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Leanne Delap: Head Mistress

April 19, 2011

This past weekend I had the pleasure of meeting fashion editor extraordinaire Leanne Delap, a remarkable gal whose writing I’ve simply inhaled and admired for many, many years.

Fashion Editor Leanne Delap is an inspiration and my secret mentor-at-large. Leanne is one of the most important influences contributing to me following my passion and joining the fashion writing industry.

In fact, I already knew so much about Leanne before meeting her- among many accomplishments, you may recall that she was Editor at Fashion before moving into the style pages at the Globe and Mail and is now joined by her team at the Toronto Star; her tomboy daughter is not in the least interested in fashion, which always amuses me; Leanne is tall, has long feet, luscious blond hair and likes to wear things that perhaps a tall person wouldn’t normally wear but she is, after all, a fashion editor; she has a weakness for vintage designer threads (well, okay- that goes for pretty much all of us in the biz).

And you, dear readers, who know Leanne’s writing might be finding a few similarities between some of my work here on Fashion in Motion and Leanne’s witty curatorial take on fashion trends. It is most certainly in the spirit of Leanne that a few columns here on FIM have come to take shape and, hopefully, tickled your fancy the way Leanne took me under her wing as a mentor (unbeknownst to her until this past weekend, of course).

Needless to say that our brief exchange was delightful and floated into my thoughts this week as I clicked through the Toronto Star‘s website in search of Leanne’s words for the week. And wouldn’t you know it that it is as though the style folks at The Star had read my very thoughts: featured on the site are turbans as part of a recent ’70s style roundup.

Leave it to Leanne and her team to have anticipated that this month I’d be thinking to myself, Now what I really, really need is a turban. And wouldn’t you know it, the turban featured in The Star is by Toronto-based Headmistress:

Headmistress turbans are the sexiest head pieces of the year- no contest. In dupioni silk, these iconic turbans are sweet head-turners. $100 at Headmistress

(Don’t you find it interesting that Leanne has been a kind of head mistress to me and that this week I discovered Headmistress, the turban makers-?!? Yeah- I KNOW.)

Anyway, I was very excited to discover Headmistress, an accessories company helmed by Jillian Wood, a sweet gal who has taken it upon herself to make the world a better place with feathers, crystals and silks. Jillian hand crafts fascinators, headbands, necklaces, rings, brooches and these stylin’ turbans that are making us a little cray-cray this week.

The Love by Heamistress turban collection is inspired by French couturier Paul Poiret who is known for designing origami-esque dresses that ditched the corset back at the last turn of the century. Poiret’s notable 1907 runway show featured models wearing turbans much like today’s Headmistress pieces.

Illustrations of dreamy early 20th century turbaned ladies. At right, illustration by Georges Barbier and, left, turban designed by Paul Iribe

Headmistress’ turban confections are made of dupioni silk sumptuously gathered and accentuated by a Czech glass button. Of course we’d like a turban in every silky colour but we recommend the Loretta’s fresh golden hue that’s slightly on the hay side of grassy green. Wear it like Headmistress’ campaign images: a modest blouse or fitted knit by day or with sultry black number for the twilight hours.

Add a rich coat of lipstick and you’re set for the sultan’s tent.

The Loretta turban is a thing of beauty. $100 at Headmistress

Thank you Leanne for doing what you do- you’ve inspired me beyond all the words you’ve published and I am so excited to have you as my head mistress, even if it’s just in (and on) my head.

Image of Leanne Delap courtesy of Siren Universe; turban images courtesy of Headmistress; Paul Iribe illustrations featured on Les Yeux Sans Visage.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. Rachel Collins permalink
    April 19, 2011 4:45 pm

    Such a nice post Johanne. It’s always nice to find someone who inspires you in your writing and career. Nice to hear.

    You also inspire lots of people too with your ideas and writing – lots of people love your site.

    • April 20, 2011 11:45 am

      Thank you, Rachel- I was overjoyed to meet my Leanne!

      :)
      -J

  2. Renée Morel permalink
    August 25, 2012 7:07 pm

    The Poiret illustrations are not be Paul Iribe. The one on the right is by Georges Barbier (the signature is clearly legible at the bottom left) and the one on the left represents a turban designed by Paul Iribe, but the illustration is not by him either.

    • August 27, 2012 10:26 am

      Thank you Renée for the corrections- I’ve updated the post accordingly.
      I adore these illustrations- and the turbans- and I’m thinking of getting a gorgeous bejeweled one for fall.

      And you? What’s your interest in these lovely things- art history? turbans? illustrations?

      Thanks again, hope to hear from you!
      -Johanne

      • Renée Morel permalink
        August 27, 2012 10:44 am

        Hi Joanne, the other illustration is by Georges Lepape. I am an instructor at City College of San Francisco and lecture on art. I will be doing a presentation on Paul Iribe, so I recognize his work. Incidentally, a grandon of Iribe, Olivier, was at CCSF as a student when I too was studying there. Cheers!

      • August 27, 2012 12:08 pm

        Hi! How cool! Thanks for sharing your story- and boy, I wish I could attend your lecture. How neat that you and Olivier share a common link to your student days. I love 20th century art but I realize that I know so little about it, and discovering it now slowly is helping me add a layer of understanding to the years. I have a literature-based understanding of history: I have an MA in English but was at one time thinking of doing an art history & English combo PhD focusing on Romantics and engravings. I would have loved to study art full-on!

        And thank you so much for looking into my turban post and discrepancies- when I first wrote it I had picked up the images and must have gotten the wrong info from the sources where I found them. I really appreciate being corrected with the right credits.

        Glad we ‘met’ online! For me this is certainly the best part of being digital. I once had a man comment on my blog that his grandma’s 1960s wardrobe is heavily used on Mad Men- how cool is that?!
        -Johanne

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