J Pinturier - Paris, 1992

OK, now here's a great little story. Years ago I was window shopping (and by window shopping, I mean looking through the window at people shopping) somewhere on the rue Cambon when I spotted an elderly woman carrying a hat box. She looked and was dressed just like Bette Davis when Davis started appearing on the late-night/early morning talk show circuits waaaayyyy over-accessorized ("What's that, Bette?  You say you want to bring your purse on stage with you? And your stole? And your hat has a what? Hmmm. We'll be happy to hold all that backstage if you like. OK, OK! No worries! You can take it all with you if you really want to. What? Who said you looked like The Riddler?!?!? Oh, they're just jealous!!! Yes, of course we would tell you!"). Anyway, the hat box had a great-looking signature on it so naturally, as most people would, I tried to catch up with her.  I got the address off the box and found a building with no storefront, but a giant three-dimensional sign of the signature. 

Tentatively, I entered the building and started climbing the stairs of what seemed to be a private house. Just as I started to knock on the door, a man opened it and I came within a split second of pounding his head with my fist. He seemed thrilled to see me and started putting hats (crazy, wonderful, whimsical hats) on my head before I even knew what was going on. This went on for about fifteen minutes and probably would have kept going had I not started to worry that he thought perhaps I was a scheduled client of the house. Sheepishly, I said I had to leave, asked for a card, thanked him and left. 

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