Winters Past

20th Century Fashion from Deco to Disco

The Secret Life of Clothes, Part 4

When customers come into the shop and see  a garment like this, a purple velvet evening romper with a matching metallic beaded robe, they ask Where do you get  these clothes ?

Vintage 1970's clothing

Here goes another installment in which I tell a little bit of  the backstory on these garments. I call it The Secret Life of Clothes.

But first, imagine, if you will,  what Prince’s mother’s wardrobe might look like, all brocades and feathers and crazy great accessories. That is exactly what I came across in a modest Ocala bungalow last week.

I had received a call about a woman named Jane from her neighbor and friend, inviting me to help wean down her voluminous clothing collection.

It turns out Jane worked as a makeup artist and occasional model at Motown from the late 1960s through the 80s. You know those album covers that feature an amazingly dressed woman who does not perform on the record? That might be Jane.

When Smoky Robinson or Diana Ross or Marvin Gay traveled, she went with them to do their stage makeup. Along the way, she enjoyed some of  the perks of stardom and she definitely dressed the part.

Over the years she had acquired an outrageous collection of deliciously over the top pieces that matched her lifestyle. These are a few of her suits:

vintage seventies and eighties clothing

And her handbags:

vintage 1970's purses

And a few of her amazing accessories, including a chain mail vest and a fur stole with some type of cast metal animal head:

vintage 1970s accessories

Her clothing bears tags from all over the globe, but she had a particular fondness for Italian design, especially those wildly embellished power suits.

To top it all off, here are some fabulous  hats from her collection:

vintage hats

And guess what else a person who worked for Mowtown would have? So many record albums! I purchased them with one caveat: if I find any that feature Jane on the cover, I pledged to bring them back.

vintage motown albums

Author: Winters Past

I am a vintage clothing shop owner living and working in rural north Florida. I believe in adding a little vinegar and molasses to my greens, having my coffee outside whenever possible, and mixing something vintage into every room and every outfit.

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