Over the years on the blog, I have made my love of two particular TV shows, Batman and The Adventures of Brisco County Jr., very apparent, whether through cosplay, cons, museum visits, or filming locations. One thing these two shows have in common is the use of the Bronson Canyon and Caves as a filming location, and we recently made the pilgrimage to this famous filming spot.
Last December I had the pleasure of meeting sisters Miriam and Victoria, who I found out had quite the amazing treasure in their family. Their mother, Vilma, had been a camera girl at the legendary Clifton’s Cafeteria, as well as at other hot spots in old LA, including Chinatown and The Pike. Not only was she a camera girl, she was a colorful character, with a very active dating life, which she chronicled religiously in her diary. Growing up, Miriam and Victoria knew of their mother’s past, and even read portions of her diary, but it wasn’t until her recent passing and the re-opening of Clifton’s Cafeteria did they really begin to understand what a piece of history their mother’s diary and photographs were.
Vilma was no ordinary camera girl. She was gorgeous, never in want of a date, and came up with a very creative way to sell more photographs. She would go up to either single men, or groups of just men and ask “Would you like to take a picture with a pretty girl?” becoming the star of the customer’s photos, and she soon became the best camera girl at Clifton’s, sometimes making her quota just two hours into an eight hour shift! Her salacious and hilarious diary is now in the process of being shared with the masses by Miriam and Victoria, with their blog, Vilma the Unconquerable, a title she gave herself after quite the date. After I met these ladies I quickly spent an entire day reading the backlog of posts, and fell head over heels for this tough gal who took no nonsense from many men! Plus, her “uniform” for Clifton’s was downright adorable! It featured a peasant style top, paired with either a peasant skirt, or tropical print skirt and lei (depending on if the woman was working the Brookdale or Pacific Seas location), and then a leather corset style belt, which also acted as holster of sorts to carry around slips and extra film.
With permission, I created this collage from photos Miriam and Victoria have posted on their blog, their mother, Vilma, is in the middle. When I found out Miriam and Vilma were giving a presentation on their mother and the history of the Clifton’s Camera Girls, I decided to apply the notion of “Disneybounding” to my outfit and created a look inspired by the Clifton’s Camera Girls. As you might already know, I have quite the collection of peasant tops and flowing skirts, and not all that long ago I bought a corset style belt, although one with some extra trim on it.
Miriam and Victoria’s presentation consisted of photographs of their mother, and vintage images of Clifton’s, as well as the photo folders that customers received their photos in from the various locations their mother both worked at and dined at with her various dates. They shared their mother’s stories, including reading excerpts from her diary, which proved to be insightful and amusing! So I highly recommend reading the blog! Vilma eventually met the true love of her life while doing what she did best, asking a man if he picture taken with a pretty girl, who responded with “Only if that ‘pretty girl’ is you.” They later got married and had the two lovely women who gave this presentation, Miriam and Victoria.
It was a true joy to meet Miriam and Victoria, and look forward to where this unique journey of sharing their mother’s unique addition to Los Angeles history takes them.
You can read Vilma’s diary entries on the blog Vilma the Unconquerable, as well as follow them on Facebook and Instagram. You can also still visit Clifton’s Brookdale when you’re in LA! Visit their website here, and check our pictures from our first visit here, and when they opened their Pacific Seas inspired bar, located on an upper floor, here.
First off, I want to thank those of you who commented in my last post about what you wanted to see on the blog. It was so wonderful to get ideas from you, as well as receive support for the types of posts I already do. It’s your positive comments that really keep me going. I have many post ideas now and I can’t wait to start working on them. Also, keep the suggestions coming!
Now, to the subject at hand! Over the weekend Patrick and I went to the Petersen Automotive Museum. Some of you might remember that Patrick and I visited in spring last year, but only for the unveiling of the Back to the Future DeLorean, and were unable to explore the rest of the museum. So it was nice to return and see the amazing collection the museum has to offer.
I’ll kick off the post with what I wore, with photos and information about the museum after.
Well, it’s been awhile, hasn’t it? I got laid up with a really wretched cold right after Dapper Day, and only recently have I began to feel normal. And thank goodness, because Paper Moon was hosted their Full Moon party last night, and it was western themed!
Paper Moon is hands down one of the best vintage shops in LA. The wide range, age of many of the garments, and the way the shop is laid out makes you feel like you are shopping in the dressing room of an old Hollywood movie star. Every time you look around you find something that is simply stunning. Especially if you’re into 30s and older, Paper Moon is the place for you! Nicole, the owner, really knows how to throw a shop party, with tasty treats, libations, and even live music, where last night she featured Tiny & Mary, who sung classic western songs.
Hat: Redlands Galleria, Redlands, California
Top: Buffalo Exchange…I think…
Tie: Joyride Vintage, Orange, California
Skirt: Dolly & Dotty
Tooled Leather Belt: Knott’s Berry Farm
Tooled Leather Heels: Re-Mix
Tooled Leather Clutch: Found by my dad
After visiting Corriganville, Patrick and I headed to Valley Relics Museum. Valley Relics is a museum dedicated to preserving the history of the San Fernando Valley, with a wide array of wonderful and impressive artifacts from businesses from the San Fernando Valley, including a fantastic collection of vintage ashtrays, ephemera, neon signs, and more. And when Patrick told me they had some items belonging to western wear legend, Nudie Cohn, I was even more excited to visit!
The Palomino sign was quite impressive and one of my favorite pieces, as it was where many country-western legends performed, including Johnny Cash, Buck Owens, Patsy Cline, and personal favorite, The Flying Burrito Brothers.
Valley Relics is located in Chatsworth, about 33 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles. It is only open on Saturdays, from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm, and is free to visit, but donations are always happily accepted.
Last Sunday was a sad day in the Los Angeles history books, Gill’s Old Fashioned Ice Cream at Los Angeles’ Original Farmers Market closed up shop after 80 years scooping ice cream. I cannot lay claim to many fond memories spent at Gill’s, as I had only been there once, but I can still mourn the loss of a true “home spun and family run” (as Charles Phoenix likes to say) business. For generations, the Gill family has dished out cone after cone, and legend has it they created the flavor rocky road. So, when we heard that this LA landmark was vacating, we had to go over to bid farewell.
I was very inspired by the look of Gill’s when I picking out what to wear, selecting a pink and white stripe shirtwaist that reflected the pink and white stripes of the stand itself, and taking from the green awning, I opted for a green bolero. As I selected my outfit, I lamented about a lack of an ice cream or Coca-Cola brooch, when true inspiration struck me! As I was getting dressed, I looked at my dresser, atop which sits a vintage Knott’s Berry Farm ashtray, full of my Knott’s jewelry, and I remembered discussions at Knott’s of making brooches out of some of their fun magnets. I then remembered we had a Coca-Cola magnet reminiscent of the signage that Gill’s had! So I used a plain magnet on the inside of my dress to secure the Coca-Cola one. I also chose to wear my vintage, Los Angeles themed charm bracelet, which features a Farmers Market charm on it!
It was delightful to see the outpouring of love that people had for Gill’s, as the line curved its way through the aisles of Farmers Market, and people shared their stories of their visits to Gill’s over the decades. I even had the delight of talking to the great-grand daughter of the founder, which was a really wonderful moment, as she shared her memories with me.
Farmers Market has announced another family-owned ice cream shop will take up residence in the same stall in the near future.
Bolero: Gift from Patrick, but I know he got it at Hollywood Babylon, Portland, Oregon
Dress: Red Light, Portland, Oregon
Purse: Lux de Ville
Scarf: I don’t remember
LA Charm Bracelet: Found by my dad I think…
After much anticipation, Clifton’s (which I have blogged about on several previous occasions, including its grand re-opening, Thanksgiving, and the first Fur & Feathers in LA) finally opened the doors to the newest addition to its cabinet of curiosities, Pacific Seas, a tiki bar inspired by the first ever Clifton’s, under the same name.
The Pacific Seas was the first of Clifford Clinton’s chain of cafeterias, and featured a gorgeous pacific island theme with lots of bamboo, gorgeous faux rock features, both inside and out, and even neon palm trees. It was gaudy, outrageous, and utterly amazing. Honestly, what I wouldn’t give to go back in time and experiences it. Seriously, take a look…
Pacific Seas opened in 1939 and closed its doors in 1960s, when it was demolished and became a parking lot, which it has remained since. But now Clifton’s guests can either re-live, or experience for the first time, a small taste of what the Pacific Seas was like with its all new tiki bar. On Friday Patrick and I had the pleasure of going the night before its grand opening thanks to a friend. My eyes couldn’t stop darting around at all of the amazing details, and these photos simply don’t do it justice. One of my favorite details was the original plaque to the outside of the Pacific Seas location that discussed the exterior and gave thanks to the artists behind the creation. Sadly, I failed to get any real outfit photos with the exception of a quick snap at the end of the night.
I can imagine we shall be visiting Pacific Seas as often as possible, as it is nothing short of spectacular, and I highly encourage both locals and visitors to LA alike to visit!