Tag Archives: costume


Rare photos of a Rothschild costume ball, circe 1972.

Darktown Strutters ‘Lucifer Rising’


Baroness Helene de Rothschild and Baron Alexis de Rede

Helene Rochas

Baron Alexis de Rede in a Dali designed hat

In Baron de Rede’s own words “On 12 December 1972, Marie-Hélène gave her Surrealist Ball at Ferriéres. This time the guests were asked to come in black tie and long dresses with Surrealist heads. The invitation was printed with reversed writing on a blue and cloudy sky, inspired by a painting by Magritte. To decipher the card, it had to be held to a mirror.

For the evening the chateau was floodlit with moving orange lights to give the impression that it was on fire. The staircase inside was lined by footmen dressed as cats that appeared to have fallen asleep in a variety of staged poses.
Guests had to pass through a kind of labyrinth of Hell, made of black ribbons to look like cobwebs. The occasional cat appeared to rescue the guests and lead them to the tapestry salon. Here they were greeted by Guy with a hat to resemble a still-life on a platter, and by Marie-Hélène wearing the head of a giant weeping tears made of diamonds.

Marie Hélène proved that she had the flare and imagination to create something unique and worthwhile. None of this was created by charm alone. It needed a degree of ruthless determination. She attended to every minute detail of style in her life and also in her entertaining. She was a great hostess with all the qualities. She loved parties and people. She was forever in quest of new talent and new figures to entertain from the world of the arts, literature, dance and haute couture. She mixed them with the more established set of Paris society. everyone was intrigued. Marie-Hélène’s parties took on such importance that one social figure threatened to commit suicide unless she was invited.

It is not possible to repeat such things now for many reasons. But it is fascinating to look back and to remember these occasions, which dominated our thoughts and plans to such an extent for so many months. I am happy that I took part in so many, and happy that I gave some myself.”

The amazing mood music above is from my favorite local band, the Darktown Strutters. You can buy their 12″ ep here.

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Elizabethan costume.



Brrrr, is it ever cold outside! Remember what I told you about TX weather? Last week felt like spring. But this week we’ve had snow, icy roads, single digit temperatures… and more snow is predicted for tomorrow.

Needless to say, I’ve hardly left home. Which in a sense is a blessing, because (when the power isn’t down) it’s pushed me to focus on adding new items to the Goldmine Trash shop. This isn’t even the begining of our stock. I have a lot of seams to reinforce and hems to restitch on the vintage, and several House of Trash dresses need finishing touches. Slowly but surely I’m working on it. So here’s a start:

I love these 80s butterfly tops! They look great with skinny jeans (or shorts in the summer), and can be layered over maxi dresses as well. Perfect for partying in. You’ll have no problem standing out in dark room with this thing on! It’s deadstock – never worn vintage – and has the original tag + bag of extra sequins and beads intact.

I’ve dubbed this the Intoxi-dress, in honor of Intoxica Radio with Howie Pyro. A collector of all things vintage since childhood, Howie has over 30,000 vinyl records alone! Intoxica is my favorite radio show because Howie’s great sense of humor really comes out on there. Plus, you can hear stuff you’ll never hear anywhere else. In an age where everything seems instantly accessible online, that’s quite an accomplishment, imo.

This House of Trash dress was handmade by yours truly, from deadstock vintage fabric in an ultra rare vinyl record print. It fits a modern size large, and you’ll need some dangerous curves to fill this baby out. My dressform did this no justice!

Mother of God. This thing is amazing! I’ve pretty much seen it all in my 15+ years of wearing, collecting, and selling vintage. This piece had me stumped however. The gal I originally purchased it from thought it had something to do with the Russian Orthodox church. There’s no religious insignias on it though.

Other theories  are that it’s a vintage costume, a fraternal order costume, or a vintage Indian garment. One of our Facebook friends offered the most likely explanation though: that it’s a torero (bull fighters) costume. Considering that TX borders Mexico, this makes the most sense.

According to her, the matching skullcap would’ve been worn under a larger hat. And the drawstring bag would’ve carried religious trinkets for good luck.

Whatever the case may be, this set is stunning! It’s hand stitched, and all that cording is hand tacked in place. The velvet looks and feels like a 30s velvet, so I’m dating this to the 1930s. It’s in fabulous condition. It’s perfect for a boho babe to make some magic in, but would be perfect for a burlesque costume too.

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Shota Rustaveli’s 12th century poem The Knight in the Panther’s Skin is regarded as Georgia’s national epic. A medieval tale of brotherhood, courtly love, bravery and adventure, it’s said to epitomize the humanistic ideals of Medieval Europe.

T’hinat’hin, Arabia’s newly crowned female king (!) sends her admirer Avt’handil on a quest to find a mysterious knight clad in panther’s skin. Should Avt’handil’s succeed in the mission, T’hinat’hin will agree to marry him.

Avt’handil locates and befriends the knight, who turns out to be an Indian prince named Tariel. Tariel grieves the disappearance of the Indian princess Nestan-Daredjan; who he loves and is searching for. Sympathetic to one anothers causes, Tariel and Avt’handil vow to be lifelong friends, and to assist one another on both quests. They succeed, and the story ends with double marriages.

Nana Tchitchoua’s ‘Impressions of Rustaveli’ is a seldom seen Georgian/American short film based on The Knight in Panther’s Skin, and is 14 minutes of visual splendor! Taking her cues from directors such as Kenneth Anger, Vera Chytilova and Sergei Parajanov, Impressions of Rustaveli is a love letter to period costume. Turbans, fez hats, beadwork, long veils and ethnic prints abound. Instantly, you’re whisked away to the Byzantine era via Near East perspective.

Despite being made in 2001, Impressions of Rustaveli was shot in a frontal style devoid of camera movement. Combined with a soft focus and often dim lighting, the film has a distinctly retro feel. As you’ll see, it’s stills could pass for Sarah Moon photos.

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