Charles Phoenix’s Slide of the Week: Hats & Gloves, 1962

Hats & Gloves, 1962

These fine folks look like they are all related except for the breakout star of this portrait, Beavis and Butthead’s grandma, down on the left. It must be June. Junior has graduated. His gown and tasseled cap go almost unnoticed next the other fashion statements in this front yard family photo. Conservative high-necked dresses, cut in solids, prints and polka dots are generously accessorized with earrings, pearls and brooches. Obligatory hats and gloves complete the ever-so-civilized look. Proper ladies do not leave the house without them.

Speaking of fancy hats last Saturday I unexpectedly discovered the California Millinery Supply while walking up Spring Street in the heart of old downtown Los Angeles. The next thing I know I’m inside the store surrounded by a wonderland of vintage hat making supplies. On one side of me a rainbow wall of rare ribbons and floor-to-ceiling shelves overflowing with fancy feathers, fake fruits, flowers and leaves and everything else you could ever dream of trimming a hat with. On the other side an unexplainable variety of hypnotizing hat forms hanging from the ceiling and stacked in spectacular antique oak display cases. Virtually speechless I managed to form a short sentence and ask the very nice lady behind the counter what year this place began. “1939” she replied. Little has changed since. All I could do was just stand there mesmerized turning around in circles thinking “what-decade-am-I-in?” It was wonderful!

California Millinery Supply is located at 721 S. Spring St., Los Angeles, CA: 213-622-8746. Make sure to tell them I sent you!

Here’s to hats and gloves, Beavis and Buttheads grandma, California Millinery Supply and YOU!

Charles Phoenix

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