Hats Off to Local Millinery

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Upper West Side shop Eve Bari offers an array of hats for any noggin

By Laura Shanahan

Easter may be over, but beautifully fanciful hats are so not over. Life, as always, imitates art, and we are living in a near-unprecedented time of multiple period-piece programs and shows, from the small screen to the silver screen ? and nearly all of them feature fabulous headwear.

Consider the 1920s cloches and headbands in the upcoming (maybe you too have seen the trailers) The Great Gatsby; the portrait hats and derbies in the pre-Edwardian Downtown Abbey; and the rakish fedoras in '60s-era Mad Men. They've so captured our imagination that viewing parties often have the attendees dressed in styles from the entertainment's era.

For a small ? read: non-mass-produced ? splendid selection of ladies' hats, women would be well-advised to visit Eve Bari, a little gem of a boutique tucked away between some of the more towering giants of commerce, at 205 W. 57th St. (And yes, there really is an Eve Bari!)

Standout among the sportier caps, big-brimmed beauties and jaunty close-fitting chapeaux is the deep purple finely woven straw number with a modest crown and neat brim banded with a triple-pleat. Accenting the band is a cluster of same-fabric flowers that ? wait for this careful detailing ? have the tiniest crystals dotting the wire pistils. Another fine touch: a drawstring hidden inside the crown allows the wearer to adjust the hat for desired snugness. (I wish I could have foreseen this customizable item months ago, when a shopper in another store I visited came in braying that she had an unusually sized head and thus problems getting a proper fit.)

In case you're worrying that such an elegant hat, on such an elegant block, will bust your budget, worry not; $59 is the reasonable price. If you'd like a more whimsical version, be advised the style also comes in black-and-white polka dots. And if you're not in the market for a hat at all, but would like a lighter form of headwear, Eve Bari has lots of novel and lovely headbands. Representative is the tangerine satin-covered slim band sporting a lushly bowed grosgrain ribbon on one side; just $12.

Not interested in a headband, either? OK, but surely you'd like something to keep your hair back in the coming heat ? while adding a bit of bling, no? Toward that end, check out the many barrettes, hair clips and bobby pins, in metals, faux Bakelite and more, many encrusted with sparkle-plenty faceted stones. A small stylized-butterfly metal clip with rich-color opaque stones is $12, while bobbies accented with brilliant rhinestones are $4-$8.

In addition to hats and hair accessories, find here such finishing touches as scarves, evening bags and semiprecious and fashion jewelry. If you're sick of seeing the same plain-metal hoop earrings and insipid studs on everyone and are looking for a one-of-kind design, step right in. Lorraine, a fashion-savvy staffer here, pointed out how virtually every piece displayed is one of a kind ? if you buy the white jade-dotted hoops, for example, you will not see yourself coming and going in them.

The earrings, by the way, span even more period looks than the hats, if that's possible, including everything from delicate Victorian-style chandeliers to spare-lined modern looks. Prices range from about $39 to perhaps a bit over $200.

Don't have pierced ears? You're not excluded: There are also clip-ons; about $24-$28. That Eve Bari thinks of everything.

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