Friday, August 07, 2009

Mae West: Lily the Milliner

Lily Birnbaum once made sensational hats for MAE WEST.
• • During the 1920s, this talented native New Yorker was head milliner for the Shubert Brothers, and kept busy designing show-stopping creations for their Broadway hits.
• • Born in 1895, Lily was raised amid hatboxes, hatpins, ostrich plumes, osprey feathers, glove boxes, and genteel feminine adornment. After she wed attorney Benjamin A. Javits, she focused on raising a family. Still tethered to the thrills of showbiz, she was one of the founders of the Palm Beach Film Festival. When she was in her sixties, she took up painting and had several exhibitions in Palm Beach and NYC galleries.
• • Following in her footsteps, one of her grandsons was so inspired by her colorful backstage stories that he became a milliner. Lily served for years as his consultant.
• • Lily Birnbaum Javits died at age 91 during the month of August — — on Thursday, 7 August 1986 — — after a series of strokes, at the Good Samaritan Hospital in Palm Beach, Florida.

• • Come up and see Mae every day online:
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• • Photo: • • Mae West • • 1918 • •
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Mae West.

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