Hats Off to La-Di-Da
Heads up, divas, Russia's in the house ? and it's got your name; literally. Diva millinery, from Russia with love, is handmade by the skilled artisans of a three-generation family business ? but you needn't pull out your passport to check out the goods.
A chic little shop named La-Di-Da at 2410 Broadway, between 88th and 89th, is one of the select boutiques to stock Diva chapeaux ? and oh, what chapeaux these are.
Consider the uniquely brimmed model woven of sinamay ? a natural fiber that's a type of straw, informs La-Di-Da's charming owner, Sema Timurhan (shopping here's educational!). The finely woven hat gives the kind of translucent, dressy look you might associate with, say, a full-bodied organdy; but it's the double-layered generously sized brim that commands attention: Rather than forming a rigid border, it flows and dips and curves in the most fetchingly flirtatious way. Suffice to say, wear it at any event and you'll be the cynosure of all eyes.
I love this hat in its champagne color version -- with a discreet leopard-print fabric banded bow ($199); though you might wish to consider the teal or black model with different accents.
Another standout Diva number, in an entirely different vein, is the jaunty taupe beret woven of parasisal (yep, another type of straw we didn't know about before). A large woven-flower accent on one side is studded with shiny cocoa-colored beads ? chocolaty-delicious looking; $169. (Note: All Diva summer hats are now 15-30% off.)
In other "headlines" ? more local this time ? La-Di-Da also stocks Abigail Aldridge chapeaux, many of which the New York artisan makes exclusively for this shop. To wit: the black woven fabric headpiece that's a cross between a face-framing little "fascinator" and a beret (um, just picture a fascinating beret) that has a perky little brim in back but dips down in front. A clutch of faux juicy-looking cherries, complete with green leaves, is the delicious-looking accent on this piece; $149.
While hats are a predominant category ? find everything from cloches to caps and boaters to berets ? there is so much more. Artfully stacked to the ceiling are hatboxes plus designer costume jewelry, scarves, picture frames and all manner of bibelot. Vintage-look baubles abound here: French-made La Vie Parisienne earrings and delicate necklaces evoke timeless elegance, while domestically handmade pieces by such names as Anne Koplik, Clara Beau and Ayala Bar are equally finely made and irresistible. Materials include gold-plated brass and Swarovski crystals. (See some close-ups of hats and jewels at facebook.com/ladidathestore ? you will "like" what you see.)
Another headline: This women's accessories store will be carrying clothing, featuring local designers' jackets, tunics, pants and more. All easy fit, with a wide range of sizes, going up to XXL.
"This is my 20th year," says Sema. "It's hard for small stores ? but I try to keep a variety of styles and prices and exclusives, and I give personal service. I appreciate my customers' loyalty."
They doubtless appreciate you, too, Sema. When it comes to serving her clientele, this lady brings it.
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