A Hollywood Collection

September 25, 2018

A Hollywood Collection

I wanted to share with you the story behind one of the greatest collections of Vintage I've come across so far as a Vintage dealer.  

Last Spring I was contacted by a woman who wanted me to come see her collection of vintage clothing she had for sale.  At first I didn't want to go, as she told me she had a bunch of African clothing and as cool as that is, its not my market. But the she mentioned "bustle dress" and I was intrigued. " Bustle dress? Real bustle dresses? From the 1800s?" I asked.  Yes, she assured me they were authentic Victorian bustle dresses. We made the appointment for me to come see.

Turned out she was not kidding. She did indeed have bustle dresses and many other glorious clothing items ranging from the 1950s back to the Victorian era. She was a Hollywood costume designer, now retired, who also happened to be an avid collector of vintage clothing. She had clothing from her own family and that of her husband's. She also had some authentic costume pieces from Hollywood's golden eras of the 1920s, 30s and 40s.  She had, she confided in me, some pieces from Gone With The Wind. There were some things she was keeping, she told me, her favorites, but the rest it was time to let go.

I spent at least half a day with her at her charming home in the Burbank hills and ended up buying it all. I just couldn't leave anything behind, it was all so special and glorious. I got home with something like four large boxes and/ or plastic bins full of clothing items.  As I started looking closer I noticed one piece in particular, a black riding habit, looked like later 1800s, but had 1930s construction.  Must be a costume piece, I thought, then I looked inside and spotted 1930s Metro Goldwyn Meyer costume department tags.  I realized that it might be the Gone With The Wind costume she had told me about and I quite literally had to sit down. I felt lightheaded and shaky. I'll never know for sure, and it certainly is not something Scarlet herself wore or probably any of the other lead actresses, and even if its not from GWtW, it IS from 1930s Metro Goldwyn Meyer and some film from the 30s, and thats enough for me. I probably will not be selling that particular piece.  As for the rest, It has quite literally taken me all these months to go through everything, sort, categorize, clean, steam, do any necessary repairs and start to photograph this enormous collection.  I've just started listing the first pieces in my shop, and am happy to report that they are starting to find new homes already.  Here are a few of the first pieces to hit the shop...there will be loads more coming over the following couple of months. 

1940s Dress at Toadstool Farm Vintage

1950s Joan Bennet Dress From Toadstool Farm Vintage

1910s Edwardian Duster Coat, Toadstool Farm Vintage

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