Hats by Dianne Isbell Selling at Kentucky Derby Museum

“Hi, everyone. My name is Dianne Isbell and I am Hats by Dianne,” said Dianne during a recent filming. She’s so excited to be a “featured milliner for the Kentucky Derby Museum. It’s just a wonderful thrill… to have my hats in the shop.”

VIDEO: Dianne Isbell talks about hat trends for Fall 2021 and how she got her start making these beautiful hats. credit craig currie

Being able to sell hats there is the ultimate achievement for bespoke hat makers and only five of them make it on the shelves each year, the best of the best if I may. If your hats are being sold there, or even considered, you’ve made it. From her first hat ever made to today, she talks about her road to success.

Diane started with, “How did I start in the first place? Gee Wiz! I worked for a long time for the Federal Government, retired as a civilian in 2000 and then I started teaching etiquette classes to young girls. Of course you have to be dressed up to do that, so I went out and found these prom dresses with sleeves, bustled them up, got them bows, gloves and purses. And then I made these Victorian type hats. Low and behold some of the mothers wanted a hat because they were going to the Derby. My sister wanted a red hat and I asked what do you need a red hat for? She told me all about that.”

If you are going to do something, do it right or don’t do it at all.

Dianne Isbell

Dianne elegantly continued, “So before long I was making all these one-of-a-kind” hats of all colors and had them in shops all over: St. Louis, Missouri and Illinois. She so humbly finished with, “and that’s how I really got started into being a milliner.”

Below are random hats that Dianne helped me photograph. She is such a joy to be around, always upbeat and so kind.

Dianne loved clothes and fashion even as child and lit up while saying, “As a child I loved to dress up and wear my mothers hats. That that was so much fun, so I’ve always been a fashionista. A hat milliner was just in the game for me.”

Dianne is one of the best hat makers in the U.S. and sells hats around the globe. “I like to make everything one of a kind. I designed hats for the George Busch family, Lady Gaga. I’ve been the winner of Forest Park Forever in St. Louis for their lunching every year” an event that attracts 1000s of women.

TRENDS
The trends Dianne sees coming for FALL 2021 will still include fascinators but with a larger selection of beautiful colors. Dianne added that, “Red and black is always good. Another look this year, of course, is going to be the cloche.” Dianne picked up her black leather cloche and said, “This is one of my favorite hats, this cloche, that I made with leather. It was a stickler because this leather is hard to push a needle through; my fingers were really sore by the time I finished it. It is a lovely hat. You will see a lot of these kinds of hats this year,” as she tries one on.

Dianne Isbell holding her Bumble Bee Fastinator.

“Of course my fall line includes this little number which is my bumble bee fascinator.” As she picks up the cute yellow bee hat, she says, “So if you look at that, gosh, isn’t this going to be a winner at any luncheons.” She mentioned a few luncheons where bespoke hats are all the rage which included the Forest Park Forever Hat Luncheon, Naples Annual Charity Luncheon, The Glen and Gallop which Dianne supports every year.

If you need a hat for anything, Dianne can match anything and can make you look like a million dollars.

DIANNE’S MOTTO
“I have a motto and this motto is one that I’ve lived all my life and it’s this. (If you are going to do something, do it right or don’t do it at all.) So I am a perfectionist when it comes to my hats because I want them to be perfect.”

Dianne smiled while saying, “If you want to know a fun thing about me, I dream in color. So I dream a lot about designs of my hats and not everyone does that apparently. I just thought it was normal.”

“In the end if you follow something, a path that you like to do…sometimes it can be the best path you ever went on. And that’s what I’ve done with my hats.”

Dianne was like an angle and she ended with, “It just started out with my little girls wanting hats and from there look at where I am; I am now a featured milliner for the Kentucky Derby Museum.”

The last sentence is all so true and inspiring: Work hard and never give up on your dreams. Dianne started with one hat, fast forward a few years and now she at the top of the game becoming one of the most respected and celebrated hat designers not only in St. Louis but in the U.S. as well. Congrats Dianne, you earned the title hands down.

Want more….visit https://www.hatsbydianne.com/

Tradicional 314 Mexican Cuisine, Creve Coeur Opens Aug. 2021

Tradicional 314 features Authentic Mexican Cuisine located in the Aldi shopping center at N. New Ballas Rd. and Olive Blvd., in Creve Coeur, MO. Tradicional 314 will open in August of 2021.

The exact opening date will be posted at facebook.com/Tradicional314STL

The authentic Mexican dinners are all like homemade in an atmosphere that is 100% pure Mexican. more at www.tradicional314.com

Historic Main Street, St. Charles, MO

Historic Main Street in St. Charles is part of the historic district which was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1970. The historic district in St. Charles takes up more than 47 acers and has 63 contributing buildings and counting.

VIDEO: Take a drive down Historic Main Street in St. Charles, MO on Sunday, July 11, 2021. credit craig currie

The photos were taken while touring Main Street on a rainy, Sunday afternoon on July 11, 2021. Main Street and its buildings date back 200-plus years giving you a chance to travel back in time when locally owned stores and restaurants were common place. From the red bricks that make the street to the real gaslights dotted along its sidewalks, Historic Main Street is a must see.

Fireworks Downtown St. Louis 2021

How was the Fair Saint Louis Fireworks 2021? The show was amazing and Market Street became a parking lot for firework-fans who got out of their cars to enjoy the show in downtown St. Louis.

It was Edward Jones who sponsored this year’s Fourth of July Fireworks Spectacular which was the largest fireworks display Fair Saint Louis has ever produced.

The Gateway Arch was in the foreground during the fireworks that created an artistic outline and silhouette, darkened by the fireworks.

The date of the event was Sunday, July 4th and it started around 9:42 p.m. Fair Saint Louis on the Arch grounds with concerts and vendors will return in 2022.

It was so nice to see all the people enjoying the beautiful summer night in this wonderful city. This is what success looks like St. Louis….keep it up 🙂 And thank you Edward Jones.

Dr. Keisha Ross at Juneteenth talks Slavery, Past and Present

Dr. Keisha Ross, a licensed psychologist, spoke about the impact of slavery, past and present, at the First Annual Juneteenth Caribbean Heritage Walkathon hosted by Art 2063 on June 19, 2021 on the Cricket Field in Forest Park Forever in St. Louis.

Dr. Keisha Ross…

Good morning everyone, Happy Juneteenth and Caribbean Heritage Month. A very special good morning to our Mayor Ms. Tishaura Jones. Thank you for the Art 2063 organizational President Dr. James Tucker, Vice President Mrs. Beverly Tucker, staff members for the vision, organization, planning and manifestation of this First Juneteenth and Caribbean Heritage Event. And hopefully this will be a continued tradition and will have even more turnout as we move forward. 

Dr. Keisha Ross speaks at Juneteenth Celebration in St. Louis about the impact of slavery both past and present.

So today I will talk about recognizing the impact of slavery both past and present. Some may ask, why are black people talking about slavery? To which there is a simple response. There is an enduring legacy of historical trauma as well as continued unresolved racial trauma. Historical trauma is emotional, psychological wounding over one’s lifetime and generation to generation, following loss of lives, land and vital aspects of culture. 

Black people stolen from the African continent endured torture, physical and sexual abuse and separation from their culture. The primary feature of historical trauma is that trauma is transferred to subsequent generations, through biological means, phycological, environmental and social means resulting in a cross-generational cycle of trauma. 

So what this means is there is no escape. Whether it’s through the stories we hear, whether it’s through physiology being on the levels of stress. Epigenetics in which genes and DNA is impacted and changed from being under oppression, there is a long term effect.  

Although there was an Emancipation Proclamation to end slavery, it did not reverse the effects of slavery.

From slavery to share cropping, lynching to police brutality, segregation to redlining and gentrification, systemic biases and structural racism are the current manifestations of slavery. So it’s not an old notion. Right? It may not be in the colonial sense of physical change but has a system and structure that maintains racism. 

Although there was an Emancipation Proclamation to end slavery, it did not reverse the effects of slavery. Therefore racial trauma continues. Racial trauma is the result of ongoing exposure to racial stressors, such as racism, racial bias, discrimination, violence against people of color and racist abuse in the media that creates in environment in which a person of color, black people, feel unsafe, simply because the color of thier skin. So this is the enduring legacy.

In the words of Marcus Darby, ‘A people without the knowledge of their history, origin or culture is like a tree without roots. So as people who lost their cultural makeup or spiritual belief, language, rites of passage, food and views of the world, this loss impacts identity and psychological functioning and well being. So if you don’t have a connection or understanding who we are it contributes to depression, anxiety, post traumatic stress disorder or post traumatic slave syndrome.

Also the chronic exposure of oppression contributes to the Wily Linx Syndrome which refers to the process implemented for slaves through the vision amongst themselves: the old vs the young, the light vs the dark, the straight hair vs the kinky hair. So within our community we have a lot of stuff going on. Right? We have color in them. We have a lot of isms. 

Black people stolen from the African continent endured torture, physical and sexual abuse and separation from their culture.

We see this continued division in our community which is a manifestation of internalized oppression in which levels of self hate projected by oppressors or masters onto slaves was internalized by slaves and that hate for oneself is acted out. Dr. Joy DeGruy’s post traumatic slave syndrome, PTSS theory explains the origin of many of the adaptive survival behaviors in the African American communities throughout the United States. 

This condition indicates that multi-generational oppression of Africans and their descendants resulting from centuries of child slavery. Child slavery is predicated on the idea that Africans were inherently, genetically inferior to whites. So many people say slavery isn’t new; slavery’s been happening since olden-times. But indentured servitude was different. Right. There was an opportunity for a person to work and gain their freedom. Through channel slavery that meant your future generations were born into slavery and had no knowledge of themselves, who they are or their culture. 

So now this centuries of oppression through channel slavery, followed by institutional racism continues to perpetuate injury. So we continue to suffer from racial trauma. Therefore we must work on healing from racial trauma. 

And we acknowledge and celebrate Juneteenth and we know that until everyone in our community is free in mind, body and spirit, none of us is free. 

Many of you may ask, who do we do this? Well what we know is healing is multifaceted. Right? There’s no  one way. It can be activated and achieve various avenues such as a higher level of cultural awareness and self knowledge, psychotherapy, emotional emancipation circles, through the association of black psychologists, healing safe spaces by community healers, study groups, advocacy and empowerment economic planning as well as discipline within ourselves and our ancient spiritual sciences. 

So Art 2063 is one of those non-profit organizations that help bridge that gap. This WalkaThon highlights and celebrates the cultural connection of Juneteenth making the emancipation of remaining slaves in America with connections to black people in the diaspora of the Caribbean.

This cultural bridge made by ART 2063 let’s us know that we are all connected. We are each other’s brothers and sisters. And we acknowledge and celebrate Juneteenth and we know that until everyone in our community is free in mind, body and spirit, none of us is free. 

Dr. Keisha Ross

Mayor of St. Louis speaks at Juneteenth in Forest Park

St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones gave a sincere, heartwarming speech during the First Annual Juneteenth Caribbean Heritage Walkathon on June 19, 2021 on the Cricket Field in Forest Park Forever in St. Louis.

Mayor Jones:

Good morning everyone. I am so happy that the weather decided to cooperate. We were outside yesterday at another Juneteenth Celebration and I swear I melted in front of Sumner High School. So if you see a pool of chocolate in front of Sumner High School that belongs to me. 

I’m Tishaura Jones. I use the she-her pronouns and I am so blessed and honored to be the 47th Mayor of St. Louis and the first black female to lead St. Louis in its-over 250 year history.
I am really happy that we are celebrating Juneteenth and giving it the honor that it deserves.

Mayor Tishaura Jones speaking at Juneteenth 2021 in Cricket Field at Forest Park. credit craig currie
Mayor Tishaura Jones speaking at Juneteenth 2021 in Cricket Field at Forest Park. credit craig currie

As I was talking to Fox 2 earlier today about the significance of this holiday, I told them that I would hope this is the time for all of us to reflect and to learn the full history of this country, all of the good, the bad and the ugly…because we have to be honest with ourselves.

So many people have been ignored and flat out left behind by our government for far too long…

If we don’t know or understand our history, we are doomed to repeat it. And we also have to learn the history of St. Louis and it’s contribution to this country. And it hasn’t always been pretty either. So we are still fighting against some of these systemic policies that have ruled this city for generations. 

Please note that as Mayor it is my number one focus that we look at every policy, every dollar spent through a racial equity lens. So many people have been ignored and flat out left behind by our government for far too long, and it’s time we right those wrongs, not only within City Government but also within our City because we cannot expect our city to thrive when half of it’s left to fail.

So please know that as mayor, I will show up everyday and work hard for you except on Sundays; that’s my day of rest. As a daughter of this city, as a daughter of North St. Louis, it’s personal for me. 

Flag flying during Juneteenth 2021 in Forest Park in St. Louis. credit craig currie
Flag flying during Juneteenth 2021 in Forest Park in St. Louis. credit craig currie

And as a mother of the most adorable black son – he’s six feet tall now, he would hate it if he heard me calling him adorable but he is – it’s important that we change the environment for him to live, thrive and grow. Because when we were having a conversation about what the Mayor does, I told him that the mayor was also indirectly responsible for the police. He said, “Oh that means I will be safe.” A mother shouldn’t have to become mayor in order for him to feel safe with interactions with our law enforcement. So I use that as my North Star.

WalkaThon Juneteenth 2021 Forest Park St. Louis in Cricket Field. credit craig currie
WalkaThon Juneteenth 2021 Forest Park St. Louis in Cricket Field. credit craig currie

How do we change the environment for our children, (and all of our children) to feel safe with interactions with any of our public servants, not just law enforcement? 

Again thank you for having me be Honorary Chair for your First Annual WalkaThon. I am so honored and privileged to be here with you, and God Bless you and happy Juneteenth….

Dr. Tucker to Cori Bush, Black Caucus, “Sentence Slave Owners”

Dr. James Tucker, of the African American Voice and co-founder of Art 2063, mentioned Cori Bush and the Black Caucus during the First Annual Juneteenth Caribbean Heritage Walkathon on June 19, 2021 on the Cricket Field in Forest Park Forever in St. Louis.

Dr. Meyers would be excited that Juneteenth is a National Holiday. But he would be disappointed that the legislation did not have teeth.

The legislation is only going to benefit, is the sentence of slave owners. And as a result of that, I encourage Cori Bush, the Black Caucus and all the other legislators for the Juneteenth national holiday is to make sure that African American benefit from being in slavery. 

Dr. James Tucker