Collector's story of 'SATC' taxidermy bird hat up for auction


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Mar 15, 2024

Collector's story of 'SATC' taxidermy bird hat up for auction

Submit Δ Thanks for contacting us. We've received your submission. Normally, you have to be a celebrity, top-notch fashion stylist or First Lady if you want to raid the closet of vintage clothing



Thanks for contacting us. We've received your submission.

Normally, you have to be a celebrity, top-notch fashion stylist or First Lady if you want to raid the closet of vintage clothing dealer Shannon Hoey.

But for the next two weeks, deep-pocketed civilians will have opportunities to make off with Hoey’s coveted goods that have been worn by Madonna, Sarah Jessica Parker and Michelle Obama. Sotheby’s will be auctioning off the threads online as part of Fashion Icons, running until September 14. Hoey’s three items, among seven others, are estimated to garner as much as $160,000.

Hoey, a longtime lover of classic clothing, opened her Chelsea showroom, New York Vintage, in 2000. The place was an immediate hit. “Sarah was one of my early patrons,” Hoey told The Post of Parker, in an exclusive interview. “She came in for herself, and then the design team from ‘Sex and the City’ came in as well.”

Since then, Hoey has provided vintage clothing for movies that include “Wolf of Wall Street,” “The Great Gatsby” and “Men in Black III.” While she is proud to see her garments on the big screen, when it comes to her collectible clothing, there is a bigger mission at work. “

We have special, one of a kind pieces, that are otherwise unattainable,” she said. “They had first lives when they first came out. Now, through use in movies and on photo shoots, they get second lives. For me, that is what’s fulfilling. With the auction, other people will enjoy this clothing that has meant so much to me.”

Here are the back stories on Hoey’s finds that are set to hit the auction block.

Auction estimate: $40,000-$70,000

Dating back to the 1800s, this exotic headpiece — featuring the taxidermied head of a bird of paradise — has become the auction’s superstar item after gaining “Sex and the City” notoriety.

The fascinator divided fashionistas when Parker, as Carrie Bradshaw, first wore it for her wedding-that-wasn’t in the 2008 movie.

Parker previously told Vogue that, while she and the wardrobe team loved the piece, she didn’t think director Michael Patrick King would go for it. So the actress just didn’t tell him and showed up wearing it.

“And when I came to the set, he was like, ‘Why is there a bird on your head?’ And I was like, ‘Look at the bird. You would’ve made the same decision.’” she said. “Of course, you know he argued against, and he wins a lot, for good reason … but we won.”

Hoey recalled: “As soon as the show aired, this piece was iconic. I’ve had numerous requests from people who just want to see the bird hat.”

She obtained the piece at an auction of collectibles being deaccessioned from a museum, and it landed in the movie after Parker and the wardrobe crew paid a visit to Hoey’s showroom.

“We’ve been a revolving source for [the ‘Sex and the City’ universe],” said Hoey. “Sarah loves mixing contemporary with vintage and fell in love with the bird hat. She decided it would be perfect to finish her look … It is one of the few garments from the show that she wore but did not keep.”

But Parker did wear it again this year, for the spinoff series “And Just Like That.”

“After the show aired,” said Hoey, “I was contacted by a Saudi princess. She offered me $100,000 for the hat. But it was not for sale then … Now it is in good company, in an auction alongside garments worn by Princess Di.”

Estimate: $30,000-$60,000

When Hoey’s phone lit up with an unbelievable caller ID — the White House — in 2010, “I thought it was spam,” she said.

“But it was actually Michelle Obama’s stylist, recommended to me by one of my clients.”

They were looking for a special dress for the First Lady to wear for the holiday special “Christmas in Washington,” featuring the Obama family. Hoey’s black-lace vintage number, designed by American couturier Norman Norell, circa 1950s, fit the bill.

“I can only describe seeing Michelle Obama wearing the dress as surreal,” said Hoey. “It was the moment that cemented my place in the world of vintage fashion. This was the first time that a First Lady wore vintage and it opened the door for other people to start wearing pre-loved clothing.”

While Hoey usually earns her money from renting out vintage wear, an exception was made for Obama and she loaned it gratis. “Her wearing it was such an honor.”

Estimate: $10,000-$30,000

For the February 2023 cover of Vanity Fair, Madonna needed exactly the right look to match the headline: The Icon Issue.

Having previously worked with the singer, Hoey knew the drill.

“Madonna’s stylist called; we talked about the vision and I looked at reference images,” said Hoey. “Among a number of different ideas, one was inspired by ‘Like a Virgin’ and the veil was a specific request.”

About 100 items, including this early 20th-century Brussels lace veil. “It’s about seven feet long and I bought it auction,” said Hoey. “The length was what struck me.”

As for why Madge chose it, Hoey said, “The veil is essential in depicting the image of the virgin. It was layered with a Dolce and Gabbana piece … My clothing has been in a lot of magazines, but this was incredible because it was Madonna.”

Auction estimate: $40,000-$70,000Estimate: $30,000-$60,000Estimate: $10,000-$30,000