The (Mad) Hatter Reception & Exhibit

The (Mad) Hatter Reception & Exhibit

Friday, March 29, 4-6pm
Flying Goat Cellars Tasting Room & Art Salon
1520 East Chestnut Court
Lompoc, CA 

To celebrate Spring, Women’s History Month and the recently curated exhibit “The (Mad) Hatter,” Flying Goat is hosting a reception.  Ladies and gents are invited to put on their favorite chapeau, channel their alter-ego and join in the fun. Easter bonnets are especially welcome. Join in our best hat contest at 5pm!

With over fifty hats collected over fifty years, Chief Philosopher/Proprietor Kate Griffith has been nicknamed "The Mad Hatter” by her husband (and Winemaker) Norm Yost.

“Swept up with all the possibilities of who I could be (or pretend to be) with the change of a hat, I began collecting all styles of headgear in my late teens,” remarked Griffith. “Almost fifty years and over fifty hats later, my collection includes functional to classical to whimsical styles, which all give me great delight. My husband now calls me 'The Mad Hatter' and admits that this is a side of me that he didn’t even know existed. I’ve been storing most of my hats in trunks, including a unique Victorian hat trunk from my great grandmother."

Griffith doffs a hat to Women’s History Month and the many ladies of inspiration, such as feminist icon Bella Abzug, who have had empowerment through their colorful, flamboyant or unique hats. These leaders and other less known women are also celebrated for wearing “many hats” in their professional and personal lives.

“The (Mad) Hatter” collection includes diversity in expression, from a coy fascinator to French beret to cloche hat. Griffith playfully displays the hats with a dozen themes, such as “Day at the Races,” “Out of Africa” and “Tea Time.” Dare you venture into the Tasting Room and go down the rabbit hole of Griffith’s imagination? You may even find Alice or a frisky March Hare.

Kate's commentary on the exhibit:

Below I give a little background on the Special Collections that I've put together in the exhibit, ranging from a "Day at the Races," "Beach Day," "Out of Africa" to "Birds of a Feather."

Day at the Races - I've been a racing enthusiast for decades, beginning with the Del Mar (CA) Races and perhaps most consistently at The Gold Cup at Great Meadow, when I lived in The Plains, VA. These playful hats reflect the celebration of horse racing in it's many forms, from steeplechase to flat races, and a woman's desire to be flamboyant at the venue.  

Beach Day - After decades as an active Beach Bunny, I've acquired a lovely collection of beach hats to protect my face from sun exposure. The first hat in my collection was gifted by a college beau, a Hawaiian man who returned stateside with a token of his homeland. He was renowned for wearing a large brimmed straw hat with a striking blue feather lei hatband.

Out of Africa - While doing fieldwork in West Africa in 1980, I purchased a conical leather and straw tribal Fulani hat from a local. 

Queen Bee - I'm been an active backyard beekeeper for about 12 years and we host the local Lompoc Valley Beekeepers Association monthly meetings at the Tasting Room. We support community outreach and education with events and programs throughout the year. We also offer bee extractions/removals for the community. 

Ladies Who Lunch - When I was an intern at the United Nations in 1981, I had a chance encounter with an abandoned box of vintage hats on the streets of Manhattan. Many of these unique hats are featured in this collection. 

Tea Time - When I was an intern at the United Nations in 1981, I had a chance encounter with an abandoned box of vintage hats on the streets of Manhattan. Many of these unique hats are featured in this collection.

Birds of a Feather - These hats all display the elegant plumage of birds. Phyllis Diller would be proud. 

Sultans of Swing - Turbans are always fun so let's get in the mood with a revival of Dire Straits "Sultans Of Swing".

Giddy Up - I have been wearing cowboy hats and horseback riding since I was a kid. My paternal grandparents played polo and my father was a bull and bronc rider. I was a bare back rider in high school and became a fox hunter and exercise rider later in my adult life. 

The Last Straw - 

Felted Flock -

Innocent Bystanders - The largest of the white hats was made in Mexico and was a favorite of mine for years. It made a fashion statement whenever I wore it. 

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