My Magic Closet

Mai West ImageA long time ago….things were different.
When I would open my closet door to get dressed for work…. I used to think…. Oh, do I want to be Cleopatra, Marilyn Monroe or an Indian Princess?…. who am I today?
My closet was truly magical. I loved to shop at Movie Studio Sales, Vintage and Thrift Stores long before it became popular. Not only did I find fabulous stuff but everything was super affordable. My daughter, Debbi and I would travel from L.A. to Ventura and even Santa Barbara. I still love Retro anything!
Theda BaraI’ve talked about the Steve Ponce Salon, where I worked. It was like nothing else, not even in the movie, “Shampoo.” During the Late ‘60s and early to mid ‘70s, this was the hippest salon….remember, we had “The Magruder Machine” Big Band on Wednesday nights….and a celebrity clientele that would keep “TMZ” busy today.
The Salon was enormous and sexy. It was crazy fun for stylists and clients. It was not unusual for someone to start a conga line or a tap dance and have half of the Salon join in! So it wasn’t really odd for me to dress up my imagination….every day. It made Life more interesting and kept me sane. I sometimes wore low cut blouses and mini skirts….much to the delight of my many male clients who had just started to leave the dullness of Barber Shops for Salons…at that time.
Hair Which ImageAnd then there was Halloween! The entire Shop totally dressed up for the “Day”. The press and local TV News Shows loved it!
One year, I was a self-designed “Hair Witch” with the biggest hair imaginable. My black silk capelet was fringed with natural human hair swatches…hot pants and fish-net hose completed the look. I wore silver-green make-up with a spider painted on my cheek. I not only worked all day in this but I had to pick up my daughter at LAX that evening before going to a party. I nearly caused a riot!Hair Witch Body Image
The next year was a Doozie!… Carmen Miranda. I found a colorful 1940’s dress with a long train and platform shoes…but it was the wig/head piece I made that really zonked the outfit. It was over 3 feet tall…with bananas and fruit, orange feathers and white doves flying around!! I had to go to a party after work and it was too complicated to take off my headpiece and put it back on…so I called a Cab! It took four people to get me in the back seat….laying down, with feathers sticking out one window and red platform shoes sticking out the other. What a ride!! When we arrived at the party, the taxi driver had to pull me out by my feet. When we got to the party house…the host opened the door and said….”Joy, how clever for your date to come as a Taxi Driver!” My real Date met me at the party. He pulled up in his Corvette convertible wearing an Armani Western style tuxedo, cowboy hat and carrying a real saddle! He called himself….”Midnight Cowboy.” He was a cinematographer who owned a horse ranch.
A very exotic “Theda Bara,” the Vamp from the Silent Movies followed, the next Halloween. Then an obvious “Mae West” in a blonde wig and backless, almost frontless, long black dress…..was my final fantasy.
I kind of miss those days.

Joy as Carmen Maranda Image

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2 Responses to “My Magic Closet”

  1. Byron Fry Says:

    WOW! That is some serious head dressing you had going on there! I can see being dedicated, but you had to get the cabbie into the spirit too…
    What a great story…thanks for sharing that!

  2. TONY WINGATE Says:

    HOW DO YOU STAND ERECT IN THAT GETUP ???

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