Hat Trick 

There's something perfect about a magician marrying a hat maker. And it's just such a pairing that promises to make a trunk show coming to Bar DKDC this week a lot more interesting than your average fashion tour. But will there be rabbit on the menu?

click to enlarge Amy Downs’ “The Mad Hatter” Trunk Show
  • Amy Downs’ “The Mad Hatter” Trunk Show

Any chance to try out headwear by milliner Amy Downs is worth noting. The former theater costumer's colorful and creative gear has been turning heads since she opened her New York boutique in the 1980s, finding its way into movies and earning rave reviews from hat lovers. Downs, who has since traded NYC life for the West Coast, dabbles in all styles ­— from turbans to toppers to mesh creations unlike anything else you're likely to run across — and she's currently touring with a broad selection of her designs.

In addition to the hats, Downs is also bringing her husband, Gary Rudy, a sleight-of-hand specialist who is also known by his professional name, G. Sparks, creator and demonstrator of tricks, gimmicks, and marvels. He'll be showing off a few of his creations as well.

click to enlarge Amy Downs’ “The Mad Hatter” Trunk Show
  • Amy Downs’ “The Mad Hatter” Trunk Show

If you've ever seen Sparks demonstrate a magic trick on one of his many homemade how-to videos, he's probably been wearing a whimsical hat, although hats don't figure all that much into the coin and card tricks he performs, packages, and sells. Sparks' tricks are a little gritty, ranging from barroom grifts and a solo version of the old sideshow bullet-catching gimmick to a variety of liquids that he pours into glasses that seem to hang in mid-air. It's fun, close-up stuff for the prestidigitator set. He's also built a personal-sized confetti cannon to end even a little magic show with a big bang.

Amy Downs' "The Mad Hatter" Trunk Show at Bar DKDC and the Beauty Shop, Saturday-Sunday, November 16th-17th, noon to 5 p.m.

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