I need a turban more than ever, the idea of which has always been in the back of my mind but the fixation upon which had never before manifested in a real search. Finally I felt ripe for the occasion.
I went to thirty-some charity stores on the Upper East Side, and flea markets on the west side of town on Sunday, then East Village blocks of vintage boutiques. Very few turbans made sense. This turban isn’t hat-like enough, that one too high, like a chef’s hat. Then, why only black turbans? Or white?
I saw any number of hats: the brimmed hat, the top hat, a curious number of jeweled beanies, and the rotund fabric toboggan - close calls in the windows of resale shops. There were a couple of near-misses. A vintage Christian Dior gold netted turban on the top of an armoire in the East Village. It was too high, what might be called a fortune-teller’s hat. And the next-closest – a simple black turban with its ends tucked into themselves at the crown of the head.
The turban in my imagination has been a vintage silk floral one, netted, that I once saw behind the counter in INA Soho. When I first started working there, this was my favorite object in the store – a cast-off from the Patricia Field sale. I did not buy it; it went to a supermodel, and the closest approximation to its fabric I have found is in a blue spring Thakoon dress. And the longer I looked at this Thakoon dress, the more I thought of it dissected, wrapped, covered in net, and turned into a turban. A Thakoon Turban.
Perusing the spring preview racks in INA Chelsea, the tucks, folds and sheer silk pleats of dresses I realized, are all materials waiting to be turned into turbans. Racks of flowers, pastels and bright primaries – to see these fabrics wrapping a head would really be the implementation of spring.
Top left to bottom right: Dries Van Noten light wool, floral mulit-colored coat; Balenciaga tank top, sheer silk with panels; turban in the mirror; turban on the table; turban in the window; Yves Saint Laurent sleeveless dress, mustard, with embossed belt; Thakoon light lavender & blue silk printed minidress.