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11.7.09

This dress has a past


I first met the dress in the 1960s, some 30 years after it was created. Hi my name is Karen and I want to tell you a story.
I was the poor starving New York artist living in a loft on the Bowery across from Hilly's which later became CBGB. I paid 27.50 a month for a 500 square feet studio(illegal to live in) and did my dishes in the shower. I just graduated from Hunter College studying with Marc Rothko, Robert Morris and Raymond Parker with a MFA in painting. I also got my first real job directing Leo Castelli Graphics where I meet artists that inspired me as a student, Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns, Roy Lichtenstein to name a few. I was both awe struck and intimidated and wondered why I got the job as I was in my early 20's from Maryland and thought that bagels were a breed of dog. I was expected to attend the gallery and museum openings and had nothing suitable to wear until I discovered Harriet Love's vintage store on West Broadway. In the store window was the Dress that stopped me made me spent my first pay check of $127.50 and turned me into a vintage addict for the rest of my life.

The Dress became my History. I wore her to the opening night of the Ansel Adams retrospective in the 70's, I danced the night away with my husband at a embassy party in Guatemala and later that night I knew that I was pregnant with my daughter Kate. The dress was retired for many years as we moved to Toronto to start family life in the 80's. . My husband asked me one day what I was going to do with all my vintage collection and that got me started.again. More collecting. exhibiting and meeting others with the same love. The dress was bought by another artist several years ago and is now waiting to start a new history at Shrimpton. I hope the young lady who buys her has the passionate adventures that I have in the forty years that I have known her.
For the Shrimpton Team,
Stories and vintage from life in the trenches
Karen Jeffery Collection

3 comments:

Katy said...

Harriet Love, a fabulous shop and shop keeper from the past, one of the pioneers in the Vintage business.

smashingbird said...

what a lovely story, this is what vintage and the love of clothes is all about for me.

alexkeller said...

i can't even begin to say how gorgeous this dress is and how i wish i could have it. but the DH wouldn't understand the price tag...i'll just have to live vicariously through its history...

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