Or is wicked ok, as long as the perpetrator is fashionable? There’s so much I don’t know about the world.

        • James Killough May 5, 201112:25 pm

          Don’t bring it to her attention, sheesh! This blog will erupt in flames. “We’re not ungulates, some of us are quite graceful” … yeah, emphasis on “some.” Very few are not ungulates, just spend a Saturday night in central London: legions of fat biddies rolling out of a hen party, screaming drunk, heaving all over the sidewalks. I believe there’s some Madonna comment about how she has one glass of wine and becomes like a “drunk British woman.” Listen, I love them, every one of them, they’re a hoot to party with, but Audrey Hepburn they are not.

      • oldancestor May 5, 20111:19 pm

        Hahaha. As long as it doesn’t erupt in flames.

        • James Killough May 5, 20111:28 pm

          I duuno, maybe we should turn up the heat in here. I’m glad to see the Indians are finally paying attention to the Miss India piece. What a dud the reaction to that has been. I was, like, fasten your seat belts, bumpy ride, but the plane never even left the stand.

  • Rose Cepero May 5, 20115:00 am

    Very interesting article!! Always a Joy to read. Dave would have made a unique episode with the Royal Wedding! James your # 1 !!

    Rosie XO

    • James Tuttle May 5, 201110:02 am

      Thanks, Rosie! I’m glad you enjoyed it!
      Love to you,

  • oldancestor May 5, 20115:34 am

    Ooh! I don’t wear baggy underwear. Are you proud of me? I was on top of things for once. Good call on the “hat trick” title, being that this is the hockey playoffs. L.A. was knocked off last week, but San Jose is still in the mix.

    Re: fashion rule 2013. The Conan the Barbarian snake-cult warrior hat… does one need a fashion rule to avoid that, or simply a mirror?

    • James Killough May 5, 20119:04 am

      I took the baggy underpants comment personally.

      • oldancestor May 5, 20119:27 am

        You mean you have direct access to a Fashion Consultant Extraordinaire and you still commit such blunders? Tuttle must consider you a frustrating friend.

    • James Tuttle May 5, 201110:05 am

      I think a mirror should have been sufficient but perhaps she wasn’t allowed near one after the make artist had finished.
      Too bad about L.A. and the hockey. Do they play hockey here? It seems awfully warm for it.

  • Chris May 5, 20118:37 am

    I think I can pinpoint the subtle “something” that might bug you about David Tutera. Next time watch his face closely as he talks. It doesn’t move at all! It looks like that man fell into a vat of botox and he can barely even move his lips. Someone needs to tell him less is more in the botox department!

    • James Tuttle May 5, 201111:32 am

      Ohhhh, thanks for the tip. I’ll have to watch for that next time. I hope it wears off.
      Thanks for reading!

  • Jesse McManus May 5, 20118:56 am

    Although I’ve never seen My Fair Wedding, it sounds lovely…if you are into that sort of thing. Thank you for bringing my media and social consciousness to a high level. ;-)
    I thoroughly enjoyed your weekly article…keeps me looking forward to next week. XO

    • James Tuttle May 5, 201110:08 am

      Thanks, Jesse! If you’re ever starved for wedding programming, tune into the WE network. Thanks for reading!

  • Chris May 5, 201112:45 pm

    Good on ya James!

  • nrhatch May 5, 20117:00 pm

    I couldn’t decided whether Beatrice’s “head gear” (I hesitate to call it a “hat”) more closely resembled a “hood ornament” or a broken piece of “lawn statuary.”

    And it looked like Eugenie’s dressmaker didn’t have time to finish the hem on her gown ~ a dangerous situation when you’re teetering and tottering down a runway while ogling other overdressed guests:

    Ouch! Bloody hell! I just got stuck with one of the straight pins.

    • James Tuttle May 5, 201111:15 pm

      That “hat” was designed to represent a cameo brooch, I’m pretty certain. The only problem is that is stuck the the front of her HEAD! AAAAHHHGGG!
      And the hemline is what is referred to in fashion as remboursé. It’s still ugly, though.
      Thanks for reading, Nancy!

  • Margot Montaigne May 5, 20119:19 pm

    Darling James,
    Another FABULOUS article!! I’ve not watched the wedding show, but WILL check it out on your recommendation. Personally, I just awakened inexpicably qt 4:30AM EST, so watched the whole spectacle. I must say, I thought the princess bride was FLAWLESS! Also all the trees were, Kate’s idea, and INSISTED upon by her, much to HRH’s chagrin. Did you see perhaps the most pathetic of faux pas? David wore his multi-coloreed medal of the Royal medal of the Empire (or whatever its called), totally inappropriate for a wedding. And he wore it on the right (wrong) side of his jacket. I was praying that Her Majesty would just reach ou and rip it off (hopefully she saved that for the private reception:-) I won’t even address the daughters of She who shall remain Nameless. You handled that one beautifully, Darling! All in all, another delightful guilty pleasure, from your witty, slightly wicked pen. Please DO keep them coming!!
    I thought you might want to consider an occasional blind item. After all, you seem to be in the process of assuming the mantle of Mr. Capote!

    • James Killough May 5, 20119:44 pm

      Margot! I was just wondering what you’ve been up to. Haven’t seen you in ages. I have been keeping up with you through Tuttle. James x

    • James Tuttle May 5, 201111:22 pm

      Dear, dear Margot,
      I would love to do blind items but I’m usually the last to find out about things.
      Hadn’t even heard about the Affair of the Medal but, at least, I did know about the trees in the Abbey and thought they looked spectacular.
      Thanks for coming along on the fashion blog ride with me! I hope we can go shopping soon!

  • llllxxxxxexxxxxllll May 7, 20117:01 am

    Ref: Note Article in ASVOF

    You are (royally) welcome ! :):)

    PS.: On the quote : ‘ I must add that the aristocracy did, indeed, once create the fashion trends that the masses attempted to emulate but, ….” … very
    true ! and now the opposite is in motion …. all since we thought it was a good idea to bring it all up to date … now without any kind of ‘compass’ one must truly wonder! Perhaps royal titles should be earned and grated with a points system, which can also subtract points when a misstep is committed .. .:):) a kind of driving license … but to learn to drive themselves at all times in the highway of moral and social responsibilities that comes with their ‘JOB’! … Yes they should pass the ‘Royal’ exam before being granted such anachronistic and outdated method of bestowing such a privilege … for it is being paid by the people to say the least… and yes ! … let’s hope that the next lot will learn to play their part well …. with humbleness … and a big portion of graciousness :)

  • robert john taylor May 8, 201112:52 am

    hi james, very impressive,nice work,great job.miss u alot bro.

  • Shara May 8, 201111:28 am

    Hello James (Brother dear),
    I must say your articles are witty. I actually recorded the highlights of the wedding (I would watch the entire thing if it were less than an hour and didn’t put me to sleep). I thought Kate was a beautiful bride and carried herself exceptionally well. Pippa was a dream (who says the bridesmaids must be ugly????) As to the guests, well, let’s say for a second there I thought it was a zoo (horns and all). I wish the Princesses Bea and Eugenie would take a lesson from Earl Spencer’s daughters who were sophisticated and beautiful. Some of those hats were too sci-fi!! Perhaps they should look back to some of the more sophisticated pill box/net styles if they wish for everyone to see their faces. I’d hate to say it but outlandish hats do not draw ones attention to their faces!

    Oh, and Margot, Beckam did change the medal over to the left lapel during service. Luckily he caught it and has redeemed himself.

    I don’t believe David Tutera would have any real grief with the wedding party, it’s the guests he would have a coronary over. I suggest before the next royal wedding (Harry’s still single) they send someone with a great sense of style (maybe you, James) to stop any of the un-stylish people from attending the function. God knows I won’t have to worry that I’m watching Comic-con!

    Keep up the good work, James.

    • James Tuttle May 19, 20119:28 pm

      Thanks, sis! Sorry to take so long getting back to you!

      I totally agree with your assessments and your suggestions, especially the one that would have me vet the guests at the next wedding. Your coverage is so much more extensive and accurate than mine!

      Please keep commenting. I think you’ll spark some very lively discussions.
      Love you!

  • Angela May 19, 20113:37 am

    I love it and I love you. Super read as always (finally able to catch up). I think Beatrice might have been watching repeats of friends when she opted for that hat (Monica with turkey on head). I can’t help but wonder if she does turn to her Mother for fashion advice, big mistake…..huge.

    “In most cases, he could just rip off the dresses off and burn them” Ha Ha I’ve been to a few weddings with those maids in those dresses and wonder how the girls in question did not burn the bitch who put them in it. Pippa looked beautiful though.

    Keep writing Mr………x

    “Very few are not ungulates, just spend a Saturday night in central London: legions of fat biddies rolling out of a hen party, screaming drunk, heaving all over the sidewalks”………. This is very true of some, though not only in the UK of course.

    • James Tuttle May 19, 20119:34 pm

      Yes, it would be a mistake to count Sarah F. for fashion advice. I don’t know who the hell they asked but it was definitely the wrong person.

      In a perfect world, the bridesmaid dresses would be something that the girls would love to wear again. How is it, that with the enormous global fashion industry, all these talented designers and thousands of years of fashion history, we’re not able to make this happen? I blame the brides.

      Love you back, my dear!

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