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